Friday, January 2, 2009

Where are they now: Blue Grape Merchandise

Back in 1992, my brother and I would go down to the supermarket on a bi-monthly basis in order to pick up the latest issue of Metal Maniacs. After checking out the main articles and the poster, there was only one thing to look for....the Blue Grape Merchandise ad in the back. Over the years, we spent a small fortune on Blue Grape's horribly produced shirts and other assorted merchandise, helping the company make upwards of $20 million a year from idiots like us. I don't know why we wasted our money on their shirts...we are both short and rather slight, while Blue Grape's shirts were sized like tarps or circus tents.

Looking back, I can't remember if Blue Grape offered shirts in sizes other than XXL and up, but based on the shirts from back then that my brother and I still have...I think Blue Grape estimated that the average size of a metal fan was roughly 5'2" tall and 5'6" wide. Below is an accurate computer rendering of what I looked like wearing my Blue Grape Obituary shirt circa 1992.




Is that the Liberty Bell? No, just Lucho wearing his Obituary shirt.



Notice how my feet stuck out at the bottom, making me look like a scale model of the Liberty Bell. This attractive look basically made my feet look like the the part of a bell that swings like a pendulum as I walked, striking the actual bell/shirt. That part of a bell is called a "clapper", but I didn't know if anyone would know that. Anyway, I really don't know why we kept buying their wares. At one point, we actually placed such a large order that they sent us a gift certificate, with which we bought (I'm not kidding) a small, t-shirt shaped sign for my brother's new car. The sign was just like one of those "baby on board" signs, including the suction cup, but was of a tiny Sepultura shirt, which said "Tour 1989" on the back. I would love to go on and on making fun of them for producing such a stupid artifact, but we were dumb enough to buy it. My brother had it on the back window of his car for some time, until the heat began to melt and warp one of the sleeves...thus enlarging it, much like an actual Blue Grape t-shirt, or their coveted Prong hockey jerseys.

When I first decided to write a little something about Blue Grape, I thought I would find ample information about the once-leading purveyor of metal related attire. Not so. Like the Incas, who disappeared and only left behind Machu Picchu for us to admire, all that remains of Blue Grape are some ill-fitting circus tents in my closet and some faint memories. While I found several phone numbers online for the now forgotten company, all were disconnected. Their site is now down, a mere memory of a once great shirt empire. Similarly, their office (see photo below) which was located on Broadway in New York City, is now probably vacant. I picture tumbleweed rolling around the empty cubicles, as a single Prong hockey jersey still hanging proudly on the wall.


Blue Grapes former world headquarters were located over this Levi's store in Manhattan. Prime real estate for a company that sold Deicide keychains and shirts.


I found one posting of a job at Blue Grape from 2004. $50,000 a year for a Senior Production Director. I also found an interesting interview with Felix Sebacious, then VP at Blue Grape in which he discusses how Blue Grape started to make panties, and how he was able to get Glen Benton to sign the merchandise deal for Deicide. Sebacious recalls:

"When he finally agreed to a meeting time, it could only be at 7 a.m. on a Sunday in the backyard of his house. Before discussing his contract, he insisted that I help him give his lizard an injection of antibiotics. We went through this whole bonding experience that included holding the thing down and giving it the shot, but in the end, we were able to get the contract signed quite easily, and it turned out to be a rather lucrative merchandising deal."




As interesting as I found this interview, I was left wanting more. What had happened to this once great empire? I had way too many questions. Was it their horrendous sizing strategy that had finally put them out of business? Did the managers at the factories where Sepultura patches were made get carpal tunnel from endlessly beating the Filipino boys who made those artifacts? Was "Sebacious" a real last name? I had to keep investigating.


In the past, I have written about my memories of long-forgotten merchants in the world of metal such as Wild Rags Records. After writing that post, I ended up with more questions than answers, though our readers did manage to fill in some blanks via their comments. Like Blue Grape, Wild Rags largely fell off the map suddenly. In Wild Rags' case it was mostly as a result of having peaked before the internet boom. Not content simply letting the whole thing go, I thought I should contact a friend of mine who is in the very business that Blue Grape was in, merchandise and licensing. Even from such an industry insider, I was only able to gather a tiny bit of information. Blue Grape was bought out by Bravado just a few years back. They had started to license some non-metal brands, and after being bought out, all those other licenses were dumped. Sadly, this is all the information I was able to gather. Do any readers have any more information, or perhaps stories about their ill-sized Blue Grape merch?

