Churchill's T-Shirt Swap Meet: Buy Rat Bastard, Holy Terrors, DJ Le Spam's Old Clothes!
A rare 1984 Frank Zappa tour T-shirt.
Photo courtesy of Steven Toth
Scoring one of Jimi Hendrix's chromatic gauze button-downs on eBay won't be smooth sailing. But how about a band tee from the closet of a South Florida music legend?
The first-ever Churchill's T-Shirt Swap Meet will be a congregation of exactly that sort, where you'll be able to peruse the collection of Miami godfather of noise Rat Bastard or snag a cotton artifact that might have been worn during an early Holy Terrors show (original member Rob Elba and bassist William Trev "will be purging their wares").
Duds from Humbert/I Don't Know bassist Tony Landa (whose alleged choice T is a black Lolitaville Holy Terrors shirt), DJ Le Spam, owner of Public Image Vintage Andrew Vincent, NiC FiT Vintage, Iron Forge Press, and several others will satisfy those with a penchant for timeless music garb.
The idea came from Churchills' Nicky Bowe, who approached SoFla music scenester Steven Toth (AKA rock 'n' roll frontman of Mr. Entertainment and the Pookiesmackers) about cultivating the community-driven event. And Toth says the swap's already garnered a large response on Facebook from avid T-shirt collectors. He thinks even out-of-towners will flock to the Little Haiti pub for the clothing bazaar.
"This could be something that turns into a monthly event or a quarterly event, where we do different types of swaps," Toth says. "From record swaps to gear swaps, I even thought about bicycle-part swaps. I would love to see all the Critical Mass people ride over to Churchill's."
People will be able to trade, sell, or even give away T's at the meet. Of course, though, Toth does advise to price appropriately -- he would never sell his 1984 Frank Zappa tour shirt for less than $100.
"[But] I think you'll find the average will be ten or 20 bucks. I think you're going to find a wide range of stuff."
Also, while T-shirt zealots nickel-and-dime, Mr. Entertainment and the Pookiesmackers are set to shred. Together since 1999, the group is recording its fifth album and remains "just a bunch of kids playing protest songs." Oddly, Toth jokes, "We've probably lasted longer than any band in South Florida." Yeah, you and KC & the Sunshine Band.
And then after fist-pumping with the Pookiesmackers and snagging a rare Descendents tee, stick around for the afterparty, as punk outfit Sandratz takes the Churchill's stage and DJ Skidmark drops a punk-classics set.
It's gonna be a fun and friendly night. And in Toth's opinion, the barroom swap will provide a much-needed neighborhood outlet for indulging in the authentic band-tee trend, rather than shelling out for overpriced, manufactured music threads at chain stores.
"I think Nicky came up with the idea initially because he works at Churchill's and he's got a shirt from every damn band that's come through there the last 15 years," Toth says. "Retro is popular, T-shirts are popular. I think it's mostly about the redistribution of them. Why have them rot away in our closets when someone else is going to want to wear them?"
Churchill's T-Shirt Swap Meet. Sunday, August 11. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. Swap runs from 6 to 11 p.m with a performance by Mr. Entertainment and the Pookiesmackers. Afterparty with sets by Sandratz and DJ Skidmark. Call 305-757-1807, or visit churchillspub.com
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