After some time off to regroup and form a new evil plan from their lair in hollowed out volcano, Pet Dictators are back.
As you may or may not know, Pet Dictators were the original inspiration behind all of our T-shirt exploits and sadly they have been neglected in recent months and now they not only want to get back out there, they also want their tummy tickled to make up for it.
Over the years Pet Dictators have had some cool fans. Axl Rose had one of our T-shirts at Guns N' Roses' Hammersmith gig a couple of years ago, Ginger from the Wildhearts has a couple of our shirts and even suggested a couple more. Billy Duffy from the Cult has an original Chairman Mouse, while a few of the DJs over at BBC 6Music also have them.
Anyway, the changes so far are in the form or new designs for Vladimir Lemming
, Adog Hitler
and Chairman Mouse
. Then there is a brand new addition to the range with Mousechwitz
. There will be new designs for the others soon and a brand new Fidel Catstro
Labels: Adog Hitler, Castro, Chairman Mouse, communist, Fidel Catstro, leftist, Lenin, Mao, Mousechwitz, Political T-shirts, socialist, Vladimir Lemming
Yep, that's right, AC/DC
and not bankers nor capitalist politicians are the real harbingers of economic doom - at least according to the Guardian. It has something to do with the fact that the last time an AC/DC
album topped the charts we were in a similar state of financial woe.
As self-confessed bleeding heart leftie, I can be found reading the Guardian on most mornings with my cuppa tea, but today they delved into Daily Mail territory. No, they didn't tell us that gay, hoodie-wearing, paedophile immigrants are stealing your identity whilst pushing the price of petrol up, but we are getting equally as tenuous. OK, it was written with a certain sense of tongue in cheek, but still....
So here we have some choice excerpts:
"Those keen to draw wider inferences from its success might note that the last time AC/DC
made No 1 in Britain, the country was on the brink of recession. Back In Black
, the album that marked their commercial breakthrough and went on to become the second biggest-selling of all time, was released in 1980, just as inflation had reached 20% and unemployment inched towards 2 million.
When the economy recovered, AC/DC
's popularity receded, albeit becoming merely immense instead of phenomenal: their "flop" 1985 album, Fly On The Wall, still sold more than 1m copies, a not unimpressive figure, but a fraction of Back In Black's 30m sales or the 5m copies that Black Ice sold in the last seven days.
But right on cue the album that returned the band to its heyday was The Razors Edge, released in 1990 - just as Britain headed towards its last recession."
It then went on to say something about people looking for 'simpler' forms of entertainment during economic hardship.
The article is then backed-up with a neat little time-line as further evidence:
form in Sydney, Australia.
Economy: Start of the oil crisis, which saw the price quadruple
release breakthrough album Back In Black
Economy: Inflation in UK reaches 20% and unemployment nears 2 million
score comeback with The Razor's Edge
Economy: Recession in UK imminent
top UK album charts
Economy: Biggest world recession in decades looms"
You can read the whole of Alexis Petridis' article at GuardianUnlimited
Labels: AC/DC, Back in Black, Black Ice, Bon Scott, Brian Johnson, economic doom, Fly on the Wall, Guardian Newspaper, Malcom Young, Razors Edge, recession
I know it is wrong to mock the afflicted and it is also not generally considered good business practice to take the piss out of customers... but hey... what the heck....
A few days ago a lady contacted us to query what size she should buy. As I had never met the women unsurprisingly I was not able to make an informed judgement, so I asked her what size she usually was as as a guide the small womens' T-shirts were a UK 8-10, the medium a 12-14, large 16-18, x-large 18+. She then went ahead and ordered the medium. All good so far....
Then this morning I get an emailing saying I have sent her the wrong size and she needs a much bigger size. She was most upset because I told her it would fit, because I said a medium was suitable for a UK 12-14. The response "This is much too small as I am 14 stone, you would have to be 9 stone to fit in this"
I fucking despair
Labels: fat people, idiots, morons, too many pies
Are we supposed to be excited about the fact (a strange word to be associated with GnR
, I know) that Chinese Democracy
is about to surface after 15 years? Every fibre of my rock n’ roll soul is telling me to say, “Fuck it, beyond caring.” But for some bizarre reason I am actually excited about it. Maybe it is borne from the same sense of curiosity that makes people slow down to look at car crashes? I have so far resisted the opportunity to listen the leaked tracks, just like I don’t want to know what I am getting for Christmas. Axl is going to surprise us and let’s face it, when was the last time a rock star did anything surprising? I hope it is great, but if it’s not I won’t care as the release of Chinese Democracy
has nothing to do with music and is all about myth, legend and rock stars
doing weird shit.
