The high street chain Urban Outfitters are stocking a Minor Threat T shirt..and what’s more it comes with Ian MacKaye’s approval…
Minor Threat were the idealistic young band who were key in the creation of American hardcore and their political and moral stance is a big part of their appeal. We have no problem with their T-shirts being in the shops- but it has surprised some people.
The T-shirt is licensed through Tsurt, a California-based company that Ian MacKaye and Co. hired to produce and oversee sales of the band’s official shirts.
“Dischord doesn’t make T-shirts,” MacKaye clarifies in a phone call. But Minor Threat is another story. Because so many bootlegged Minor Threat shirts are constantly floating around the universe, MacKaye decided the band had to do something about it. The solution: Get another company to oversee their official shirts, and when a bootleg crops up, let them deal with it. “It’s fucking absurd the amount of bootlegs that are out there,” MacKaye says, and “my time is better spent doing other things.”
“It’s not a political thing for me,” MacKaye says. “I just don’t give a fuck about T-shirts.” At some point, the former Minor Threat frontman said to the band, “This is crazy. I spend so much of my time chasing down bootleggers”. He found that when he contacted the responsible parties about their bootlegs, they just gave him hell. “They get in your face… or they deny it,” he says. “It’s a complete waste of time.”
Just because the shirt is licensed doesn’t mean MacKaye approves of the sweatshoppy clothing chain selling his band’s shirts, though. “Do I think it’s absurd? Yes, I certainly do,” he says. He also thinks the asking price is ridiculous, but he’s more or less resigned to it. “Motherfuckers pay $28, that’s what they wanna pay for their shirts.”