Meet Bad Otis Link aka Greg Link. That’s him (in 1983) to the right of Keith Morris of Black Flag and Circle Jerks fame. We tracked him down for an interview because of his decorated career in t-shirts. But as this epic multiple part interview unfolds you’ll discover he’s also a musician, artist, clothing designer, seamstress, author, publisher and pot-stirrer.
The photo above was taken in front of his t-shirt stand at a Circle Jerks gig. You see, Otis was the early hardcore punk scene’s all-in-one, go-to-guy for tees. He designed, screen printed and manned the merch booth during jams. The cool part is that Otis has recently been unearthing the deadstock inventory he accumulated over two decades and putting it up for grabs via eBay auctions (below). So what was once only possible through costly time travel can now be done from the comfort of your own home because Otis is back behind the booth. Virtual it may be but the t-shirts are the real deal and have only gotten better with age.
His small yet consistent offerings will probably be unfamiliar unless you were in the middle of L.A.’s hardcore punk movement in the early 1980s. Otis’ tees were never mass produced, in fact it was just the opposite given many tees were one-offs or even hand-detailed at shows. That’s why I believe them to be the most undervalued vintage t-shirts available on eBay.
If Stanley Mouse and Pushead made sweet love in the back of the Seditionaries store at 430 King’s road, their rebellious teen child would have worn Bad Otis Link. I know, I know, even if two dudes could conceive a child – the time line is completely off – but you get the idea. While it’s easy to draw comparisons to the aforementioned, Bad Otis is a realm all its own and Link is a pioneer.
Stay tuned for an in depth, tell-all, history lesson of t-shirt meets music as Mr. Link takes you knee deep into the business of tees (when the actual business portion was of little importance.) Ahhhh, the good ol’ days…
- Check out part 2 of 11 in the Bad Otis saga (links to next entry at bottom of pages!)