So many people have a pop at Axl about the legitimacy of calling the band Guns N’ Roses when it is pretty much just an Axl solo project and that it is simply not Guns N’ Roses
, Izzy, Duff and Steven. But is that really fair? I am a huge fan of Slash, Duff is a star and Izzy was always my personal favourite, but it is Axl that created the mythology. Appetite For Destruction was of course just as much about Slash
’s guitar tone and Izzy’s vibe as it was Axl’s vocals, yet as the years rolled on Slash’s solo projects sold poorly and only hardcore fans showed to gigs, Izzy is what is known as ‘big in Japan’, Duff’s really cool Loaded project sadly drew little but apathy, while the train wreck of Adler’s Appetite struggled to sell out Camden Underworld (for those that don’t know the place, imagine you bedroom…. Put a bar at one end, a stage at the other and drown the floor in piss). Even when Duff and Slash teamed up for Velvet Revolver
they were still no more than a theatre sized band. I like Velvet Revolver
and thought the first album was pretty damn good, while they certainly performed wonders live. Yet Axl can show up with a bunch of guys he has just grabbed off the street and he can headline the Download Festival. I saw Velvet Revolver a couple of times and had no problem getting tickets. They shows eventually sold out, but not so fans couldn’t get in if they really wanted. Yet I had to pull serious favours from friends and contacts to get in to see Guns N’ Roses
at Hammersmith in 2006 (or was it 2007?). Why? It is because as much as every rocker in the world loves Slash
and will tell you that he is the person that they would most like to hang out with, he is not a mystery. Duff is a gnarly old punk, but you get the feeling that if you rocked up at his house with a bunch of Stooges bootlegs he would invite you in for a beer. But Axl…. Axl Rose is a mysterious rock star. He is a rock star of the old school. He is just who he is and genuinely doesn’t care what the world thinks. Slash writes a book and treads carefully around everything, and he does so because he is a great bloke and because he is a fine enough human being to care what people think of him and indeed the people he is writing about. Axl on the other hand hasn’t written a book because he doesn’t give a shit what you think.
We live in a world where we know everything about everyone, a celebrity obsessed culture where nothing is a mystery. So when a rock star comes on like a later day Howard Hughes we should celebrate him and be thankful that he is there.
No one really knows the truth about the recording of Chinese Democracy, yet thanks to the Spinal Tap
qualities of Metallica
’s Some Kind Of Monster
we know EVERYTHING about them. It destroyed any mystic and left pretty much no one with any respect for Lars (hey, we do a Kirk Hammett T-shirt, a James Hetfield T-shirt
and a Cliff Burton
T-shirts, but do you see one for Lars?). Which one do you want from your rock stars? To be the aliens from another planet full of intrigue and mystery or a bunch of fuck-ups about whom nothing is now left to the imagination?
The world needs rock stars that do weird shit. We need them to lord it over us from their Malibu mansions. I want to believe that our icons really do keep the bones of Sharon Tate in a pickling jar and that they bathe only in a secret blend of cobra milk and marmite. People are shocked and get all moralistic about Pete Dogherty being in court on drug charges. I am appalled to, but not because he is a junky, but because he is so public and crass about it. I want rock stars to be off of their tits if that what makes them produce their best work (are you listening Eric Clapton
?) not to be scrabbling around with the general public.
So forget giving Axl are hard time (not that he gives a toss). Forget telling us that it is not the ‘Real’ Guns N’ Roses
(as as much as you might love the others, Axl is who actually counts… that said, I would dearly love to at least see Slash
return). Stop telling us that the tracks you have so far heard are crap or for that matter that they are great. Because none of this matters. All that matters is that at last a rock star
has come to save us from banality. Long live Axl and long may he remain the weirdest guy this side of Michael Jackson.
Labels: Appetite for Destruction, Axl Rose, Chinese Democracy, GNR, Guns N' Roses, rock myths, Rock stars, Slash, Use Your Illusions
There is a post on http://www.thisdayinmusic.com/
asking visitors to vote on the greatest ever live band. I gave this a quick thought and it got me to thinking what a daft question it is. You can ask what you think the greatest band is or what the greatest single, album, live album etc is as you can listen to all the evidence and judge from there. But even if like me your gig count is probably north of 200 shows, how can anyone judge this unless they have been to 1000s – and even then, they haven’t been to everything. Maybe one of the top photographers can judge or a leading journo, but even then they are bound to be prone to a bit of showboating – after all if you have a reputation to maintain, few people are going to say that Status Quo at Cambridge Corn Exchange in the mid-90s was better than Led Zeppelin
at Knebworth, even if they did find themselves nodding off during the JPJ’s bass solo, but could have happily kept Rocking All Over The World for many more hours.
So I thought about it from my point of view…..
