This weathered Fugazi tee makes a rare cameo in the Matthew McConaughey flick, Mud. It’s a wonderful slow-burning tale about a handsome and captivating convict hell bent on reuniting with the woman he loves. He’s aided and abetted by some little dudes who facilitate their complicated relationship. The tee is worn by a pre-teen badass named Neckbone.
The era of the film is a bit of a mystery – but it’s definitely pre-2000 since not a single cell phone ever appears in the flick. Given Fugazi formed in 1987 it’s possible it could be late 1980s. Factor in that its set in the Arkansas delta, which wasn’t/isn’t on the cutting edge of technology – it could have been set well into the 1990s.
But why and how could a youngster possibly be wearing one? We dug around a little bit to find out how it made the cut. Writer/director Jeff Nichols explained to the Washington City Paper how it all went down:
I was a huge fan of Fugazi growing up and I was thinking a lot about certain things in my life from the time period that I was Ellis’ age. My brother was in a punk rock band in Little Rock, and there was a pretty good punk rock scene in Little Rock, so I was listening to a lot of Jawbreaker and Fugazi and everything else. Working on this script reminded me of that time and when I was building my characters, the character of Galen, Neck’s uncle (Michael Shannon) was written as this sort of washed-up punk rocker. If you look through his house, you’ll see a bunch of flyers and things from Little Rock punk shows.
What I was thinking [when writing Neckbone], was that this kid would have a hand-me-down Fugazi shirt, which of course would have had to have been homemade. It’s funny though because we went had to get permission to use a Fugazi shirt, so a producer called whoever Fugazi’s representation is and they wouldn’t give us permission because they never made T-shirts! But we found a fan-made shirt online and asked if we could use that. I didn’t think they were going to let us use it and—I don’t know, I wasn’t involved in this process—I remember telling one of my producers “Well, if we don’t get Fugazi, we’ll just make a Jawbreaker shirt.” But we were able to use the Fugazi shirt.
So what did we learn? Fugazi never made t-shirts – this I did not know. So stop searching for one unless you’re cool with something that is fan made. Hey, bootlegs that are true vintage have their own little place in our hearts. Problem is, this opens up a massive world of potential for modern day bootleggers. So buyer beware.
Check out Ryan Gosling’s Metallica Ride The Lightning tee in A Place Beyond The Pines.