I'm generally "that guy" who buys a t-shirt at whatever concert I attend. Well, at least I used to be, because I've been to a whole lot of shows at this point in my life and one can only have so many shirts. A few of them I think have long since been retired to Goodwill, but I did keep quite a few. Except...I didn't know where they were. I had boxed them up as they either went out of fashion or I got too fat to wear them (childbearing/vats of chocolate milk years, bah!), but I couldn't remember what I had done with them. Until this week, when a lightbulb went off in my head and I thought, "DEHHH, I bet that giant plastic container full of T-SHIRTS in the garage are THOSE T-SHIRTS. And they were! I was so happy to see them again, even if they smelled like garage. It was nice to time-travel back to the late 70s/early 80s just looking at them all. It was even nicer to realize that I can fit into almost all of them again -- a few are so small they will fit MissEight. I will carefully wash the garage out of them and put them back into rotation in my closet again. I took some photos of them today for you -- please forgive the wrinkles because THEY'VE BEEN IN A BOX FOR YEARS. I don't iron anyway. Let's go!

Most of them, natch-rah-lee, are Kinks shirts. If a shirt said KINKS on it, I bought it. OR, as we can see, before I could FIND a real Kinks shirt, I MADE this very very very sad-but-charming little shirt and plopped my favorite Milwaukee radio station on the back. Oh, you kid.

This one was from the 1979 "Low Budget" tour, which probably had the worst Kinks cover art of all time. This is me in the shirt the after the Milwaukee Auditorium show, August 12, 1979. Oh, you kid.

Here's some nice classic Kinks shirts. I don't remember why on earth I had my name on the back of one of them, but I will bet you anything that I would be really embarrassed if I did remember. Anyone?

"Double Life" was the rumored title of the Kinks 1980 double-live LP "One For The Road" for many months. I liked that better. There's a bootleg shirt with the wrong title, and what I think was the official shirt. Don't smoke, kiddies!

Another bootleg "OFTR" shirt sold outside the Chicago Uptown Theater gig. Here's the back...

...and here's the front. Sigh.

I had tickets to see the Kinks in Milwaukee in 1977 on the "Sleepwalker" tour, but got over-excited at school and fell down some stairs in my STUPID F-ING PLATFORM SHOES THAT DAY, broke my ankle, and missed the show. Hysterics ensued. A few years later, my dear friend Kevin gave me his Sleepwalker shirt. It is now extremely bleached-out and distressed, and therefore terrifically back in fashion for it.

The 1981/82 official tour shirts. Garish or cool? I don't know. Ray Davies looks pretty geeky there.

Brief December '84 tour. What I recall from the Roseland? MTV DJ Nina Blackwood confused my Wisconsin accent for Dutch, Cyndi Lauper got booed off the stage, and, desperately thirsty, I scooped up some water from a bus tray filled with melting ice, sucked it down, and within a few hours was as sick as I have ever been in my LIFE. Pal Jim did the same and was similarly affected. RAWK N ROLLLLLLL!

Oh, the days seeing Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns were just some of the best times I ever had. Everyone was so fun and kind, and we all became friends. I've known Joe now for over 30 years! I miss seeing all of them; they were and are very special to me.

This one was signed by the band members at that time: Joe, bassist George Reiff, Marcelo on the accordion, Bobby Balderama on guitar (an original member of ? and the Mysterians!) and drummer Dick Ross, who quotes one of our favorite songs of the time, "Mr. Egyptian" by Jon Wayne. NO GO DIGGY DIE! HA!

 I don't think many people got to see The Jam live in the U.S. I did, in Bolingbrook, IL. in what I think was a deserted mall or something. Or was it Joliet? Something like that.

I saw the Rolling Stones at concrete arena horror the Rosemont Horizon I think all three nights; two for sure. The only thing I recall is that I couldn't see shit all on the flat floor, and I couldn't see shit all from far away in the rafters. I've seen this shirt for sale recently at Sotheby's. LOL.

Ooh, a '75 Rolling Stones shirt. I don't know where this came from.

I don't think I have ever missed an Elvis Costello tour since 1979. Oddly, this seems to be the only t-shirt I have.

Shorts break! These are some teeny-ass shorts I had when I was maybe around 12/13 years old, from a Wrangler line put out by pop artist Peter Max. To give you an idea of how sizing has changed over the years, in eyeing this up now, they would be a Size 2 or 3, no more. What does the tag say? "Size 11/12!"

A sweatshirt from my favorite Chicago club.

Cool Edie Sedgwick, Zippy the Pinhead, and "Faster Pussycat Kill Kill!!" shirts that I must have purchased from Wax Trax in Chicago, which was my favorite record store.

Pee Wee Herman! I was right up front for that show, dressed entirely in neon-colored clothing with platinum-blonde hair. I don't think I looked out of place.

Remnant of punk or the first of the ironic t-shirts?

This shirt came along with my new Ovation tobacco-burst deep-bowl acoustic guitar that I got for my 18th  birthday here. That's chocolate cake on my face there, comedians.

Finally, this is one I love, for two different reasons. First, it's from the Kinks' Konk Studios in London, given to me when I first visited, which was a really nice thing to do because there weren't many of them. Second, is that this is the shirt I was wearing when I first encountered Chrissie Hynde. Minding my own business backstage, peeling an orange that Ray had brought out for me because for some strange reason he thought I never ate anything and often gave me pieces of fruit because of this belief, Ms. Hynde approached me, and got right in my citrus-filled face. She sneered at me with contempt. Perhaps she had wanted that orange; I have no idea. I was harmless, quiet, and geeky/farm-y. She spoke to me, spitting venom.

"Oh, I bet you think you are hot shit in your Konk shirt, huh?"

What??? I spent a second in shock, then another getting MAD, and then another thinking to myself, "Do. Not. Cause. Trouble." So...the best thing to give a troll? Nothing. My response after this consideration was to stare at her for a moment, flat and emotionless, and answer, "Oh. Right," and then I turned my back on her and walked away.

And with that, it's time to start the laundry.