Buying a new Alternative Tentacles tshirt after 25+ years

I bought a new Alternative Tentacles tshirt to replace the one I bought in the early 1980s. I didn't realize how faded it had become until I placed them side by side. I like the way the old one looks and feels better than the new one. The new one will improve in a few years.

The design is from 1979 by the great Winston Smith.

Alternative Tentacles tshirt


  1. Oh boy… before all the concern trolls come a stormin’ –  please notice there’s a little dollar sign on the broken jeebus cross first…

  2. I have one of those hanging around somewhere and like yours, it is quite old.  But I would never buy another one.  I just do not believe in Jello Biafra any longer.  As a teen, he gave so many of us an alternative to the same old drivel our parents were spouting.  Life has shown that he was exactly like them, as are we.  I, for one, am not going to give him even $5 so he can sue fans.

    1. That pit stainage is nothin’.  Many of my favorite old shirts are now unwearable because of an unsightly buildup of antiperspirant crust (sorry, everyone).  It seems to happen after a couple hundred wearings and washings.  Anyone out there have a Heloise tip on how to break down and dissolve such nastiness without actually burning through the cotton itself?

      It is unsurprisingly water-resistant.

      1. Hi Donald, I had the same problem and eventually hit upon ethanol as an ideal solvent to get rid of the crud.  I use a spray bottle to apply vodka to the underarms of my shirts just before washing them.  This is less expensive than it sounds because my brother makes cheap homebrew vodka.

      2. There is a product that I use to remove oil build-up from our sheets.  It was developed to remove the grease from the coveralls of mechanics, and later the recipe was bought by the company Biotone, who now sell the product to massage therapists as well.  It’s manufactured in San Diego.  It’s called ‘Clean Again’ and I’ve found it very effective. A quick call to Biotone could tell you where you can purchase a gallon in your area.

      3. You can mostly avoid this by buying better deodorants. I hated this problem and tried several deodorants, gradually increasing in price. Mitchum not only worked great as a deodorant, but didn’t leave the crust (I don’t know about yours, but my problem with the crust is not that it’s crusty per se, but that it’s got little bits of aluminum!)

        Then, Mitchum apparently changed their formula, and now my skin reacts badly to it! It’s actually the only non-food product (that I’m aware of) of any type that I react to like that.

        Then I switched to Old Spice, the newish ones that are advertised by the buff black dude on TV. Nice scents (not the “classic” Old Spice scent in any way), excellent longevity etc., and no more aluminum crustiness. I’m sure other brands are OK too, but I haven’t tried them and this one is widely available and not outrageously priced.

        1. For a number of years I’ve been using the crystal deodorant stick, and it leaves absolutely zero residue.  While it costs almost double the more mainstream brands, it lasts forever… (almost a year with daily use).

          No aluminum, and no artificial scent added (I’ve always called most deodorants reodorants).  It basically just stops your pits from stinking, and while it’s not a complete anti-perspirant, I’ve found that in the summer, I don’t get the pit sweats as much… I wonder if it’s because it’s killing the bacteria…

  3. I used to have the Cherry Red Records issue of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables with the Winston Smith double sided clip art poster. That was an awesome poster. Lost it in an eviction.

    I never knew where your stuff could end up after an eviction. My stuff went into a Dickensian hellhole in the darkest underbelly of Houston. There was a huge metal building that reeked of dogs and rats with hundreds of people’s worldly possessions stacked on pallets with lot numbers and court order numbers  taped on them. I saw semi-feral dogs nursing their puppies on people’s couches. Feral cats leaping from pallet stack to pallet stack to avoid the dogs and catch the rats that lived in the upper stories of the piles of boxes. It was the closest thing I’ve seen to hell is this country. I paid the impound fee and moved my stuff to my brother’s carport. When I got my own place, (never trust that a roommate paid the rent) a month later, I finally unpacked my pile of boxes and found my record collection, including the DK poster, and a few other things were missing. Curse you precinct 7. You were supposed to have an officer and a clerk to catalog this stuff, and I know you stole this because my copy of the clerk’s audit did not include anything about my record collection.

    How’s that for a genuine punk experience?

  4. Just reminded me that I put a tear last weekend in the only t-shirt that fitted me with comfort. Don’t think I’m able to replace it though, was my OpenCola ‘suck it’ Tee :(

  5. I played with Blowfly a few years ago in Europe. He had released the Punk Rock Party album on AT with the song “R Kelly in Cambodia” I was supposed to get this same design on a hoodie out of the merch bin. No dice. Beating the drummer probably didn’t help.

    My friend(13 yrs old) gave FrankenChrist as an Xmas gift to another friend in front of his parents. His dad opened it up and saw that Giger poster with all the dicks…. Holy shit, straight in the fireplace. His mom took a hammer to some JFA records that would’ve been worth a small fortune right now.

  6. I’ve still got a shirt (bootleg) from the 1984 show in Houston, with The Offenders (Austin), Cause For Alarm (NYC), Balthasar Gerhard Kommando (Dutch, after the guy who assassinated William of Orange) and Orgasm (Houston).

    Fun times…

  7. There is nothing better than a little t-shirt patina to prove you were there when it fucking mattered. T-shirts just get better with age… as long as you can deal with the antiperspirant stains.

  8. I remember one day doing book deliveries in SF for Last Gasp. I looked in the back of the van and there were two boxes: one marked “Blowfish” and the other marked “Alternative Tentacles.”

  9. Older tshirts used to wear out amazingly – they get so soft until eventually you can see right through them and they wear away into nothing. 

    I imagine it’s due to the 50/50 cotton/poly mix. Today’s 100% cotton shirts don’t seem to age half as gracefully, but maybe I just need to give them more time. 

  10. Once my mom went to Soviet Moscow for some conference in the early 80s and came back with the most bitchin’ t-shirt for me: it was from some big hair metal festival there, it had a big iron eagle clutching the soviet and US flags, and the names of all the big ones around it..motly crue, twisted sister, poison, etc. I’d never actually heard any of their music (still don’t think i have), but man, I wore the crap outta that shirt.

    It being of high Soviet quality, within about 12 months it was just hanging on by the threads.

    Fast forward 20 years, I’m looking through a shirt rack in the Alley in Chicago…and I’ll be damned, they had that fuckin’ shirt right there! THe 1985 Moscow Metal Festival! Amazing!

    I bought it ;)

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