Arguably the best metal album of all time (though Black Sabbath’s Paranoid might disagree), Metallica’s Master of Puppets was the first thrash metal album to be certified platinum. On top of that, it’s got a wicked cover. The message is pretty clear, though I’m not certain which specific war Metallica had strong objection to in the mid ‘80s (Granada, I guess?). That’s not really important, though, because sending people to die for shadowy reasons is something I think most of us can object to. Of course, you could also just wear it because it’s a pretty cool rock t-shirt.
American Cancer Society spokes-band, Van Halen, created this design as a satirical jab at the unethical marketing tactics big cigarette companies used to sell their products to children. Known by many to be the 1980s version of Jonathan Swift, “Diamond” David Lee Roth conceived the design after seeing an underage fan smoking at one of the band’s concert. Horrified, Van Halen chose to change their wild ways and strove to set a good example for their fans from that point on.
Obviously, none of that is true. The design was drawn by Margo Nahas and picked by the band from her portfolio for their album 1984. It caused quite the stir, especially in the UK where the cigarette and pack were censored in stores. In France, on the other hand, a free pack of cigarettes was provided with each purchase by customers under the age of 12.
Sometimes, simplicity is really the best way to go: rumbling bass, thrashing drums, and a grungy guitar slammed harder than Latin slammed my grade point average. That’s the formula that brought Nirvana its success in the early 90s and the principle upon which the Grunge movement was founded. This rock t-shirt is the same way; it provides everything you need in a band shirt. Sure you want to look good, but you also want people to know what kind of music you’re into. This shirt takes care of both.