73 comments:

  1. Myself and some fellow co-workers here in the Bravado Art Department are avid readers. Thank you for keeping us entertained while we slave away on creating stunning graphics for the likes of Slipknot, Lady Gaga, The Killers and Harley-Davidson.

    Oh, and I'd love a Prong hockey jersey.

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  2. First a Forced Entry post and now this!?!?! This blog is fantastic!

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  3. i had a pair of Deicide "jams" that were basically very tight sweatshorts...not sweatpants but sweatshorts...and tight...also had an obituary pair...and yes, i actually bought matching deicide and obituary oversized shirts so i had an actual "deicide" AND "obituary" uniform per se...god i wish photos existed of this because it would be so hilarious...

    they got fuzzies after the first wash though i still had the deicide shorts until last year when i finally gave up on them....

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  4. btw, hopefully this isn't against internetz ettiquette, but feel free to check out my sincere "Top 15/worst 5 releases" blog on my myspace...unfortunately no wigger-slam made the list, but fortunately no "retro-thrash" did either ;)

    http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=44320243&blogID=460676116

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  5. I was always under the impression that there was some kind of RoadRunner Records connection... am I wrong?

    I fell victim to buying a tent-sized Nailbomb shirt from Bluegrape back in the mid 90s or so.

    Anyway, in the spirit of journalism, I'd suggested trying to hound down an older RoadRunner employee who's been working there a while and might know of the cross-over/connection between the two if there is any.

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  6. Amazing post, once again. I actually knew a bunch of folks who worked at Blue Grape. That same office was originally shared by Roadrunner Record (no surprise why Blue Grape was the official merch co for all their acts). I think the Blue Grape catalog went through different owners, and they may actually be part of Universal Music now.

    I think I still have some raggedy old Manowar thongs from there.

    And on a more serious note: Why is it that:

    a.) T-shirts cost more than concert tickets these days?

    b.) Girls' T-shirt designs suck, are shrunken and still cost as much as the XXLs?

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  7. This is one of my favorite blogs, so it was funny to see an entry about the company I work for. But I guess I shouldn't have been surprised—you dig up the nuggets like that. Blue Grape actually did make shirts in multiple sizes, but in the 90's, none of the chains bought the smaller sizes—they mostly requested L and XL. Most of my medium Blue Grape shirts fit pretty well, but I do have one Misfits tee where the neckhole is the size of my fucking fist—and I have small hands.

    Blue Grape was owned by the same people as Roadrunner Records. When they were on lower Broadway, the art director was Mike Ski, singer of the late Brother's Keeper. They then moved up to 920 Broadway and shared a floor with Roadrunner. Mike Ski wanted to leave to tattoo full time, and I was looking for a job, so I took over for Mike Ski, in 2000 I think. Actually, Blue Grape had always licensed non-metal and even non-music properties—the first thing I worked on when I started was Moby, actually, and we did many horror properties and some TV shows.

    In 2004, Roadrunner sold us to Sanctuary Records, and we merged with their merchandising company, Bravado. About half the staff was made up of former Blue Grape employees at this point, and we also brought many of our properties over with us. Last year Bravado was acquired by UMG. Recently, we hired Buske (see above) to the art department as well (he was formerly in Another Victim, The Promise and Terror and still messes around with Rag Men I think.) Felix Sebacious (not his birth name, I don't believe) is still with the company, and we still do merch for a lot of the larger metal bands, but definitely not as focused on metal as Blue Grape was in the 90's.

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  8. Don't remember this Blue Grape thing here in Italy...we didn't need them, there were abusive stans everywhere, with tons of bootlegged t-shirts.

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  9. Wow. People are popping up from under rocks to answer this one!

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  10. I remember reading my roadrunner or r/c tape inserts cover to cover. So of course I would geek out over the blue grape order form too. I remember ordering a deicide shirt with "the end of god, the way it must be" on it that was a big hit at school. That came out of my malevolent creation "retributuion" tape. Other classic shirts I got from them were Corpse's "eatean back to life" and Pungent Stench's "been caught buttering" which got me suspended from school.

    PS. I had no idea Mike Ski was the head art director. he had a crazy voice in brothers keeper, hahaha.

