A sweet 80s t-shirt for the punk band the Misfits is currently up on eBay for $500 and the silkscreening bears the name of a local business that might be familiar to old school import music fans.
You see, even though the Misfits (along with their raven-haired frontman, Danzig) are from England, a little record store called Zed Records in Long Beach was able to bring in records and merch of alternative bands from across the pond at a time when no one else on the West Coast had access to it.
When Michael Zampeli opened Zed Records in 1974 as an import-only record shop, it was exclusively feasible through the connections his brother Danny Holloway made while a writer for NME Magazine in London. Well before the days of the internet and importing deals, Holloway would often snail mail his brother new records and tell him about new British artists months before anyone in the States had any access to them.
As Zampeli told LB Post contributor Steve Propes in an interview a few years ago, he would sometimes have to call the bands themselves to get copies of their records sent over. He recalled the Misfits, specifically.
They had three or four singles and we had constantly 25 in the bins. I’d call Glen Danzig at his house, he’d say ‘Wait a minute.’ I’d have to wait until the band was through playing. They’d come on different colored vinyl, you can’t get them now for less than $100.
Though Zed closed in 2000, it spent nearly 30 years as the main source of musical exchange between British music and California fans—including the much loved Misfits, for whom Zed apparently self-silkscreened this now-pricey shirt.
Is the shirt worth $500? Probably not. But it is definitely a slice of Long Beach’s music history as much as it is a Misfits souvenir.
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