Proposed rule: You can’t wear that band t-shirt unless you can name three songs by that artist

Here’s a post that will probably get a lot of flaming comments. There are those who believe that band t-shirts can be worn by anyone, even if it’s just a fashion statement. Think about how many people you’ve seen wearing a Ramones/Motorhead/Iron Maiden/Metallica t-shirt just because it looks cool. They know nothing about the band. Zero.

To some, this is the act of posers and fakes. Only true fans of the artists should wear their t-shirts. They need to be exposed and weeded out.

The video below from Gear Gods calls out people for wearing t-shirts by artists without knowing anything about the artists themselves.


Thanks to Danny for the link.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

9 thoughts on “Proposed rule: You can’t wear that band t-shirt unless you can name three songs by that artist

  • August 3, 2019 at 9:49 am

    I would also propose that the 3 songs you name are NOT the singles you hear or see all the time on the radio, You Tube or any music platform.
    For example, if you are wearing a Ramones shirt, you must name songs not titled Blitzkreig Bop, I Wanna Be Sedated, or Pet Sematary.

    • August 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Agreed, plus how about a member of the band who’s not the lead singer?

  • August 3, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    And absolutely you may not wear t shirt from show you are currently attending

  • August 3, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    1) Band t-shirts put money in the pockets of the artists that may need the money.
    2) Band t-shirts help promote the bands to future fans that may not have known of the band prior to seeing them on a t-shirt (Regardless of the knowledge of the wearer)
    3) As a graphic designer, I appreciate band t-shirts (and gig posters), many times without knowing anything about the band (I often will then look them up on Spotify)
    4) I have a terrible memory, and if put on the spot, I wouldn’t remember 3 Ramones songs, despite listening to them extensively over the last 30 years.
    5) Music snobs feel they are entitled to prove they are better fans than others. But fans come in all different types and degrees. Get used to it.
    6) This is a dumb rule.

    • August 4, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      This. Just all this.
      Also the fact that in the country I live in (Canada) I get to wear whatever shirts I want and nobody has the right to police my clothing choices so long as I am following the basic rules (no nudity etc).
      Y’know what, if I go to a place and they tell me I can’t wear my shirt there because I don’t fit their snobbish rules? I’ll be grateful because clearly I’m not arrogant enough to enjoy my time there.

  • August 3, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    I can see both sides of that argument. I was a Raiders fan way back when they first were Oakland Raiders and it was Al Davis (ptew bleh) and John Madden, and Ken Stabler (bless the turf he strode), and into the Howie Long years. I was a fan in the face of universal contempt, even unto Los Angeles. I wore the shirts proudly and I’d defend them to anyone. (Note I’m female but was serious about my team!)

    If a person wore the shirt, they better mean it.

    That’s how I felt about band shirts back then. It didn’t matter to me if a person wearing a Led Zeppelin shirt had been to a Led Zeppelin gig but it mattered very much how that person felt about the music. I saw that shirt and that person and I shared something fundamental and immense in our lives.

    To wear the shirt w/o being a legit fan led me to believe more about others than they might have meant, but in my estimation those kinds of people were poseurs. They had to have some awesome redeeming qualities to overcome that..

    But now? It’s different. The bands aren’t mythological beings anymore, they’re moneymaking machines. Band shirts are like wearing Nike shirts, or (sadly) Raiders shirts. They’re still statements, mind you, but they aren’t overt statements of support for whatever band/product/team they represent, they’re a kind of status symbol that has taken on new tribal meanings. Those people aren’t poseurs, I get that. But they’re people who’ll say anything. It takes more than being able to name three songs to impress me.

    I never wear my Zep (or Jimmy Page) shirts in public. I don’t wear Raiders shirts anymore, either. They have meaning to me that few others share and I can’t bring tarnish my old loves that way.

  • August 3, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    I agree with Tom, but a far worse affront is being a grown man wearing the hockey jersey of someone 30 years younger. I’m looking at you, Leaf fans.

  • August 6, 2019 at 9:45 am

    If this were an actual rule, the members of The Misfits would see a massive income decrease

  • August 10, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    It’s a free country, wear whatever you want to wear. If you’re that concerned about what someone else is wearing, you really need to revaluate your life.


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