Autographed Tour Shirts



On Friday May 15, 1998 I went to Washington D.C. with my fiancée to ask my brother to be the best man at our wedding. While we were there we went to the 9:30 Club to see a show with Semisonic, Grant Lee Buffalo, Daniel Lanois w/ Emmylou Harris, and Scott Weiland. Being a huge Grant Lee Buffalo fan, I caught up with Grant Lee Phillips to get my Mighty Joe Moon CD signed. I was wearing my Copperopolis tour shirt (lame) and on a whim I asked him to autograph that too. I remembered that he did the artwork for the CD and asked him to draw a quick doodle with his signature. He obliged.

Grant Lee Buffalo

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A few months later I went to see Peter Himmelman. After the show he came out and autographed stuff and I bought a shirt for him to sign. Not knowing he was an artist in his own right (he designed the front logo), I asked him to draw a quick doodle with his signature. He obliged. 

Peter Himmelman

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Now I felt that if I could do this at every show, I could have a hell of a collection. I thought it was unique that the musicians were drawing on them. Six years later I have 29 shirts. Only a few of them are signed to me personally, and all of them have a little drawing of some kind on them. Check them out.


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Blue Rodeo/The Cash Brothers/The Clarks/Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven/The Damnwells/Donna The Buffalo

Drive By Truckers/Garrison Starr/Gomez/Government Mule/Grandaddy/The Haynes Boys/The Jayhawks

Jorma Kaukonen/Magnolia Electric Co./Marah/Martin Sexton/Old 97's/Widespread Panic/Slobberbone/Son Volt/Steve Earle/Stan Ridgway

Tim Easton/The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players/Vanilla Ice/Wilco/Will Oldham


Blue Rodeo

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Five? No, six guys in the band? I left right after the last song and caught Jim Cuddy sneaking out the side entrance. Seconds later, Greg Keeler was bolting and I narrowly caught him as well. The rest of the guys were hanging and very nice. One of the guys (the drummer?) totally flat-out refused to draw something. Very strange moment there. The only other people who refused to draw something were Steve Earle and Allen Woody.

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The Cash Brothers

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The dreaded dark shirt! I always try to get a white shirt of course but sometimes a blue or black shirt is the only one being sold that night. Voila, silver sharpie. The backing band signed it also, which I usually forbid, but I was drunk. These scans blow.

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The Clarks

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I have always wanted to get a Clarks shirt (being hometown rockers and all, you listening Rusted Root?) and had the opportunity when I saw guitarist Rob Hertweck at a show. He was very nice and took the shirt back for the band to sign. This is one of the rare (if not the only) shirt that I have that doesn't have a drawing of some kind on it.

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Cracker

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This is one of my better shirts. They were all into it (except, of course Mr. Sunshine himself, David Lowery). Johnny Hickman is hands down the nicest rock star on the planet.

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Camper Van Beethoven

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The reunited millennium version of Camper also signed my Fillmore '87 poster. But, DAMN, both the shirt and the poster are incomplete! I couldn't get David "Mr. Sunshine" Lowery and Greg Lisher to sign it, just Victor Krummenacher and Jonathan Segal (with Cracker's Kenny Margolis). They bailed out of the venue early. Awwww, wassa matter? Baby got a tummy ache? Not to mention original drummer Chris Pederson wasn't around (I don't have the scratch to book a flight to Australia where I hear he's "retired"). Why did I even list this?  I'm not worried though, I am a VERY patient man.

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The Damnwells

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Another dark shirt. That's O.K. Now sharpie has a new and improved silver version. I rarely get an opening band's shirt (who am I, Don "gimme your money" Henley?). When they announced from the stage that shirts were only $10, I couldn't pass it up. Plus they were rockin', very humble, appreciative, nice guys.

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Donna The Buffalo

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This band was totally into signing the shirt. They were seeing what the other members were drawing and trying to up them. They were doodling each other's portraits on the shirt. This is one of my favorite shirts.

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Drive By Truckers

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This band rocks! And loud! My wife left 20 seconds into their set.

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Garrison Starr

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Having already gotten a Cracker shirt, I got the rare opening act shirt.

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Gomez

I've loved this band since I listened to their disc Liquid Skin a few years ago. When I heard they were coming to town this past June I was thrilled. After years I would finally see them live. Due to family commitments at the last minute I had to bail. When they announced a fall date I made sure I would go. This band was a blast to see. We waited after the show for a few minutes till everyone filtered out of the venue and approached a roadie tearing down the stage. Politely, I asked him what are the chances of getting the band to sign the shirt. He said no problem and whisked away. As he was leaving I said, "If it's no trouble, could you ask them to sketch a doodle on it too?" He looked at me confused. He returned a few minutes later with all the band member's siggy's and a cool drawing from Tom Gray! This is also one of the nicest designs on a tour shirt in my collection. I almost didn't want the autographs on them. Nah, not really.

