Some people love music and want to show that love however possible. Buying merch and going to shows is the best way to actually support the artists you love, but sometimes you need to up that street cred a bit. A quick and easy way is to buy band t-shirts…even if you don’t know the specific band all that well.
Countless bands are overlooked and under-appreciated these days, but seeing some 13-year-old in a Ramones shirt kinda kills me. It makes the most sense to me to buy a shirt at a show, and as much as I’d love a Clash shirt, I don’t think I’ll be seeing them any time soon. Here’s a list of five bands whose shirts you can wear to give you instant credibility without having to do the real work of listening to the music…though you really should.
5. The Ramones
One of the first voices in punk rock, I see these shirts on kids everywhere. While it’s totally awesome to be reminded of how important they are in the history of music, most of those kids would have no clue who “Sheena” was or where the KKK took my baby.
4. The Clash
I freaking love The Clash. Their ability to defiantly combine punk, pop, funk, and sheer grit made them one of the most influential bands in the history of music. Their shirts should still be everywhere, but at least own London Calling on vinyl before owning the t-shirt.
3. The Murder Junkies
You generally don’t see this band’s shirt quite as much, and I couldn’t be happier. GG Allin was known for putting on memorable shows; fighting with audience members, getting naked, and pooping on stage were all a part of his artistic arsenal. I won’t say I’m glad he’s dead, but that’s not the kind of artistic prowess that should be commemorated.
2. The Sex Pistols
Maybe I’m a hater, but I’d take The Ramones or The Clash over The Sex Pistols any day. The music is just better. Johnny Rotten is overrated, and clearly the band didn’t care enough about their own music to stay alive long enough to make a legitimate career for themselves. They made enough noise to warrant memory and leave a major mark, but there are better bands to wear on your chest.
1. The Misfits
Don’t get me wrong. I love me some Misfits. That being said, once I saw one of the most influential, dark, and hard-hitting punk bands’ shirt in Target, they lost a lot of credibility. The famous skull and crossed arms logo is worn by thousands who probably have no idea where it comes from. If you’re going to wear it, at least know the name of the band.