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Nice shirt, dude: Best and worst concert tees



Van_halen_shirt Growing up as a young teen in the early 80s, I was totally addicted to buying and wearing concert jerseys. I wore them to school, to the rollerskating rink, to the mall -- I still remember getting weird looks from the tourists at Disney World when I wore the AC/DC shirt showing Angus Young's guitar exploding through his stomach to the theme park.

In most cases I hadn't even attended the concert, but that was of little concern. Stores at the mall sold the knock-off shirts for half the price. However, last night I was able to right a historic wrong and buy an authentic Van Halen shirt of my very own when the band played here in Tampa.

Trouble is, with the significance of the event clouding my judgment, I bought the sorriest shirt they had. Take a look at the photo of it. It looks like a shirt from Olivia Newton-John's "Xanadu" tour! Yes, those are twinkling stars surrounding a glowing Earth. With an orange and purple logo! And, more embarrassing, it's the shirt from last year's leg of the tour; the tour dates on the back don't even list Tampa! (Don't ask how much I paid.)

Still, I can't complain (too much). After all, over the years, I've purchased much worse shirts (the creepy one of a sweaty Hall & Oates staring at each other on their H2O tour comes to mind.) But in the glow of last night's show, I choose to emphasize the positive today.


3. ROLLING STONES: The classic lips and tongue version, which the band was smart enough to use tour after tour after tour. Almost good enough to make me forget "The Harlem Shuffle."

Reospeedwagonlogo 2. REO SPEEDWAGON: The classic winged logo t-shirt from the Hi-Infidelity tour in jersey form. Simple, elegant, one for the ages.

1. JOURNEY: Preferably the one from the Escape tour. I still own a replica of the shirt I bought at the Oct. 22, 1981 show at the Lakeland Civic Center.


Mr_roboto 3. STYX: The infamous Mr. Roboto tour, featuring the creepy robot face on the front of the shirt. A friend's prom date threw up on it during the after-party and I could never bring myself to wear it again without smelling the faint odor of french fries and mustard.

2. FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: The shirt, featuring illustrations of nearly naked band members, almost got me beat up at the mall by members of my high school football team. (Save your energy, guys, you went 1-9 that season.)

1. PAUL McCARTNEY: I bought it from an unauthorized street vendor and put it on before going into the show at Tampa Stadium. When it rained two songs into Sir Paul's set, the shirt literally melted off my body, leaving me shirtless for the remainder of the show. Live and let die? You bet if I ever get my hands on that vendor again.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:30pm]


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