The ultimate form of rock memorabilia, vintage band T-shirts are like a piece of history that also immediately proclaims allegiance to your favorite band. They also provide a way for like-minded fans to instantly identify you as a member of the tribe. Lots of classic rock acts are known for producing numerous different tour and band shirts over the years, with hard rock legends Led Zeppelin having an especially impressive collection. Each and every one of the following 10 vintage Zeppelin T-shirts is an authentic original, with some of the ultra-rare ones fetching upwards of thousands of dollars on eBay. But cost be damned -- like all great rock T-shirts, these garments made it onto our Top 10 Vintage Led Zeppelin T-Shirts tally because they look cool!
This ultra-rare vintage 1969 "promo" Zeppelin T-shirt has a nice and simple design and a clean look, with the image of burning 'Hindenburg' airship that adorns the cover of the band's debut album silk screened in black on top of a striking red hue. It also goes for an eye-popping $20,000! Is this some sort of sick joke? Nope.
Zeppelin mounted two brief Japanese tours over the course of their career -- in September on '71 and October of '72 -- but the band never made it to the Okinawa region of the country, meaning this vintage T-shirt celebrates a concert that never actually happened. Still, it's certainly stylin' and carries a much more reasonable $99.99 price tag.
This '80s-era Zeppelin shirt, produced after the band split following the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, captures the essence of the 'Houses of the Holy' cover artwork, only with a slightly different point of view and color scheme. The wraparound design is a nice touch, helping make the $200 asking price just a bit more palatable.
We totally love this one, which for some reason abstractly depicts an outdoor scene with what could be crop circles (or vinyl LPs?), mountains and clouds, and features crudely drawn portraits of the band's four members. None of it really (besides the pictures) has much to do with Zeppelin -- the font of the lettering doesn't even look familiar -- leading us to believe this one is actually a vintage bootleg T-shirt, the kind you picked up in the parking lot after the show for half price. Awesome!
The exact origins of this vintage tee aren't known, but the lyrics on the front are derived from a line in 'Immigrant Song' (The hammer of the gods / will drive our ships to new lands), a tune off 1970's 'III.' The phrase was also borrowed for Stephen Davis' excellent biography of the band, 'Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga.'
This rad shirt is from Zeppelin's appearances at the legendary Knebworth Festival 1979, a two-day gathering that occurred that August in Hertfordshire, England, and attracted upwards of 200,000 fans to catch the band's first concerts in two years. After Knebworth, they would only go out on one more final tour, the following year's Tour Over Europe.
This is a rare relic from Tour Over Europe 1980, Zeppelin's final trek. The three-week jaunt across Germany and through a handful of other European cities drew to a close on June 7 in Berlin -- the last show all four members ever played together (the set closer? 'Whole Lotta Love'). Own a piece of history for a mere $5,000!
We're not sure if it was a mere coincidence that this '88 shirt was made in the same year that the three surviving members of Zeppelin were joined onstage by John Bonham's son to perform at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary party in New York -- if nothing else, it's at least good timing. That five-song "reunion" performance was widely considered a bit shaky, though, and comeback gigs since then have been few and far between.
The perfect gift for those Zeppelin-loving hippies out there, this '80s vintage T-shirt features the black-and-white image from 'Led Zeppelin' printed over a red-and-yellow tie-dye job. A beautiful shirt that will only set you back $200. On second thought, for that kind of loot forget the hippies -- hang on to this one for yourself.
It doesn't get much more straightforward than this vintage '70s shirt, with the Swan Man and 'IV' symbols printed in yellow over a black-and-white shirt with three-quarter sleeves. A classic!