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  11. You know, the whole "stores only had large sizes in the 90s" thing explains a lot.

    I mean, I have been a medium shirt my whole life, but I didn't start WEARING mediums until about five or six years ago.

    The shirts I wore in high school could house refugees. For real. Yet somehow I thought this was totally normal. When I look back at pictures of me it's like "why am I wearing a Metallica dress?"

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  12. Guav,

    Thank you! You have helped us fill in substantial holes in metal history! Not only do I now understand why my 1991 Deicide shirt fits like a dress, but I also know that none other than Mike Ski, from Eerie's answer to 311, was involved. Was Mike Ski the one who always wore the LL Cool J bucket hats and overalls? I never really listened, but saw a video of theirs somewhere.

    I think the last Blue Grape thing I bought was in 1993 or so, so I'm bummed that I never wore anything you guys were involved in. 1992 was the year that I wore so much Blue Grape, I could/should have been sponsored. Are you guys still making those little suction cup tshirts for cars? That and the Prong hockey jerseys were the two funniest things ever...but again, I can't make fun. I bought the suction cup shirt thingy. Also, and sorry to ask yet another question, where the hell did the name "Blue Grape" come from? was it some kind of sexual euphemism? damn, i only wish i would have gotten such an insider to answer this much stuff when i posted about wild rags.

    Using my investigative mind, and the power of mathematic deduction, I can assume the following:
    If the job posted in 2004 was for a production assistant, and was for $50,000 a year...that means that Mike Ski made more than that while working there probably. So...Aside from finding out where Mike Browning from Nocturnus lives, and what types of dogs he has, I have now possibly figured out the salary range for a guy in a band that pretty much no one has heard of. Hooray for Metal Inquisition and hooray for me!

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  13. Todd, I have one brutal picture of me circa 1992 wearing a pretty spiffy Pungent Stench dress also.

    By the way, one day I'll have to post about meeting two of the guys from Pungent Stench at the record store they work at in Vienna.

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  14. zomg, guav dropping knowledge on blue grape!! i love the internetz!! guav, you should know that we are all huge green rage fans.

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  15. Lucho Metales: Yeah, I think Mike Ski wore a bucket hat and overalls at some point in the 90's, but I'd be lying if I said I myself had done neither haha. He's now living in Philly and has been doing a band called The A.K.A.'s for a few years (www.theakas.com).

    We no longer make suction cup car shirts, I regret to inform you, but I can send you an Elton John light wand or some Zakk Wylde hot sauce. When we were moving offices from Blue Grape to Bravado, we got rid of a huge sample closet of merch—tons of Deicide shirts and hockey jerseys included. Some was thrown out and the rest donated to charity, so if you ever see any UNICEF photos of a mob of starving Ethernopians wearing XXL Nailbomb & Machine Head shirts, you know how they got them.

    I don't know where the name Blue Grape came from, actually, I'll ask Felix on monday though. Also, the salary range for a guy in a band that pretty much no one has heard of back when Mike Ski was at BG was substantially less than 50k. Maybe I should send Ski over to this thread to weigh in, I'm sure he has some good anecdotes.

    Sergeant D Hahaha ... Green Rage, amazing. The funnier part is that I did not actually play drums for Green Rage. They just hated their drummer and didn't want his name on the record, so they put my name instead. I don't even play an instrument :)

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  16. It's funny to me because I myself had quite the opposite experience with them. I wanted this sweet Obituary - Chopped In Half shirt design, but they only had a small size for some reason. Suffice to say, I HAD to have it. I wore it proudly while the shirt rode up past my belly if I raised my arms at all. The entire school thought I was a male prostitute in my spare time. Ahhhh..good times.

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  17. I was going to comment here and drop some names like Mike Ski and Guav, but I see that the man himself has already beaten me to it. I used to have a shitload of shirts from Blue Grape, and about half of them are still sitting in boxes downstairs.

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  18. Fucking helll, Buske from the Rag Men HAS A JOB? With A MERCHANDISING COMPANY?!?!! Wow, my illusions have been totally shattered. All these years, the NYHC documentary had led me to believe that guys in hardcore bands only worked construction, were unemployed, or made shitty rap records to raise money for their next tour.
    I'm now disappointingly envisioning Harley Flanagan (who some of you may know from his MySpace bulletins, but also played for a short time in a band named the Cro-Mags) as a party planner, Freddy Madball as an art director, Rick Ta Life as a... Well, no, despite tehse revelations I'm still pretty sure Rick's still more or less unemployable.
    --LEV

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  19. I remember being a young Metaller and thinking that all t-shirts only came in one size. Massive.

