Nevermind The Bollocks: Why Do We Wear T-Shirts of Bands We Don’t Listen to?

Fashion Over Music …

Ah, there’s nothing like sharing the same music tastes as those around you, right?

Take the fella with a Nirvana shirt, for example. You’ve all seen them. But unfortunately, knows no songs past Smells Like Teen Spirit, which is an immediate let down. Of course, a discreet but disapproving look is cast in his way at his fashion preferences, his feet probably occupying a pair of Doc Martins to complete the look.

I once bought that same Nirvana shirt, y’know, the iconic smiley face design on it? Truth be told, I only wear it to bed now. You never see me outside with it on – it has got a stigma to it that I don’t want to be a part of.

Or the girl with the Joy Division t-shirt, who saw it from the last influencer she recently followed. Love won’t tear us apart now, but if you carry on wearing it as a crop top, it most certainly will later on.

Where you once wore it as a statement to saluting your faves, it is now most probably worn as a statement of fashion. Whenever I see a Nirvana <gulp> tie-dye crop top lurking in high street shops like Primark, I try to forget I ever saw the bastard thing in the first place.

As more and more iconic band symbolism and logos are cast in the direction of the latest fashion trends, it soon causes you to stop wearing your favourite shirts too. You yourself become conscious of what everyone else is thinking, because you have those thoughts too.

I often wonder; What if people think I don’t listen to this band and I’m wearing because everyone else does? But I do listen to them. But I can’t look fake. At the same time, they’re one of my favourite bands.

You know what? I’ll just take it off.

…. Aesthetic Over Reason

To be honest, I think the idea of wearing something with the image of any music artist purely for aesthetic reasons without having an inkling what the image represents or symbolises to the artist or the fans, is an alien concept, to me. But hey, that may just be me.

I may just be the only one who actively winces when I hear someone say AC/DC and ‘indie cool’ in the same sentence. But now I think about it, probably not.

Of course, the more distressing the design, the higher the purchasing. Sex Pistols used to be one of those punk bands who simply don’t talk about with your kids. Adolescent, dirty and plain rude, they were a real talking point in the 70s, and led the forefront of punk music in the UK. But now?

Now, the infamous, Never Mind The Bollocks is completely plastered everywhere. Almost in a mockery to their message, the infamous design has become a trend-setter for those rebellious rock chicks to wear around their charming braids and ankles. Don’t mean to be tad dramatic here but, it’s kind of tarnished the reputation of the band’s impact and overall message of repenting the rich and ignoring the whole conformity to community ethos.

At the end of the day it’s about being yourself.

Ironic, you could say, when you see how many fashion lines this four-word phrase has.

Of course, choosing a shirt how it looks is not new. We all do it. We’re all guilty of it. A sleek design can edge out comfortability. But not band t-shirts. You would never see me purchase a Tupac shirt – whether or not it is just to revolt against the profiling the American police makes on Hip Hop and its artists.

Even if I bought myself a shirt like that of Nirvana or even N.W.A, I couldn’t wear it out without seeming fake.

Just like it would be fake to wear it because I saw Straight Outta Compton that one time and surprisingly loved it.

I can certainly get why it gets under people’s skin – including mine. Music is personal, and has emotional connections to their life. So if someone doesn’t get the reference, it is an immediate disrespect. In terms of punk, people opt for it as their lifestyle. So of course, if you don’t know Bad Brains, Misfits or Sex Pistols, and you wear their brands, they’re going to be slightly peeved off with you.

My advice? Either brush up on your knowledge or don’t wear the shirt at all. And if you are wearing one of those shirts simply because you love the band and their music?

Then I would do nothing but congratulate you on trying to break this ritual we have found ourselves in…

Good job, you.

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