Welcome back to Answer That and Stay Fashionable, where every week various members of the Dying Scene team will take a question posed by you, the readers, and pour their hearts out in regards to all things punk rock: from favorite records and show experiences to embarrassing purchases and fashion styles. If it’s punk, it’s fair game. This week’s question:
“Lots of bands like to put out plenty of ridiculous items with their name attached to it (simple things like oddly colored or shaped vinyl, to uncommon articles of clothing to Zippo lighters or hot sauce). What is the most embarrassing and / or most expensive piece of punk memorabilia that you own?”
Read our responses below.
Expensive would probably the Bad Religion vinyl box set that came out a few years ago. Embarrassing? I’m not even sure it counts as punk memorabilia, but when I was in high school I caught a Sum 41 guitar pick at a show and I’m pretty sure I’ve still got it somewhere. In my defense, it was like 2001, so they were still somewhat relevant…as much as they would ever be.
I don’t have a single embarrassing item- they’re only embarrassing in conjunction with each other. I have too many Against Me! things, but that isn’t my fault. I bought a T shirt at the first of their shows that I went to, and I would have called it quits there. But, since my friends know how much I like the band, I ended up getting multiple copies of the newest album as late Giftmas / birthday presents, with T shirts and the black bracelet that comes with all of the orders. I gave the extras to my significant others, but I felt like a super fan for a while. I also have a patch and T shirt for the following bands: Siouxsie and the Banshees, The World/ Inferno Friendship Society, and Mischief Brew. These things are only embarrassing when worn at the same time.
Uh, I’ve got a lot of shit so it’s hard to say. I guess I have some ‘autographed’ Green Day stuff (the signatures are probably forged, though the super-official certificates of authenticity may say otherwise) that I got on eBay for pretty cheap and framed up all nicely, so that’s kinda embarrassing (not really though). Other than that, the stuff I have is pretty sweet! Less Than Jake had a yard sale at last year’s Wake & Bake Weekend and I was like a kid in a candy store – one who only had like $40 in his wallet – and I ended up getting some cool stuff, including a copy of the Losing Streak picture disc and the inflatable Anthem firecracker I wanted for a long ass time!
I don’t think I’m really embarrassed by anything I have, although I definitely have/had some things from bands I don’t really listen to anymore… but they were all relevant to some point in my life and I own that. As far as “expensive” – it’s not really memorabilia, but more of a memory – I rented Fat Mike’s house in Vegas for a week to celebrate my 30th birthday. I would consider the photos from that week to be an expensive form of punk memorabilia!
I once paid around $150 for the first Against Me! EP vinyl on ebay. This was at a time where I was trying to collect everything they had on vinyl and when I saw that pop up I just had to get it. I’m not embarrassed that I own it and I still listen to it all the time, but I’m embarrassed by the fact that years later I read somewhere that you could just write the band if you wanted a copy and they would send it to you for 10 bucks or something. I thought there were only 250 in existence.
In 2009 I was a semi-broke college student working three jobs while also a full time student. The workload was a lot easier to balance than it sounds, and certainly much easier for me to balance than it was to balance my checking account. The fall of that year was when Green Day announced their 7-inch Singles Boxset, which, in case you’ve forgotten, was a one-time pressing of 21 of the band’s singles, ranging from the 1,000 Hours EP through to “21 Guns”, as well as the “Joe Robot” single by The Network and the Mother Mary EP by Foxboro Hot Tubs. They only made 2500 copies, so I acted immediately and ordered one despite the fact that a majority of the b-sides on these versions were either live cuts or other songs from their respective albums… and of the seven non-album tracks included, five are readily available on 2002’s, Shenanigans. Dropping $150 (plus tax and shipping) on the box set alone is embarrassing enough to admit (especially when you consider that it came out in the post-21st Century Breakdown era), but on top of that, there’s the fact that I didn’t own a record player when I ordered the set so I had to go out and buy one once the 7-inches arrived. Who needs textbooks or dates when you’ve got the Going to Pasalaqua and Slappy EPs?
My answer would either be my Descendents Christmas sweater, or the 6-7 Bouncing Souls t-shirts that I’ve acquired since the 10th grade.
My most expensive but also most treasured punk purchase is my NOFX 30th anniversary box set, which made me scream like a pre-teen at a Justin Bieber concert when I saw that it was signed. I bought it for $199 but people have sold their signed box sets on ebay for over $850 so I guess it’s pretty valuable unopened. Unfortunately for my wallet, it’s worth more to me than money.
I have four of the same Flogging Molly shirt. It’s the black tee with a snake and clover design. Of the four, I’ve purchased exactly zero. Twice, I’ve gotten the shirt from my mother for Christmas because “the people in the weirdo store at the mall said it’s an Irish band.” A boyfriend and a friend have also bought me the shirt because the design reminds the gifter of me. No one has since realized it reminds them of me because I now own four copies.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but my closet is starting to have the diversity of a cartoon character’s wardrobe.
I also have a significant vinyl collection and no record player, which is incredibly embarrassing and hipster. After my record player broke two years ago, I just never got around (read: had the money) to replace it.