Whether you’re off to see Guns N’ Roses or The Stone Roses, if you enjoy yourself at a gig you’ll want to pick up a memento to remember it by. However, we have all been burned by mad merch prices and endless queues.
Even worse, some of us weren’t even born in time to see the gig or pick up a tee from the tour that made our favourite bands what they are today. Either way, you missed out on cool merchandise and that sucks, but don’t fret.
We’re going full on Back To The Future as we present gig tees from your favourite bands’ most iconic tours. So put on your seatbelt, fire-up the flux capacitor and let’s start in a field in Atlanta, 1970…
Jimi Hendrix played the main stage at the second Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970. He performed at midnight on the Fourth of July and accompanied the fireworks display with his own unique version of Star-Spangled Banner.
Fact: It was the largest American crowd Hendrix had ever played to and tickets for the three-day festival were only $14. However, promoters began letting people in without a ticket as the crowd chanted “Free, Free, Free. Music belongs to the people”.
The Prayer Tour began shortly after the release of ‘Disintegration’, The Cure’s eighth studio album. As well as the album becoming one of the band’s biggest commercial successes the tour was one of their largest, playing to crowds of over 40,000 people across Europe, North America and filling the headline spot at Glastonbury.
Fact: Tickets to their Wembley show were only £13.50 each and the band clearly favoured long sets from the get-go. They played sixteen songs and then did three separate encores – which totalled to a whopping eleven extra tracks.
Bowie’s 1978 World Tour also known as the Isolar II World Tour began in the US on March 28 1978 and ended in Japan on December 12 1978. The set-list consisted of material from previous albums. ‘Low’ and ’Heroes’ opened the show, followed by five tracks from ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ to begin the second half and tracks from ‘Station to Station’ closed the show. Sounds like a super-fan’s dream.
Fact: Bowie had the band learn the entirety of the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album in rehearsals, although most of the songs were never performed on the tour.
Sign up for the newsletter
Marley supported the release of his eighth album ‘Rastaman Vibration’ with a tour starting in Pennsylvania, April 23 1976 and ending in Manchester, June 27 1976. He experimented with the set-list until deciding on a more standardised version around one-third of the way through, including more commercially successful tracks ‘Trenchtown Rock’, ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ and ‘No Woman, No Cry’.
Fact: During the continental European leg of his tour, Bob Marley performed in France, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands for the first time ever.
The Appetite For Destruction Tour lasted sixteen-months. During which they opened for the likes of Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, The Cult, Aerosmith and Mötley Crüe.
Fact: Appetite For Destruction was the only tour by Guns N’ Roses in which Axl Rose, Slash, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler performed together.
We’ve seen this top a million times before but this is the official gig tee from the Ramones’ First World Tour Winter 1978; separating true fans from wannabe fashionistas.
Fact: Tommy Ramone, the band’s drummer, left the Ramones early in 1978 because he was tired of touring. He was replaced by Markey Ramone but still stayed on as their producer.
The Highway To Hell Tour commenced on July 27, 1979 and ended January 27, 1980. AC/DC played 101 shows and the album, of the same name, gave the band the commercial success they had been working for – especially in America.
Fact: Less than a month after the band had completed their Highway To Hell World Tour, frontman Bon Scott was found dead in his car after a night out with friends in London. The devastating news nearly broke the band but Brian Johnson joined later that year and they wrote an album to celebrate the life of Bon Scott, the infamous ‘Back In Black’.
The Lemon World tour began in July 1989, after the Madchester mega-band had been thrust into the limelight with the release of their infamous self-titled debut. Whether you’re a dedicated stones fan, or a modern lover of the Madchester scene, you won’t be left sour with this iconic citrus tee.
Fact: The Stone Roses played to 4000 people at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool and 7000 at Ally Pally during this tour, the former of which was recorded as a live performance which was released on video in November 1991. It was directed by Geoff Wonfor who previously worked with Paul McCartney.
Beginning in Australia, Sheffield’s finest metal band ‘Bring Me the Horizon’ set out on their 2013 tour, known as ‘The American Dream tour’, in support of their hugely successful fourth album ‘Sempiternal’. Their final show in support of the infamous record was at the 12,500 capacity Wembley Arena. ‘The Flower of Life’ geometric symbol used for the album artwork and featured on the tee is an iconic beacon of the band at the height of their success.
Fact: The band set out on the tour only a month after rhythm guitarist Jona Weinhofen left the band in January 2013, stating there were disagreements with him and other members of the band. There was later controversy when Weinhofen made claims that he wrote and recorded many of the riffs from ‘Sempiternal’ which frontman Oli Sykes contradicted.
Additional words: William Fisher