YBNBY Logo
ornate line
If the Band Fits, Wear It
Slide Dano.jpgI'm not a J. Crew guy. I'm not a Banana Republic guy. I'm not a multi-colored-button-down-shirt-that-I-just-ironed-tucked-into-a-crisp-pair-of-chinos-with-a-crease-down-the-front-whose-belt-perfectly-matches-his-brand-spanking-new-pair-of-loafers guy.

I'm just not.

It's extremely unlikely I ever will be. It would be like all of a sudden, out of the clear blue sky, Ernest Hemingway deciding that he would only shop at Brooks Brothers--about as likely as a tightly packed snowball surviving a day in the pit of Hades. Pretty slim, I'd wager.

I will dress properly for work or any religious or formal function, but other than that, you'll most likely find me in a well worn pair of jeans and a Beatles T-shirt. I am not a fan of having a corporate logo across my chest. Let me get this straight, I pay you 25 smackers to walk through midtown Manhattan advertising your product? I pay a fee to be a mobile billboard? No, thank you, Mr. Abercrombie. No, thank you.

I'd rather wear a banana hammock to Carnegie Hall.

ben-harper.jpgThere are many that buy the shirts with "Polo" in six-inch letters across the chest because they believe it makes a statement of status. This is the same reason that men like me and my testosterone-charged counterparts insist on sporting a T-shirt with our favorite bands emblazoned across the front. There are some that feel a sense of pride displaying designer labels on their clothing. It's a status symbol. We have a similar feeling, but express it by wearing a Ben Harper or Sex Pistols shirt. Some may roll their eyes at this. But I roll my eyes at those that pay hundreds for a handbag because it says "Prada" on the side. The principle is the same.

M-YourFaveBand_400x400_2_jpg_175x175_crop_q85.jpgTo quote Rob Gordon from the immortal classic film High Fidelity, "Part of what you are like, is what you like. Call me shallow, but it's the f#&%ing truth." The band T-shirt is a bold declaration of taste and lifestyle. Ever wonder why street gangs dress alike, sporting certain colors, sports teams, or brands of clothing? Those chaps are not ashamed to be in a gang. In fact, they are proud of it. There is a sense of camaraderie. "You see, I'm wearing red; I'm with them." For $20 bucks, we have a similar feeling: an association with similar minded people. I have seen people on the subway with a Social Distortion shirt or a Weezer shirt and given them a warm nod. It is always returned. The nonverbal "yeah, man, me too." This really happens. I saw a guy once wearing a shirt that read "Your Favorite Band Sucks." I nearly gave him a high five right there on 14th Street. "Up top brother, I'm with you."

One of the negatives of this practice is that I sneer at the blokes I see wearing a shirt of a band that I think is terrible. I try not to, but I do. "Good Charlotte? Really?" Or, "For crying out loud, you went to a Fall Out Boy concert? Pathetic." Sorry, but I do it. I'm not alone, either. JW Drop in the Park.jpg
That finger is pointing to me. In the center, Who T-shirt proudly displayed.

The first rock show I attended was on September 20, 1992: Pearl Jam's legendary free Drop in The Park concert at Magnuson Park in Seattle. It was a seminal moment in my life. I still regale any that will listen with tales of that day: how we arrived the night before because we were so excited and how Eddie Vedder climbed into the rafters 20 feet above the stage during "Porch." That day I bought two shirts. I still have them. And, writing this, I can't think of a show I have been to when I didn't go home with a shirt from the seedy vendors outside. It serves as a tangible memory that I take with me after the night is over.

You see, the band T-shirt has very little to do with our immaturity or refusal to grow up. (Fine, I do have a slight Peter Pan complex, but that is another kettle of beans.) The reason we wear them is we are proud of who we associate with. For that reason, I have scoured the World Wide Web to find a Tom Waits, or Robert Johnson, or Screamin' Jay Hawkins shirt.

I'm with them.

Selah...

(Editors Note: While writing this piece, Johnny was wearing an orange Ramones T-shirt.)

media.nl.jpeg
Share on Facebook StumbleUpon ToolbarStumble This    Submit to RedditReddit!

The
greatest
pop culture
blog on the
planet.
 
Or
maybe not.


rss feed Breakfast Links Feed

Recent Comments

What we can learn from Donna "Treasure Bombshell" Simpson?
Dear Treasure Bombshell If you don’t’ love yourself think of your daughter. W
teresacristinacunha

What we can learn from Donna "Treasure Bombshell" Simpson?
Dear Treasure Bombshell If you don’t’ love yourself think of your daughter. W
teresacristinacunha

Where the Streets have Sexual Names
Lets not leave out Climax, Saskatchewan :)
Heather

Where are they now? Serial Killers
another true fact on Jeffry Dahlmer, sick puppy he is ..one book at library sai
Marylou

Where Are They Now - The Griswold Kids
dana hill passed away now
Mike

Where Are They Now - The Griswold Kids
dana hill passed away now
Mike

Comments Feed

Special Features

Archives by Writer

New to YesButNoButYes?

YesButMailbag