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Government  Mule

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This shirt is unique to my collection in a couple of ways. The band signed on the front of the shirt ( I usually have them sign the back, blank canvas and all). They actually signed it twice (on the back also.) Allen Woody absolutely refused to draw a picture on it so my friend went back in line to try to get a doodle from him (they ended up signing it "To Carol" on the back). Allen Woody died two weeks later.

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Grandaddy

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My silver pen was running out of ink and barely worked for these signatures (damn you black shirt!). I did get all five of them though which was a miracle because they BOLTED from the stage to their bus. In fact, keyboardist Tim Dryden took the shirt on the bus for the rest to sign. Thanks Tim!

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The Haynes Boys

 

During a nightmare show seeing Tim Easton (see Top 5's Worst Concerts), I salvaged a shirt from his previous band The Haynes Boys since they were all in attendance. I had to get the autographs on an Andyman's Tree Bar shirt ( go ahead, I dare you to find a Haynes Boys t-shirt).

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The Jayhawks

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This is the acoustic trio version of the band. I am wondering if I should track down Mark Olson someday. And Ken Callahan, Don Heffington, Kraig Johnson, Steve McCarthy, Karen Grotberg, Thad Spencer, Norm Rogers, Jen Gunderman. Fuck it, this is the acoustic trio version of the band.

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Jorma Kaukonen

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This is an example of being nice to the right people. I wanted Jorma's autograph real bad (hey, he was at Woodstock for crying out loud). I noticed some old guy walking around like he owned the place and figured he was his tour manager or something. Very politely I approached him and asked him what the chances of getting a Jormagraph. He was very gruff and aloof and said it depended on Jorma. Anyway after the show I go outside and wait and sure enough out comes Jorma and signs a few things and as the crowd is gathering around him the old guy motions to me and says "You next, you were very respectful." Cool! Jorma signs it and then boom, he's gone leaving the rest of the crowd burnt.

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Magnolia Electric Co.

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Jason Molina formed a band named Songs:Ohia. In 2003 they released a disc called The Magnolia Electric Co. Now his band is called Magnolia Electric Co. He signed my shirt Jason Magnolia. Confused? I sure as hell am, but who cares, this guy was on my shirt wish list for a long time. This shirt is a limited edition October 2004 tour shirt. It was designed by bassist Mike Kapinus who also signed the shirt.

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Marah

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The Bielanko brothers, Dave and Serge. Super nice guys. Super talented musicians. I would love for these guys to hit it big. Hell, Springsteen had them help sing and play 'Raise Your Hand' during his show on Saturday August 30, 2003.

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Martin Sexton

Who is Martin Sexton? My buddy dragged me to this show. He was allright. If I sound a little indifferent to him it's because Mr. Sexton was too much of a big shot to come out and meet the fans. Screw that, man. I had to get the tour manager to take the shirt back to his royal highness. If I'm paying to see you dude, it's not like I want to move in with you. The least you could do is meet the fans.

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Old 97's

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I love this band. This shirt was signed on two tours. During the Satellites Rides tour some girl was in the audience claiming she was Rhett Miller's old girlfriend and the inspiration for the song 'Doreen'. When most of the band came out they verified this and so I got her to sign it also. In the process Rhett Miller was avoiding the crowd, probably because of her, and bailed to his hotel. Damn! Incomplete. I had to wait a year and a half for Rhett to release and tour behind his first solo album The Instigator. I took the shirt and hoped he would come out after the show. Whew, he did and completed the shirt.

UPDATE: I received an e-mail from Dorin concerning the shirt:

First of all, you need to update our page. I was never Rhett's girlfriend, just a good friend. He wrote the song "Doreen" after we first met. 
Story goes he had a dream about me and when he woke up, realized my name would be 
perfect for the song he was writing ABOUT his then ex-girlfriend. So therefore, he was not 'hiding' from me after the Pittsburgh show. His 
girlfriend (now his wife) was on the bus and that's where he wanted to be!

My apologies. Thanks Dorin!

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Widespread Panic

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Six members in the band is a pain in the ass to get all signed. I was waiting outside by the bus after the show and the late Mikey Houser was in the backstage area. I passed the shirt through the fence and he went and got four of the band members to sign it. Where's Mike Bell? Where's Dave Schools? Damn, incomplete! Guys wouldn't come off the bus. Like I said before , I'm a very patient man. I'm sure their nice fellas. Not as nice as Mikey Houser though. R.I.P. Mikey.

