Friday, June 30, 2006

Noticed: Vintage Rock Tees ... On Kids!

My oldest daughter (9) has a classmate especially fond of a black AC/DC shirt -- a sweet, well-behaved kid who kisses his mother when she picks him up at the end of the day. I've seen a dozen or so kids in their mid-teens wearing "ZOZO"/Led Zep, The Doors, Pink Floyd, KISS and even Yes(!?) T-shirts.

I wrote this off as a small-town, blue-collar phenomenon, until we took the fam to Kensington Market. The first store we entered, I had to make way for an 11-year-old girl wearing a snazzy-looking Guns 'n Roses T. Behind her was her old man -- a fella my age, wearing clothes identical to mine: Dockers and a polo shirt. We gave each other the nod, but as he passed I wondered what, exactly, was going on?

I'm still not sure. Is it an over-crowded market? Too many kids burning their own rap/hip-hop records? Are today's songs too darn short, lacking in ambition and musicality? (Wup - looks like that's my knee, jerking.) I just assumed my generation would be the only one born nostalgic, that the next generation would surely produce something of cultural value and heft, but it looks instead like our kids are nostalgic for the very same era we craved. In any case, if this means the guitar solo has returned, I'm all for it.

8 comments:

Cowtown Pattie said...

Oh, goody! I can dig out my 1971 Led Zepplin Black Dog concert Tee and be stylin'!

'Cept I think it would look like german sausage casing on me...

Trent Reimer said...

Unless the parents are buying the T-shirts...

F.C. Bearded said...

No no - don't blame the parents. Half these bands were old when we loved them.

I've five, and all with completely different tastes. Only one is slave to Zep/Floyd/Rush et al. Another prefers "dance", meaning Daft Punk or Chemical Brothers. One is enamoured of video game music - yup, the chintzy chinkly tunes of Sonic Hedgehog or [Never-quite] Final Fantasy. I've one daughter entranced by System of the Down [which, for the longest time, my old ears heard as "System of the Damned"] and another, save us, who tilts to the Boy Band / American Idol sump.

I refuse to take the blame for any of this. My ancient cravings for Zep or AC-DC have been long-suppressed by a beloved who just won't have them on her stereo.

Whisky Prajer said...

After encountering (in The Mall) a particularly heated/sullen exchange between mother and adolescent son over the issue of clothing I can't envision any adolescent kid voluntarily wearing their parents' choice of shirt. Those blighters won't wear anything you ask them to. It's best to beat 'em to the punch, I think. If my girls are sold on tarty clothes, my neighbors had best brace themselves for a good look at my bellybutton.

Andrew said...

So is it safe for me to wear my vintage Lynyrd Skynrd T-shirt again, and shout "Free Bird!" again at the end of every concert? :) Actually, you can buy any of them at Hot Topic. I'm partial to kiddies in Ramones tees, myself.

AC @ bloggedy blog

P.S. - Your post reminded me of the song "Pop Punk Band." The lyrics include these lines:

i got it at hot topic
my parents dropped me off and paid for it
get all my ideas from mtv
i got it at hot topic
my parents dropped me off and paid for it
prepackaged punk conformity

Scott said...

I wonder if it's just the shirts themselves -- are there any bands today that have logos and/or artwork as groovy as that of the ones you named?

I like the Ramones quite a bit, for instance, but even if I didn't, that presidential seal logo of theirs looks fantastic on a T-shirt. And there's no shortage of artsy Led Zeppelin T's out there...

Whisky Prajer said...

I think you might be onto something, Scott. I can't think of too many current artists who have come up with a total aesthetic package, and even when they do (I'm thinking now of The White Stripes) they seem to lack that ethereal whiff of "possibility" - "If you wear this shirt, a little of the Led Zep mystique is sure to rub off on you!"

the patriarch said...

You can buy many of these shirts, including the AC/DC one, at Target, which may explain their popularity. My son has the AC/DC shirt, with Angus snarling in all his Highway to Hell glory. Also, the music itself perfectly fits today's stripped-down rock n' roll revival. White Stripes, The Vines, etc. It's fine with me.