Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Norman Wisdom, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee

I see a lot of these on my travels. Young people, under half my age, wearing teeshirts or carrying bags with this logo. The Ramones logo is a fashionable logo. In fact, I probably see more of these than Kurt Cobain's miserable face. The Ramones are cool. Cool dudes. Yeah.

There was a time when band logos on teeshirts were uncool. When I wore them, of course.

My first band teeshirt was designed by Roger Dean and illegally traced by my dad. It took him bloody ages in the garage, after work in the evenings, at weekends, to get the Yes logo onto a silk screen. It was a totally illegal operation because the materials were nicked from work, but it was done out of love and a need to get away from the rest of the family in the garage when he could have been watching Benny Hill or The Generation Game with the rest of us.

And after all that work, he only used the screen once to print a blue logo onto my cheap yellow teeshirt, my only teeshirt at the time which didn't have those awful capped sleeves.

Did I look good in my tight yellow Yes teeshirt, my hair cascading down to meet the top of the crew neck?

Of course I didn't, but I wore that damned teeshirt for most of my teens.


Ohmygod, rockin' Dire Straits came along with their Making Movies sweatshirt. I loved that subtle red creation. It was so comfortable I even wore it in an ironic way long after I'd stopped digging The Knopf's finger plucking. Even when he was wanking around with Sting on that cancerous Brothers In Arms album. Yes, I was that perverse. And as an added bonus, it certainly kept all those horrible women at arm's length - as a late developer this suited me right down to the ground.

Since then there has been the mistake of the Prince Lovesexy Tour Teeshirt which was totally unsexy, worn once, and not really suitable to iron. The nineties and the noughties have so far been band-teeshirt-free for me. I have matured and I am slowly growing up, too.

So what now? What should a middle aged man be wearing?

I've got my eye on a nice little Trivium number.

We'll buy the hoodie from Primark. Who fancies a few months in my dad's old garage?


  1. The Marketing Team for Starbucks or Macdonalds would die for an idea like putting "YES!" on T-Shirts.

    You could always borrow my Dylan Tour T-Shirt from 3 years ago in Sheffield. It doesn't have a slogan, but if it did it would be "No!".

  2. I'm always a little disheartened by the sight of Ramones T Shirts being used as a fashion accessory. Are they the new Che Guevera? The face of acceptable bourgeoise rebellion. Ho hum.

    I am already more than rebellious enough as it is, so to compensate I am wearing a Fleetwood Mac T Shirt today.

  3. What a great Dad!
    My ex husband used to wear T shirts saying things like 'Bradford Jazz festival'.
    Hence the 'ex'.

  4. Murph - I think I'd rather have Dylan from The Magic Roundabout on my teeshirt.

    Del - Wasn't Johnny a Republican? I'm going to ask the next wearer where they stand on Bush's foreign policy. Fleetwood Mac are not cool. They're too good for that.

    Kaz - As they'd say on The Fast Show..."Nice."

  5. Yes one of them was a Republican and Reagan supporter. Can't remember which.

  6. I'm waiting for tie-dye to make a comeback. I've still got all the gear for doing it.

  7. Roger Dean went to my school but I only found that out after I left because I don't think anybody realised even though you couldn't move for Yes, Greenslade, Osibisa, Budgies and badgers in the 70s. I had his coffee table book because I thought he was cool and even though we didn't have a coffee table.

    It was Johnny I think. I believe they were taken aback at the gobbing when they first came over here as well. I can't blame them for that though.

  8. Johnny was a member of the National Rifle Association.

    I can just see him, Ted Nugent and Charlton Heston out on a commie shoot.

  9. Geoff - you are a genius. I love you for all that you have just written. Do you have a job? How come you manage to think of these things all the time?

    I've often wondered and had pangs of weirdness when travelling on the North London Link (aka free transport/crack whores chosen method of transport/slow line) and seen quite a few teenagers wearing Ramones t-shirts and had the consequent twang of rock feeling suddenly a little like the person who is wearing the aforesaid t-shirt very well's parent.

    life is such cruel torture sometimes. !

  10. RoMo - Thank you for those kind words: you've made me blush. I work with numbers all day and I don't speak much so I suppose I bottle it all up and typing words is a release for me.

    God, don't I sound a twat?

    It's good to see the Ramones holding their own alongside Green Day and Linkin Park.