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Slobberbone

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Enough with the dark shirts. The scans sucks ass. This band from Denton, Texas is due to break big. So talented. Very, very nice guys all.

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Son Volt

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Their last tour before the breakup. I asked drummer Mike Heidorn about the breakup rumors that night and he said they were thinking about taking a brief break. That was five years ago.

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Steve Earle

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I caught Steve Earle "rushing" out of the club to get on the bus. He refused to draw a picture because it was freezing out and he was sweating like a pig. I didn't want to freeze my nuts off so I didn't bother with The Dukes. His sister Stacey was working the merch table and she signed it too. Very nice gearle!

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Stan Ridgway

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I felt bad for this guy. You know him and love him from Wall Of Voodoo. You know, "I'm on a Mexican Radio." Well maybe 20 people showed up that night and Mr. Ridgway proceeded to get loaded on whiskey. He was telling jokes and taking requests all to dead silence from the crowd. His wife, Pietra Wexstun, was the keyboard player and the merch guy convinced me to buy her band's shirt, Hecate's Angels. Who the hell are Hecate's Angels? Then she was all flamboyant and signed "TO HUGH" real big , ALL OVER THE SHIRT. Cunt. He was cool though. I'm kidding, she was cool as well.

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Tim Easton w/ Chris Burney

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As mentioned in my Top 5 Favorite Shows, this was a fun night and Chris Burney was such a part of the show he had to sign the shirt.

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The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players

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The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players are a family group who show vintage slides during their performances. The dad plays keyboards and guitar while singing tunes based on the slides being shown. The ten year old daughter plays drums and backing vocals. The mom shows the slides. Very kitschy and unique idea that is cool to see once but I'm not about to "go on tour" with them.

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Vanilla Ice

Damn right mother fucker! Ice, Ice, Baby in da house! YEAAAHHHHH BOYEEEEEE!!! What hasn't been said about the Ice Man. He is a legend. He will definately be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. This is probably my most prized possession. Yeah, right. My brother went to see him in a bar and felt sorry for the guy and bought a shirt. The first and only donation to the collection.

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Wilco

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This shirt has an interesting history. After the show I went outside and waited for the band to exit the theater. Jeff Tweedy, John Stiratt, and Jay Bennett come out and I ask them to sign the shirt. I tell Jeff I was on stage with them at the Fillmore last year and he remembered so he signed the shirt to Kermit. After the three of them sign it I am waiting for Ken Coomer, the drummer,  to come out and lo and behold he already left. Damn, incomplete! Their guitar tech Adam Roehlke says that he will take the shirt, get Ken to sign it, and send it back to me. Stupidly I give it up with my address. Riding home that night I am thinking that I will never see the shirt again. A couple months go by and no shirt. My wife is laughing at me calling me an idiot. Then a few days before Thanksgiving I open the door and there is a package laying on the porch. Could it be? Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-the shirt! Not only is the shirt there but a Wilco bumpersticker, a diagram of the band's equipment stage set-up, and a signed artist's (the guitar tech) proof of the band's 1999-2000 New Year's Eve show. What a guy! With this shirt and my Son Volt shirt I have all the members of Uncle Tupelo signatures. Hello, Ebay! NOT!

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Will Oldham

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Will Oldham a.k.a. Palace, a.k.a. Palace Songs, a.k.a. Palace Brothers, a.k.a. Palace Music, a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Billy is a lo-fi musician who's songwriting is akin to Emily Dickenson on 'ludes. He was kind enough to sign the shirt (the last one for sale-medium size) and he drew a roadside fair he passed on the highway on the bus trip that day.

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My shirt wanted list: Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket, Cake, Guided By Voices (Robert Pollard), Roger Waters, Two Cow Garage, World Party (Karl Wallinger), U2(see below), New Kids On The Block

Speaking of U2, my dad is now a limo driver and U2 came to town in 2002. He drove Bono and The Edge to and from the show. Another driver drove Adam Clayton and Larry Mullin Jr. to the show. The guy made the mistake of asking them for their autograph on a piece of paper. He was immediately fired on the spot. Now I knew my dad was driving them so I ran out to Media Play and got an All That You Can Leave Behind shirt with the slim chance he can get an autograph. Fuck, he was in the car with them. My dad is playing it cool all night and approaches the tour manager at the end of the night and says my son's a huge fan, could he possibly get the band to sign the shirt if it's not too much trouble. Very nice and polite. The guy says sure, you have been cool all night, give me your business card and I'll send it too you. Two years later I'm still waiting. Arrogant, grimey, too big for their britches, asshole rock stars. Fuck them. I'm out $20. But then again you never know, I am a very patient man.


Some Helpful Hints

So now you see this collection and you want to get band members to sign and doodle on your tour shirt, right? Well just follow these simple steps.


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