Rock-n-Roll T-Shirts Born!
Working out of a garage late at night, we printed a line of generic t-shirts, Superman, peace sign, marijuana leaf, and a few more. Stuffing the samples in an old film case, I set out for the artsy areas of San Francisco in the ’70s, plus Sausalito, Berkeley, etc. THEN the day came.
Going store to store in Mill Valley with no luck! Finally my last stop and the store owner said, “We don’t want your T-shirt designs, but by the way, can you print 200 t-shirts by Monday?”
Yes, of course! Somehow we managed to do just that, and that was the beginning of Rock-n-Roll t-shirts!
It just so happened that the owner of that very store was the wife of the drummer for the iconic band, the Grateful Dead. It was 1971 and she had the vision to sell t-shirts at rock concerts, and so our t-shirt venture exploded! Our first rock’n t-shirts went on tour with the Grateful Dead.
Next the Allman brothers heard about us from the Dead, and we printed up a design for them. Next came the Doobie Brothers, then other famous bands of the ’70’s, knocking at our door. A line up forms at the office of Hip-O-Potamus Creations.
So traveling around San Francisco on my sales calls, I saunter into Winterland, where all the big rock concerts are being held by promoter Bill Graham.
I greeted Del who was taking tickets at the front desk. “Hi, how ’bout you try selling t-shirts tonight at the rock concert tonight?”
His reply was that it would never work. So I left him with 6 dozen t-shirts, and told him to call me in the morning. They sold out in 10 minutes!
So began our collaboration with Winterland Productions, owned by Bill Graham, and Dell. A chance meeting turned into a $200 million concert tour merchandising company!
Back at the office, Hip-O-Potamus Creations was furiously printing t-shirts, 24 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Rock-n-Roll t-shirts were everywhere THEN, and NOW still hot, hot, hot!!!