Rolling Stone Tells the Story of the Most Controversial T-Shirt in the History of Rock (Definitely NSFW)

Cradle of Filth t-shirt

It happened twenty-two years ago but it still has people really, really upset. Rolling Stone has the story of Cradle of Filth‘s most enduring creation.

On February 17th, an unidentified woman stormed into an exhibition of T-shirts at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, and proceeded to black out the Perspex barrier covering one of the displays with spray paint. The subject of her ire? The most controversial T-shirt in rock history.

It’s been 22 years since English extreme-metal band Cradle of Filth first printed up their infamous “Jesus is a cunt” shirt, yet it still continues to make headlines. This year’s incident at the Canterbury Museum is just the latest in a long series of brushes with controversy for the T-shirt, which bears the image of a masturbating nun on the front with the phrase “Vestal masturbation,” and the words “Jesus is a cunt” in unmistakably large lettering on the back.

It gets better. Read the whole story here. And if you feel the need to buy one, good luck. They’re most often out of stock.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

One thought on “Rolling Stone Tells the Story of the Most Controversial T-Shirt in the History of Rock (Definitely NSFW)

  • June 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm
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    I was at the “Taste of Edmonton” last year – which is a downtown family-centric food festival with lots of restaraunts serving food outdoors with live music, a beer garden, etc – so a very good time for all – but there was an angry looking late-20’s-ish longhaired metalhead stomping around with this shirt, combat boots and a scowl on. It just smacked of wanting the wrong kind of attention in such a silly out-of-place way. It was like seeing depressed goths stalking around a playground on a sunny day. I mean, you are who you are, you’re not going to change how you dress necessarily based on where you go, but this guy looked like he just wanted to pick a fight.

    I dunno, maybe it’s just because I grew out of this about 17 or so years ago. We used to wear nearly as vulgar NIN/Marilyn Manson/Pantera etc. shirts back in school to see how far we could push things, but that was basically before the internet was really wide, so everyone hadn’t seen everything already. My conservative parents did take exception – in the form of burning – my ‘Kill God, Kill Your Parents, Kill Yourself’ MM shirt though. Good times!

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