Saturday, January 16, 2010

Don't Die of Ignorance!

Sham 69 - First American Tour 1988

Probably one of the rarest in my personal collection. Like the 1986 Lords tee, I've never seen another one of these anywhere, ever. Granted by 1988 the Sham 69 line-up had changed and the early days of punk were long gone, this still remains a very rare and collectible tee. I picked it up a few years ago for a buck at a thrift store. One of those "No way!!!" moments that only come around maybe once or twice a year, if that. It was originally white but obviously 21 years ago the owner didn't think twice about a little tie-dye action. What a shame. Thankfully it was done in a cool gray and not a bad dye job at that. Can you imagine if it was some horrendous multi-color monstrosity? If it had been I might have left it hanging on the rack, instead this gem is tucked away in the collection safe and sound for another 20 years.

Brief Sham 69 history
Credit: :

Sham 69 were quite simply one of THE top punk bands of the late seventies. Led by the charismatic and irrepressible Jimmy Pursey they produced a stream of catchy, populist, short and sweet punk tunes including 'If The Kids Are United', 'Hurry Up Harry' and 'Angels With Dirty Faces' that made the British charts.

What makes Sham 69 even more interesting though is their arrival on the scene when Punk began to move from the more elitist fashion driven art scene to a rougher, more working class ethic. While some original faces on the scene perceived this as a dumbing down, others saw it as a breath of fresh air on a moribund scene. Add in a skinhead revival, frequent violence at their gigs and the Sham 69 one is a fascinating story.

But above all Sham 69 were a fantastic, full on punk band with great tunes, a top singer and a dynamic live act. 


  1. never found a vintage sham69 on ebay or elsewhere in the net..super duper RARE!!!