One of the best parts about my childhood was definitely the music. Naturally, with my dad being a teenager in the 1980s, he was an avid listener of hair metal bands. This particular genre was some of the first memories of music that I had as a kid, where I absolutely loved and glommed onto it, much in the same way that my dad had when he was younger. I always jokingly say that I inherited his taste in music; sorry mom. I remember being embarrassed at times when my dad would drop me off at school, and blast ’80s hair metal as loud as he could, without blowing out his speakers, from his truck; Van Halen was one of his favorites. There’s nothing like being 10 years old, and having the whole elementary school stare you down while “Jump” blares from the vehicle you just got out of. My dad sure loved to embarrass me in that way. It didn’t make me love the music any less though. As I grew older, I became interested in newer music, but it never truly wormed its way into my heart quite like hair metal did. Once I reached about 18 or 19 years old, I fully switched just to listening to that type of music for a while; no other genre made me that happy. I love ’80s hair metal because it reminds me of a much simpler time in my life, and helps to bring me to a place of peace when I’m having a particularly bad day. Of course, with being such an ardent fan to the genre, I have many t-shirts and sweatshirts to proudly display my devotion. If you’re a fan of ’80s hair metal, like I am, here are 10 band shirts from 80s Tee that you definitely need in your life.
1. Bon Jovi
Although Slippery When Wet is arguably Bon Jovi’s best album, his self-titled debut album is still fairly good. Runaway is by far the most popular song on this album, and is loved by many. It’s definitely one of my favorites by Bon Jovi. I absolutely loved this Bon Jovi women’s muscle tank when I first saw it! The grittiness of the debut album’s artwork is definitely appropriate, with consideration of the era, and I like how the shirt calls out the most popular song on the album as well. If any of you Bon Jovi fans out there need another shirt to add to your collection, this one should be at the top of your list!
I remember there were a few songs that my dad favored by Dokken, and would play them often when I was a kid. When I was in my early twenties, I dove deeper into their music, and found many more songs that I really enjoy by them. This royal blue shirt featuring the album artwork from Back For The Attack, is truly an awesome add for any hair metal fan’s clothing collection. Some of my favorite songs on this album are Kiss of Death and Dream Warriors; both songs are quite musically diverse in my opinion. This band shirt is a definite underrated classic that all hair metal fans should have!
3. Skid Row
I feel like Skid Row was one of those bands that I kind of forgot I listened to as a kid. I re-discovered them the summer before I started my first year of college, and fell in love with their music all over again. It brought back so many childhood memories to me, and I remember feeling shocked that I had forgotten them for that long period of time. I’m totally in love with this Skid Row shirt though! It features a graffitied skull on a brick wall with one of their more popular songs, Youth Gone Wild, from their debut album, printed underneath. I will say that Youth Gone Wild is my all-time favorite song by them; obviously, it spoke to my rowdier side. How could Skid Row fans possibly say no to this sick shirt?
4. Mötley Crüe
It’d be a crime not to include this incredible ’80s hair metal band on here! I definitely remember growing up, and listening to a multitude of songs by Mötley Crüe; specifically, from their Dr. Feelgood album. Kickstart My Heart is without a doubt my favorite song on that album! I was also one of the many fans who were super excited when The Dirt finally premiered on Netflix. This shirt features a black, white and red version of their Dr. Feelgood album artwork. I do agree that Dr. Feelgood is one of their best albums that features many amazing hits. This is truly one awesome shirt that all of you Mötley Crüe fans out there don’t want to miss out on!
I recall walking into my retail job one day a few years back, where my manager looked up at me, and said how I looked like one of the band members from Cinderella. In all fairness she had a point, as I was wearing a thick headband, had fairly long hair, and was rocking some heavy black eyeliner that day. I honestly thought it was so funny, and she was surprised to know that I knew who she was referencing to. Cinderella is yet another hair metal band that I practically grew up on. When I came across this shirt, I just knew that I had to include it. It features a scantily clad blonde, no surprise there, sitting in a martini glass holding up a cherry, with one of their popular songs, Shake Me, off of their album Night Songs, printed below her. Cinderella fans, this one’s for you!
6. Guns N’ Roses
Alright, aside from Axl Rose being a total tool, this band does have some pretty awesome music! Guns N’ Roses was yet another band that was quite prominent in my childhood, and still is today well into adulthood. Some of my favorite songs by Guns N’ Roses include, Paradise City, Sweet Child O’ Mine and Welcome To The Jungle; Paradise City is probably my number one favorite to be honest. I really do love this raglan tee though, and how it features the band’s name in a distressed font, along with their iconic logo printed overtop. This shirt isn’t just for Guns N’ Roses fans, but for all you hair metal fans!
When Rock of Ages came out in theaters back in 2012, I remember fangirling pretty hard when No One Like You was featured in the movie. It’s a true shame that they cut the Rock You Like A Hurricane scene out of the final production of the film; it would’ve been just one more awesome Scorpions song to add in. Naturally, these are probably two of the most-recognized songs by the German band, and arguably, two of the greatest. This band shirt features the album artwork of Love At First Sting; their second best album behind Blackout. Any true hair metal fan will find it difficult in turning down this awesome ’80s band shirt.
I’m honestly so glad that my husband indulges me in my love for ’80s hair metal bands. He’s taken me to see a few of my favorite bands, including Poison. I remember after the show, him joking about how much I got into the concert right up their with all of the 50 and 60 year olds who made up about 90% of the crowd. I truly was born in the wrong generation. When I first laid eyes on this shirt, I was truly in love with its girlish, yet still sick-looking design. The shirt features a sparkling grey skull with crossbones, along with the album name Flesh & Blood printed below it. Flesh & Blood is easily one of my favorite hair metal albums, that also features my all-time favorite song, (Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice. This Poison t-shirt is definitely one for all the fans out there!
9. Van Halen
I’m actually pretty devastated that I didn’t go to see Van Halen when they were playing at Red Rocks back in the summer of 2015. Screw you 2020 for taking one of the most beloved rock stars! Eddie Van Halen will always be in my heart. One of the many things that I love about my dad, is that if he’s ever out in the garage or down in the barn, a heavy mix of Van Halen songs will surely be blaring from the stereo. I have many fond memories from my childhood that included a large variety of songs by this legendary hair metal band. This t-shirt features the artwork of one of Van Halen’s most iconic albums, 1984. Some of my favorite songs off this album, include Panama, Drop Dead Legs, Jump and I’ll Wait. How could fans say no to this emblematic shirt?
10. Def Leppard
I’ll start off by saying that Def Leppard is my all-time favorite ’80s hair metal band. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of these other bands dearly, but Def Leppard has always held a very special place in my heart since I was a young kid. Right up there with Van Halen, you could also always find my dad blasting all of Def Leppard’s greatest hits. I really did have one of the greatest childhoods. Def Leppard also has the only album where I love each and every song on it, and let me tell you, that’s quite difficult to come by for any musical artist. This t-shirt happens to feature the artwork for that particular album, Pyromania, which is by far their best. I could listen to this album over and over again, without getting even a little bit sick of it. All of you Def Leppard fans out there, this shirt is for you!