December 19, 2008 by Jimmy J · Leave a Comment
I finally managed to get my hands on all the vintage t-shirt books published in the last few years. Truth be told, I would recommend any book that contains photos of vintage tees, even if it was scribed in crayon by a two-year-old child.
Title: Vintage Rock T-Shirts
Meet the author: Johan Kugelberg makes records and cooks dinner; and when he’s not doing that he’s writing books inspired by music. For this book he delves deep into the t-shirt collection of New York’s legendary vintage clothiers, “What Goes Around Comes Around.”
Number of shirts inside: 300+
Buy it: Amazon / eBay
Meet the holy grail of vintage t-shirt books; and the only one that truly embodies the spirit of rock ‘n roll.
The writing is a lot like lyrics from your favorite tune: sometimes it doesn’t make sense, yet you fully comprehend its meaning, mostly because you’re making up your own.
Just like all the legendary bands featured within, the designers of the book didn’t care about breaking a few rules. At times you’ll be squinting to read text irresponsibly placed over non-contrasting backgrounds or blinded by other busy layouts. It’s no coincidence that reading it will make you feel like you’ve just left a concert: your senses have been jolted, you’ll probably have a slight headache, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Enough about the creativity of the renegade design, what about the t-shirts?” asks you. It’s the best collection of vintage t-shirts I have ever seen. Like me, if you have obsessed about all things vintage t-shirts over the years, you probably think you have seen it all. Think again, Mr. Magoo. This book features shirts that you will likely never see for sale on eBay. There’s only a handful of tees in the book that I have had my hands on. And for the most part, the rest I didn’t even know existed. Before my time? Yeah, that’s my excuse, since all the tees featured are from the ’60s and ’70s. These shirts were born to the pre-mass-produced merchandising era that ran wild in the ’80s.
The sizes of the featured garments are a true indication of their age. Most of the shirts pictured could only be modeled by skinny men, petite women, and even a classroom of children. It was a time when our kids had yet to consume steroid-filled steaks, and we weren’t filling our bellies with too many burgers. A time when our rock stars and their fans were still skinny, which is also made evident by these subjects in the book’s great vintage photography.
Don’t worry, the book itself is very fat – more than 250 pages jam-packed with vintage t-shirt goodness.
I recommend adding this book to your collection, or else stop calling yourself a vintage aficionado.
Buy it: Amazon / eBay
Additional Vintage T-Shirt Book Reviews.