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The 1980s Vintage Rock Shirt Hall of Shame

Worst Shirts

The 1980s Vintage Rock Shirt Hall of Shame

Having sold thousands of vintage tees over the years, I have also had my fair share of zero bid duds. The following list of 1980s concert tees are basically the least popular kids in old school. Shamefully, all the artists on this list are also Rock and Roll HOF inductees and two of them have even been knighted. Rock royalty, yes, but some of their shirts aren’t worth the poly-cotton they’re printed on.


elton john 1980sElton John

Sir Elton (Hercules) John’s legendary career has spanned decades and resulted in numerous brilliant tracks. But when it comes to the popularity of the the Rocketman’s 80s merchandise, it’s more of a Sad Song. He’s still packing stadiums but his faithful fans are silver foxes who have far outgrown vintage fashion. How do I know this? Let’s just say I know a guy, in his early thirties, who went to one of his concerts last year. Look, I got free tickets, ok?

InducTEES: Jump Up Tour 1982

vintage elton john shirts

paul mccartney 1980sPaul McCartney

Sorry Paul, just because you are a legendary Beatle and member of Wings doesn’t mean all your vintage tees will fly. Enough said.

InducTEES: The Paul McCartney World Tour 1989

vintage paul mccartney shirts

sting 1980s


If, for some reason, you stockpiled Sting’s 1980s solo schwag for investment purposes, you got stung. Sure, Sting had solo success and created a new fan base along the way; that’s because most Police fans bailed out and wouldn’t attend a Sting solo gig even if they were served with a warrant. After serving a 20+ year sentence in solitary confinement he realized it was time to get the band back together. If he busts them up again, hopefully he’ll exercise his right to remain silent.

InducTEES: Sting 1987 World Tour & Nothing Like The Sun 1988

vintage sting shirts

billy joel 1980sBilly Joel

Billy Joel’s current situation is very similar to Elton John’s: both have a legendary early career and a loyal fan base that holds the heydays close to their hearts. It’s no coincidence that Billy and Elton toured together in the mid ’90s – they have the same pre-geriatric fans. Billy does have somewhat of a cooler rock reputation since he’s dated a few uptown girls and was a poster boy for rocker rehab. But the lame latter part of his career doesn’t have anyone jonesing for his vintage tees.

InducTEES: Storm Front Tour 1989

vintage billy joel shirts

Check out the 10 Worst vintage rock t-shirts you actually MUST wear.

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