The Clash, Blondie, and Cobain sneakers from Converse

 Images Z 1 0 4 1045898-P-Multiview As part of Converse's "Music Collection," they've issued a variety of Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers themed around The Clash, Blondie, Metallica, and Kurt Cobain. To be fair, they really should have made Cobain-branded Converse One Stars as those were the shoes he was wearing at his death. Now, I do dig The Clash sneakers seen here. But I am aware that Nike selling sneakers co-branded with the name/art of an iconic punk band is... problematic. That said, somebody from The Clash's camp (and Cobain's) had to approve these.
Converse Music Collection


  1. David Pescovitz said:

    “… Nike selling sneakers co-branded with the name/art of an iconic punk band is… problematic.”

    Lol! That’s a wee bit of an understatement.

  2. The metallica ones mold to and memorize the contours of your feet, though, if anyone else wears them, they explode.

  3. Really? Metallica? Never associated chucks with Metallica. Then again, Metallica probably came to them begging for some scraps.

  4. I hated seeing Cobain’s body laying there. If Boing Boing is moderated then please can we moderate this link right out of the article. It’s shameless sensationalist media. Have some respect.

  5. Yes, I too was scarred when my mouse cursor went uncontrollably to the link “death” and clicked on it, only to see a police photo showing a partial shot of a dead Kurt. As I uncontrollably clicked “death,” I was at least hoping for skateboarding dogs or something. Have some respect.

    Cool kicks, though.

  6. Vans did a bunch of music related shoes: Iron Maiden, Kiss, Ramones, Germs, and Bad Brains. Even though I knew I’d feel like a tool wearing them I couldn’t resist getting a pair of the Germs and Bad Brains old school vans when I saw marked down 60%.

  7. “I am aware that Nike selling sneakers co-branded with the name/art of an iconic punk band is… problematic. That said, somebody from The Clash’s camp (and Cobain’s) had to approve these.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t all of these bands signed to major labels (is/was Sire a major at the time Blondie was signed to them? They certainly didn’t like punk as a descriptor for their “new wave” bands)? I think punk as an independent music phenomenon begins in the very late 70s/early 1980s, when punks began to create their own labels/systems of distribution/controlling the means of production in reaction to their experiences within the major label system. This would be far more problematic if these were say Dead Kennedys or Crass cons – bands who had a far more radical stance about interacting with corporations, no?

  8. problematic is right..

    “I’m all lost in the supermarket
    I can no longer shop happily
    I came in here for your special offer
    guaranteed personality”

  9. Wow. The Kurt Cobain ones say ‘punk rock means freedom’. I can’t think of anything more punk rock than buying shoes with the words ‘punk rock’ printed on them.
    Also, doesn’t Courtney Love own the rights to everything Cobain-related? She signed off on his personal journals, she probably didn’t have to even think about approving a shoe.

  10. Does anyone know the passage that goes something like:

    As time passes everything you’ve ever loved is destined to be raped and repackaged by soulless marketing people who sell it to clueless teens destroying it’s meaning forever.


    Because that would be really fitting here.

  11. meh, they don’t look very appealing as far as things i’d want to put on my feet and wear. i’ve always liked Vans’ approach to band themed shoes. all the ones i’ve seen are designed by members of the band and thus reflect what they think is a cool shoe design rather than plastering song lyrics on the side.

  12. Add to the list of reasons Kurt Cobain killed himself.
    Does no one else find a Cobain branded shoe to be horribly crass?

    1. See, I think that was far more problematic than this, given MacKaye’s much more hardline stance against commercialism in music and the fact he pushed back on this issue.

      Also, Ultranaut, I really don’t much get the whole “this is why Cobain killed himself” logic. Maybe this is so or at least part of why, but when he signed the dotted line with Geffen it’s not like he wasn’t fully aware of the consequences of signing with a major label. By the early 90s there was a fully functioning alternative system for him to turn to (and in fact, Bleach was on Sub-pop – they signed with Geffen after that, but before sub-pop became part of Warner Bros.), and abuses had been well documented by the punk community for years by then and I doubt he was not unaware of that. Not that this sort of thing wasn’t part of his decision making, but alternatives to the major labels existed so why didn’t he partake of them. What did he think he’d accomplish that others didn’t? Single handedly changing the system? It’s terribly sad, and tragic, but he made the decision to be a part of the mainstream entertainment industry. I doubt that this sort of thing was his only reason for taking his own life.

  13. all the rad Pushead artwork they had at their disposal, and that weak white thing is the best Metallica came up with?

  14. does anyone remember when chuck taylors were made in USA? that was an important part of the ‘punk-ness’ of the shoes. and they were better made. what we have now is a cartoon.

  15. This post made me go out and buy a pair of the Blondie hi-tops. Now I am £40 poorer. Thanks.

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