Interview with Greg Link aka Bad Otis Link continued from part 8.
What Were Your Best Selling Tees?
It probably wasn’t a punk band shirt but in same the vein. In ’82 I did a shirt that said “Reagan Hates Me” I ran an ad in National Lampoon magazine for 700 bucks and made enough off that shirt to buy all of my real printing equipment. That shirt sold for years and was of course heavily bootlegged. Another, that is still being copied today, I did when everyone was moaning about the 5 year anniversary of Elvis’s death. I am not anti-Elvis or anything but again, not swayed by hype and fame. I just wanted to put him back in a more human light. So I did a shirt with a portrait of “The King” that simply said, “Elvis Had A Stinky Butt”. It sold forever, pissed off people at Graceland, and made others giggle. I have since seen it on coffee mugs, switch plates, and all kinds of other companies’ shirts.
But in the Punk stuff it kind of went with the general popularity of the time. It wasn’t me selling so much but the bands that toured. Some bands sold great others couldn’t sell a shirt at all. My best-selling touring bands were always the “Circle Jerks”, “SNFU”, “The Chemical People”, “Bad Religion”, “Skinny Puppy”, and we broke sales records everywhere with the “Chili Peppers”. I will take a little credit there for sales. The band left me once to save a quarter per shirt. I owned the art at the time and did not let them take it. When they left me sales at shows were at $17.00 per head. The new guy they went with could not design at all, the sales never made it over 80 cents a head and he also got the band involved in a huge lawsuit that they had to pay out on. They came back mid-tour but I really never trusted them after that move.
- The interview continues with part 10.