Jammin’ with ginger

Band merch too much?

By Kristi Alexandra
[culture editor]

Those of us lucky enough to have gotten into the sold-out Orpheum Theatre for the Akronite garage-blues duo, the Black Keys, on Sunday Oct. 3, were pushed into the foyer of the packed venue where the obligatory merchandise table awaited our open wallets.

And, like any event that leaves an impression on us, we wanted a souvenir to commemorate the rare occasion of the Black Keys coming to Vancouver. Namely, a tee shirt.

There were about six different tee shirts, ranging in style, cut and graphic, but what they all had in common was that they were cotton, cost about $3 to make, and were grossly overpriced.

I need to ask why, if some of these fans had to pay up to $200 to see the soulful twosome, would the band gouge their loyal listeners–who’ve no doubt already bought most, if not all, of their albums–for a tee shirt that costs near nothing to make?

Being the overzealous fan that I am (yes, I own every album–on vinyl), I swallowed the price and bought two tee shirts. $60 later, I was the proud owner of two Black Keys shirts and an empty wallet. I won’t lie, even for my favourite band, $60 for cotton tees is a little much.

But then a friend made a point: what’s the cost of a life-long memory?

That old Woodstock tee might be worth over $100 now, but the experience? Priceless.

Thanks Mastercard!


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