Skid Row were certainly the most consistent live band I ever saw. Between 88 and 93 I must have seen them 8 o 9 times and they were outstanding on every occasion. Aerosmith
were brilliant most of the times I have seen them, but a bit predictable on others. Love/Hate were another fantastic live experience in the early 90’s and deserved full marks every time I saw them, same with the Wildhearts
and Wolfsbane, while Motley Crue
ranged between "could do better" and possibly the best gig I have ever been to when I saw their secret ‘Four Skins’ show at the Marquee (you can see me on their Anarchy In The UK
/USA video). The Foo Fighters
at Wembley this year when they wheeled on Jimmy Page
and John Paul Jones was a phenomenal gig - if for no other reason than I expected it to be no more than an OK show. Then you have Bruce Springsteen
, a man that puts more into a concert than I have ever seen from anyone else, but by the same token The Ramones tended to put in 45 minutes and then sod off (although on the Adios Amigos tour they did put in 2 hours plus) so does that make one a better live band than the other? Does any of this make any of them better than Led Zeppelin
? Maybe not, but how can I tell as I never saw Queen
or Led Zep
Then of course there are Guns N' Roses
that if I went on their performances in 1988, were amazing. However, if I go on seeing them at the back end of the Use Your Illusions tour then they were dreadful. Then as an Axl solo project they were arguably tighter than at any other time I saw them, but could I say Guns N’ Roses
at Hammersmith in 2007 (or was it 2006? I forget, time flies when you get older) with only Axl from the original line was actually a better gig than when Slash
and Duff were still on-board?
But if I had to nail my colours to one band holding better live memories for me it is AC/DC
. Great indoors at theatres and arena, while at Donington they were simply magnificent. But is that nostalgia speaking or was that show that AC/DC
recorded for their AC/DC
Live at Donington album and video actually one of the greatest gigs ever?
I have been to a lot of gigs, but not nearly enough to judge this sort of thing. There again I am probably better placed than the kids that went to see Green Day
at Milton Keynes poll a couple of years back and then voted it as Kerrang! Magazine's greatest ever concert. I am sure Billie Joe
and the boys were pretty damn good if you were there, but if that genie popped out of the lamp and said "Alex, last wish, now choose a gig you wish you had been at" then I doubt it would have been that. So that is probably the point I am getting at – that the poll should be "What gig do you wish you had been at?"
I might say The Who
at Charlton Athletic, but was that because of my dad banging on about how great it was or because it was their finest moment? Would I choose Woodstock, Monterey Pop, Isle of Wight or Altamont because of their cultural significance? Seeing Bruce Springsteen
at Hammersmith in 1975 as he toured Born To Run
would have to come close to the top. With the likes of Freddie Mercury
, Bon Scott
and Phil Lynott
dead before I was able to see them, how could I pass that sort of opportunity by? The Rolling Stones
at the Marquee, The Beatles at the Cavern, Sex Pistols
at the 100 Club or New York Dolls
at Max’s Kansas City
may or may not have been great shows, but should I choose one of them for their ‘I Was There’ bragging rights? I wouldn’t say no to seeing Elvis or The Rat Pack in the Las Vegas prime either, but would they be top of the list? There is a chance that I would correct one of my few regrets in life – when I passed on a ticket to see Nirvana
at the Astoria because a girl I was trying to bang wanted to see Slayer
and Mind Funk at Hammersmith
(no, since you asked, to make matters worse I didn’t get a result with the girl)
I have no idea and it would be a struggle if such a situation arose, but if anyone knows of a genie then I would happily take on such a task.
Labels: AC/DC, AC/DC. Metallica, gigs, greatest concerts, Led Zeppelin, Live, Queen, rock concerts, wish list
A few times I have posted about what scum ticket touts (scalpers to our American friends) are. Yet again I am going to bang on about them following the release of AC/DC tickets. OK, I got lucky and have fan club standing tickets for the first show at the O2 Dome. But I really feel for those that couldn't get ticket because of touts being allowed to pre-buy so many tickets and flog them on to fans.
I am also pissed off that with tickets for the supposedly fan club orientated standing area will now be full of the Johnny-come-latley idiots that are only going because it is the 'hottest ticket in town'.
It will get worse on Friday too when Metallica at the O2 tickets are released.
A number of these touts are low level opportunists making a few quid on eBay or trying to subsidise their own gig going - I don't approve and think these folk need a slap, but they are a TINY percentage of the problem. The real issue is how some tout bastard has been able to get 20 standing tickets for the gig as well us front row for every other major show. Someone knows who is supplying them. Is is the promoters touting their own tickets? Is is someone at the venue taking the piss? Is it someone at See Tickets or Ticketmaster with a nice little earner on the side? hey, I have a contact at a London venue that has been able to sort me out with tickets to shows in the past, so it is not unreasonable to expect others are turning what is effectively doing a friend a favour into a cottage industry.
