Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Collector shows off his vintage rock T-shirts from the 1980s and ’90s

Screen shot: "Band T-Shirts 80s 90s" (YouTube)

In addition to being a prominent lo-fi musician and prolific vlogger, Pennsylvania’s own Weird Paul Petroskey is also a collector of just about everything. As documented in numerous YouTube videos, Petroskey’s home is a veritable storehouse of what might charitably be called worthless junk, including old board games and VHS tapes, much of it culled from thrift stores and flea markets. But Petroskey also holds onto a great many mementos from his own youth, up to and including old labels for prepackaged soups and frozen vegetables. Being a musician, Petroskey especially prizes his collection of vintage rock T-shirts, and he showed some of them off in a recent YouTube video. It’s a smorgasbord of 1980s and 1990s nostalgia from a man who devotes much of his life to documenting the past. Considering that Petroskey kept the bowl-shaped pageboy haircut from his youth, it’s not surprising that he held onto his Ramones, Nazareth, and Elvis Costello shirts, too.

The eternally boyish Petroskey bills himself as “The Original Vlogger” because he made so many vlog-style videos with his family’s camcorder in the days before YouTube. He kept those tapes, like he kept everything else, and they make frequent appearances in this and other YouTube clips. Back in the early ’80s, for instance, Petroskey made numerous homemade Twisted Sister videos, donning a custom shirt with the familiar TS logo on it. In a way, Petroskey’s shirts document both his life and his evolving musical tastes. In the 1980s, some well-loved Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and Joan Jett shirts became part of Petroskey’s uniform. The video also documents one of Petroskey’s regrettable fashion decisions from the 1990s. “I wore this Hanson shirt once as a joke,” he says, ruefully. The jewel of Petroskey’s collection is a rare Ramones shirt from the brief period in the 1980s when the lineup included Richie Ramone. “I still wear it on very special occasions,” Petroskey says, this video being one of them.


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