NirvanaShirt[Photo: Getty Images]
Kiss’ Gene Simmons might think that rock is dead but he would be wise to invest in the mementoes of its glory years (though knowing him, he probably already has). Not only are classic rock bands still filling arenas to the tune of over $300,000,000 so far this year, but original concert tees from their heyday can fetch up to $10,000 and sometimes more. Whether on super models or super fans, the market for vintage rock t-shirts has exploded in recent years.
“The prices started to rise on all vintage concert shirts in the last 10 years or so” says heavy metal memorabilia collector and toy designer Aaron Tompkins, who possesses up to 80 old school band tees at a given time. “The most I ever paid for one was $200 for an original Iron Maiden Number of the Beast tour t-shirt from 1982 with camouflage sleeves and the tour dates on the back. The art is awesome and it’s very rare.”
The rarer the shirt, the greater it’s value. Such was the case of the Led Zeppelin t-shirt which was used as a backstage pass for their 1979 Knebworth Festival appearance which sold for $10,000 on eBay in 2011. Celebrity connections can also send the price-tag skyward, like the Sonic Youth t-shirt worn by Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain that an English auction house sold for over $14,000. Check out our gallery of the most expensive concert t-shirts ever sold and currently available and if you’ve got any of your own vintage tees hiding in the attic, now might be a good time to get them out of storage.
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