If anyone has any thoughts on the matter or indeed any information I would love to hear from them. If you are touting lowlife, let me have you justification (if I didn't do it then someone else would is not a valid reason, neither is that you are doing a service or that it is a free market and you can do what you like, but happy to listen to your arguments)
Labels: AC/DC, Metallica, scalpers, ticket touts
When we started doing Lyric T-shirts
the response was fantastic. Customers really loved the style and concept as it gave them a subtle alternative to other T-shirts. Unlike our usual image T-shirts which are screen printed, the lyric T-shirts
are digitally cut from flex vinyl. This gives them a super sharp edge, which is not suitable for the artwork of our image T-shirts, but makes the lyrics
look fantastic on the T-shirts
At present we have 60 or so lyric T-shirts
available - I would say from A to Z, but it actually only from A to W - although I think we will do an XTC or X-Ray Spex T-shirt as well as a Zappa
or ZZ Top
lyric T-shirt just so we can....So which lyric T-shirt do we have?AC/DC - Highway to HellAC/DC - Whole Lotta RosieAdam & the Ants - Prince CharmingAdam & the Ants - Ant MusicAerosmith - Love In An ElevatorBeastie Boys - Fight For Your Right (To Party)Black Sabbath - ParanoidBlur - Boys & GirlsBob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick BluesBob Marley - No Woman No CryBoomtown Rats - I Don't Like MondaysBruce Springsteen - Born To RunDavid Bowie - Life on MarsDon McLean - American PieThe Doors - Break On ThroughFoo Fighters - Monkey WrenchFoo Fighters - Best of YouGenesis - Lamb Lies Down On BroadwayGenesis - RipplesGreen Day - Basket CaseGuns N' Roses - Paradise CityHappy Mondays - Kinky AfroIggy and the Stooges - Search & DestroyIron Maiden - Run To The HillsJeff Buckley - Hallelujah (also doubles as a Leonard Cohen T-shirt)Jimi Hendrix - Purple HazeJoy Division - Love Will Tear Us ApartKate Bush - Wuthering HeightsLed Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
Led Zeppelin - Black DogLynyrd Skynyrd - FreebirdMadness - House of FunMetallica - Enter SandmanMetallica - Master of PuppetsMotorhead - Ace of SpadesNirvana - Smells Like Teen SpiritOasis - Champagne SupernovaPatti Smith - GloriaPearl Jam - AlivePink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall
Pink Floyd - Comfortably NumbPogues - Fairytale of New YorkQueen - Bohemian RhapsodyQueens of the Stoneage - No One KnowsRadiohead - Paranoid AndroidRage Against The Machine - Killing In The NameREM - Everybody HurtsREM - Losing My ReligionRolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) SatisfactionSex Pistols - Anarchy In The UKThe Smiths - This Charming ManThe Sweet - BlockbusterT-Rex - 20th Century BoyThin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back In TownTom Waits - Tom Traubert's BluesThe Who - My GenerationThe Who - Pinball WizardThe Wildhearts - Greetings From Shitsville
There will be loads more over the next few days, weeks and months. We have so many more ideas from so many different bands and genres. Indeed if you have any ideas, then let us know
Labels: AC/DC. Metallica, BathroomWall, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Guns N' Roses. Oasis, Jeff Buckley, Joy Division, Led Zeppelin, lyric T-shirts, Song lyrics, The Smiths
Woohoo, at last we have a bunch of new T-shirts up for sale.
First of all, let's start with the cars... We have started working with a really talented automotive artist by the name of Matt Bridges. Over the years Matt has worked for many leading car and bike manufacturers as well as bike racers and owners groups. He has already given us hundreds of designs, even though at the moment we have just a few ready for sale:
BIKES:Suzuki GSXRHonda FirebladeHarley Davidson V-RodDucati 916
CARS:Ford GT40Lancia Delta IntegraleItalian Job inspired Mini CoopersMary Quant inspired Mini Cooper in a 60s styleDodge Charger - General Lee, Dukes of Hazzard styleFord Torino - Starsky and Hutch styleMazda MX-5Mazda RX-7BMW Isetta Bubble Car
There will be loads more coming up soon, so please keep checking back. Matt is a really talented guy and it is an honour to have him designing T-shirts for us.
Labels: Dodge Charger, Ducati 916, Dukes of Hazzard, Ford Torino, GT40, Harley V-Rod, Honda Fireblade, Integrale, Isetta Bubble Car, Italian Job, Mazda MX-5, Mini Cooper, RX7, Starsky Hutch, Suzuki GSXR