Following the death of Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries, a photo started making the rounds of her wearing a t-shirt espousing the merits of D.C. hardcore band, Government Issue. A friend of mine posted it on Facebook, and I immediately postulated whether we assumed that she was genuinely a fan of the seminal Dischord band, or whether she just thought it was a cool shirt. I was immediately taken to task by a friend of that friend for perceived musical elitism and misogyny. Trying to defend myself in that discussion went nowhere fast, but honestly, my query had less to do with her gender or more to do with wondering if GI were indeed that known enough a quantity in the Cranberries' native Ireland. You can see the photo, incidentally, on my eulogy-of-sorts to O'Riordan from a few weeks back.
As has been well documented on this blog via its own silly category, Opinionated Rants About T-shirts, I have a lot of hang-ups about rock t-shirt etiquette, for want of a better term. But I assure you, it's not just about a knee-jerk reaction to venomously castigate. Too often, I've seen people sport t-shirts of bands I've liked, and I've gone up to them to enthusiastically engage them on the subject, only to find that they're simply wearing the shirt because they liked the design (or whatever). That always bums me out. That said, to this day, if I spy someone sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with a favorite band, I still want to give them the benefit of the doubt.
In any case, I spotted the below photo on Instagram not too long back, and it again struck a chord. This is, of course, the 1916-era iteration of Motorhead. The detail the caught my eye, however, is that drummer Philthy Animal Taylor is depicted wearing a t-shirt by the very un-metal likes of post-industrial/experimental psychedelia ensemble, Psychic TV.
Just like Dolores, Philthy Phil is sadly no longer with us. But again, I wonder --- was he actually a fan of Psychic TV?