by Art Chantry (firstname.lastname@example.org):
SWAG. i love swag. especially cheezy rocknroll swag. i’m not talking merely tshirts and/or posters, etc. i’m talking SWAG (all caps)>
this little piece o’ crap is a set of buttons for the toilet boys (remember them? made quite an impact and then vanished). i think they were designed by edward o’dowd (a great designer who was also in the band – “electric eddie”). i’m not sure he did them, but if he reads this, then maybe he can set the record straight for me.
over the years i’ve done goofball swag for hundreds of strange little rock bands (that always seem to break up before the record comes out). i’ve designed the usual posers and tshirts, etc. but i’ve also done matches, buttons, paper hats, swizzle sticks, car air freshers, little black books, guitar picks, x-ray glasses, stickers, water-transfer decals, counter cards, barf bags, mobiles, zippo lighters, bookmarks, masks, temptoos, bowling shirts, and god knows what else.
over the years i’ve also been given enormous amounts of weird little swag items. the very best things were from demented underground garage bands from the early 90’s. bands like the mono men, the makers and man or astroman? got so deeply into it they were producing and selling things like hair combs (for those pompadors) and flashlights and space dust. why? i dunno. but it sure was cool swag.
it’s a rich history totally undocumented.
AC: … weird little swag items kept the touring punks in cheeseburgers on the road. without product to sell, they had to rely totally on small town amateur promoters of dubious character. when it comes to great swag, necessity is the mother of invention – and DIY.
…i went to a hank williams jr. concert and they were selling jewelry (cheap gaudy fake gold embedded with lots of rhinestones) saying “bosephus” (his chosen nickname). i almost bought a bosephus ring that draped over several knuckles (like old school rapper rings)…