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T-shirt Memories

I have finally got around to culling my T-shirts (and the odd long sleeve thing), and it’s amusing to see what’s left. It was interesting to see what memories going through them stirred up. There are a few plain black, white, and grey T-shirts in another drawer, but these are the ones left on “active service.” There’s no meaning in the arrangement, but the second column seems to be where the non-music ones have ended up!

Folded T-shirts in a drawer
T-Shirts washed and folded in a drawer.

If you know me then there won’t be many shocks: a few from work, a few from computing-related conferences I enjoyed, and lots of music-related T-shirts. The music themed Ts include King Crimson and Public Service Broadcasting (no surprise there), and I’m happy to see Genesis still well represented. Kingmaker were a special band for me, and I’m glad some of their gear has survived.

The memories evoked can be of a particular time or venue for concerts, or a particular album where I enjoy the music and the cover makes for a good T-shirt. Although I don’t have memories I can recall as images or sounds, I have the sense of the space for concerts: the difference between the basement of a bar, a small club, a theatre, or the Royal Albert Hall influences the feeling. Maybe the most interesting memories are “caused by” T-shirts: the chance conversations sparked by someone noticing them.

King Crimson 2019 Tour Poster

I enjoy other people’s reactions to T-shirts: older music fans who recognize an old album cover, people who ask what the design means, people who just give them a sidelong lingering glance. My impression is that the Larks’ Tongues in Aspic cover, King Crimson 2019 tour design (with no words), and the PSB roundel with the radio telescope invite the most comments. Maybe the ambiguity and lack of anchoring words leaves more room for imagination to be engaged?

The computing conferences with good memories are Empex and the short-lived Burlington Ruby Conference. I have fond memories of the people I meet or met there and the general spirit which reminded me of my experiences at the Perl Conferences in the late 1990s.

The painting for the tour poster is by Francesca Sundsten.

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