What’s out is in… until it’s officially in, then it’s out again. This is the tight-rope that ironic cool hipsters walk every day of their reverse-uncool existences. It’s all very confusing, but let’s just say this list of vintage t-shirts represents some of the lamest artists to ever top the charts. We loved them one moment, hated them the next; and now our nostalgic sense of humor has us welcoming them back.
In the 1980s Satan was enjoying the soothing sounds of heavy metal 24/7, until Stryper decided to theme it out with messages of Christianity. Worse yet, Stryper isn’t just a name that makes sense of their black and yellow zebra-striped attire, it’s an acronym: Salvation Through Redemption, Yielding Peace, Encouragement, and Righteousness. I’m pretty sure even God thinks these guys are a bunch of jackasses.
Hammer’s layers of bizarro awesomeness over the decades are an uncool/cool enigma that simply can’t be touched. Anyone who reinvents himself as a gangsta rapper, only to get evangelical on our asses, is tops in my books. He continues to release lame music well into the new millennium, but redeems himself by donating the proceeds to 9/11 charities. Laugh if you will at his pastoral fame, but he officiated the weddings of uncool/cool Corey Feldman and regular cool Vince Neil.
[insert tears] Leave Rob and Fab alone!! They took so much abuse after their lip-syncing scandal that Rob developed a nasty drug habit, turned to crime, did time in the slammer and then committed suicide. Yeah, not so funny anymore, eh wise-guy? They became the lip-synching scape goats for all over-produced, image-based formulaic pop music, just because they looked better in bicycle shorts than the real singers.
Everyone is familiar with their smash hit, “The Final Countdown,” yet people rarely know who the brilliant minds were behind it. Now that you know, use this piece of trivia at parties and you’ll be number one on the countdown to cool. The track was recently revived when Gob Bluth of Arrested Development fame used it as theme music during his magic tricks, er… illusions, come on! The tune will probably be stuck in your head after reading this post. If it persists beyond several hours, contact a physician.
Even though you have no Johnny Depth, damn you Mark Wahlberg for becoming a half decent actor! Now it’s so much harder to rake you over the coals. You’ve left me with no option other than to individually attack members of the Funky Bunch. Enter: “Dan-o Fresh” and “Hector the Bootie Inspector.” Yes, that’s actually what their names were. My work is done here.
Ice took uncool to the extreme and has since gone into unchartered territory. Exposed liar, failed punk rocker, celebrity boxer, Surreal Lifer and engineer of the train-wreck express. During his prime, he was confronted by Arsenio Hall for dissing MC Hammer. During his demise, his lyrics took shots at Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. How dare you insult people on this list, Mr. Robert Van Winkle? That’s the pot calling the kettle black…. or white? I’m confused. Irony bonus points.
It’s a little-known fact, but I was actually a member of the New Kids in the early goings. I got booted from the band in 1989, because Donny, Jordan, Joe and Jonathan wanted all the chicks to themselves. So they replaced me with Danny. In 2008 some of the most miraculous reunions in music history were unleashed: Halen, Zeppelin… and NKOTB. Rehabbing their boy-band image was quite easy – they just followed the five-step program. Get it?
Take two tiny rappers, make them wear their clothes backwards, and you get the dynamic duo of Kris Kross. They were on top of the world until Mother Nature ruined everything by turning these boys to men. Their subsequent release, “Da Bomb” was….. self-explanatory. The group reunited in 2007, and if that isn’t enough to make you want to Jump, Jump – I don’t know what will.
A difficult selection, given his competition in the ’80s-actor-turned-musician category: John Stamos, Don Johnson, Eddie Murphy, Jack Wagner, Rick Springfield, Patrick Swayze and Bruce Willis. The edge goes to Schneider because he was a country musician, which is about as uncool as you can get. Plus he drove the General Lee and foiled Boss Hogg on numerous occasions.
Back in the day, it was either Tiffany or Debbie Gibson. I chose Tiffany because she’s hotter. Yes, I’m a typical male jerk. Just be thankful I didn’t chose Samantha Fox. In hindsight, I probably should have – her poster is still up on my bedroom wall and it’s been there since the mid-’80s. Funny thing is I don’t even live in that house anymore; the new owners just have very good taste.
Check out the Vintage Rock T-Shirts Hall of Shame.