Vintage Music T-Shirts


History of Music T-Shirts

The origins of vintage music T-shirts date back to the late 1960s.


One of the promotional items sold by The Beatles around 1963 was a T-shirt, which is probably the oldest T-shirt in the music T-shirt, rock T-shirt, and band T-shirt genres.

However, according to “My Freedamn!” written by Rintaro Tanaka, a T-shirt of The Yardbirds (The Yardbirds) is shown, which was a band that released Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, etc. and was active during the 1960s. The Yardbirds were a band that included Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, etc., and were active in the 1960s, which suggests that there must have been other music groups in the 1960s.

There is also a T-shirt from the Woodstock Festival, which can be said to be a phantom.


In the 1970s, there were tour T-shirts of the Beatles and other leading musicians and bands of the era, including the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead.

The Seditions (a.k.a. Sedz) T-shirts featuring Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s Sex Pistols were also circulated at this time, and are still sold at high prices due to their rarity, with bootlegs and current items indistinguishable from vintage items also being distributed. There are also many boot and current items that are indistinguishable from vintage items.

In the fashion scene of those days, since the hippie psychedelic culture was in full swing, many brightly colored designs were being produced, and multicolored prints could be seen with the improvement of printing technology. However, since there is no oversize culture, T-shirt sizes are considered to be equivalent to current Japanese sizes, and most of them are tight-fitting.


In the 1980s, the so-called “vintage music T” and “rock T” were at their peak.

As music itself became more diverse, with genres such as hard rock, heavy metal, punks, pops, soul, funk, and hip-hop all competing for attention, many artists and bands were active, and many tour T-shirts were produced for tours and festivals. In the late 1980s, many T-shirts were distributed as promotional and fashion items.

Bootleg tour T-shirts made of Pakistani cotton, commonly known as paki cotton, were produced from around the late 1970s, but these too reached their zenith in the 1980s.

In the pop music scene, everyone is familiar with the activities of Michael Jackson and Madonna, and naturally, there are vintage T-shirts that color their activities and popularity.


In the 1990s, grunge and alternative music, led by Nirvana, flourished. The music scene became more diverse with the popularity of mixed bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, Oasis, Radiohead, and others. The music scene became more diverse.

In the 1990s, the music T-shirt also underwent a metamorphosis.

The fashion scene shifted from “just-fit” to “oversize,” and 100% cotton became the mainstream material, and the size of T-shirts was increased from the 1980s.

This 1990s size sense is nothing other than what is referred to as American size in Japan.

A Japanese M size is a S in 1990s American sizes, and a Japanese L size is an American M size.

In particular, the Giant T-shirts that appeared in the 1990s are not too much to say that they are specialized for music T-shirts, and the actual body of the Giant T-shirts is one size larger than that of the 1980s.

In recent years as of 2020, music T’s from the 1990s onward have soared in price, and market prices, demand, and values are changing rapidly.

The “Music” category lists musician-designed T-shirts, known as music T’s, rock T’s, band T’s, and tour T’s, grouped alphabetically.

We also have pages for paki cotton T-shirts and long sleeve T-shirts (raglan sleeve T-shirts) so that you can appreciate music T-shirts from various angles.

Click here for the Music T-Shirt Dictionary↓.