    Keep writing your brilliant blog, I love it!

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  20. guav,
    thank you for all the information. really. Elton John light wand? You guys should get working on a replica of the Nocturnus time machine, on the double!

    i'm happy to see that all you guys are working within the realm of music, good for you. as far as salaries...i was just breaking balls. that's his business...its just interesting to think about i guess.

    but wait, freddy madball is an art director? what? where? harley is a party planner? i need proof!!! they should do a movie about him called "NYCHC Wedding Planner"

    john, i'm bummed to hear about your obituary belly shirt. it's funny to think back to a time when we'd all order a shirt or buy one at a show and we'd wear that crap without even caring if it fit. you had your belly shirt, i had my pungent stench and obituary dresses. i remember my first maiden shirt, back when i was a little kid...the sleeves nearly reached my wrists and had to roll them up...making me look pretty sweet i'm sure.

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  21. UNICEF photos of a mob of starving Ethernopians wearing XXL Nailbomb & Machine Head shirts

    A++++

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  22. "wait, freddy madball is an art director? what? where? harley is a party planner?"
    Well, maybe they aren't. For one thing, if Harley DID work in such a field then he'd probably kick my ass L.E.S. O.G. STYLE for saying "Party Planner" rather than "Events Management Co-Ordinator".
    I was just sayin', if a member of Rag Men works in the art department for a merchandising company then WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE IS POSSIBLE! :o(

    I hope Buske comes back in here, I need inside info on what Jorge from Rag-Men / Merauder (/ EX-ILL NINO~!!) does to pay the bills

    --LEV

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  23. I was just sayin', if a member of Rag Men works in the art department for a merchandising company then WHO KNOWS WHAT ELSE IS POSSIBLE! :o(

    I hope Buske comes back in here, I need inside info on what Jorge from Rag-Men / Merauder (/ EX-ILL NINO~!!) does to pay the bills.


    My career in the Bravado Art Department isn't half as impressive as the Northeast Regional Sales Rep for UMG that walked into me and Guav's office and introduced himself as a member of New York Hardcore stalwarts, OUTBURST. So, I'm not the only golden boy to have been spawned from the NYHC family.

    As for Jorge — he is a great father to 2 beautiful children (Devin and Dahlia) and has just recently finished recording an incredible new Merauder record. Frank from Obituary is managing them now and is looking for a label to release it. We (Rag Men) have been discussing writing/recording new material as well, so expect to see/hear something from Jorge there as well.

    How does he pay the bills?

    He has his ways... still.

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  24. "How does he pay the bills?

    He has his ways... still.
    "

    I know you're doing your best to protect the image here, but you've already burst the NHYC 24/7 tough guy bubble for me. You can just go ahead and admit to me that Jorge is secretly, like, an estate agent or whatever.

    Seriously, I genuinely dig the Rag Men record like fuck, make that second album! Also, Rag Men t-shirts and hockey tops the size of hot air balloons, in the fine Blue Grape tradition. I think enough time has passed that you could market them as retro chic.

    COming vaguely back on-topic, by the way, I just had a dig around my old stuff for Blue Grape merchandise and I found an XXL Obituary hockey top (the sleeves still cover my whole arm), a pair of Sepultura "Chaos AD" jams and a Sepultura CORD JACKET.
    I remember thinking I was THE FUCKING MAN in that jacket - all my friends rocked windbreakers and hoodies or whatever was the trend at the time, and there I was in a CORD JACKET that I thought made me mad mature and grown-up for some reason. It's actually not that bad a jacket, now I look at it... Except for the rattily sewn-on "Sepultura" logo, unfortunately. Also the fact that I still need to roll the sleeves up a little for it to fit.

    --LEV

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  25. wow... rag men AND deicide jams in the same post! i think it's safe to say we've reached new heights of awesome here on metal inquisition!

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  26. to this day i am still looking for a pair of sweet Kreator sweatshorts.

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  27. Let's not forget about the Rag Men/Vital Remains tour we did a few years back.

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  28. ugh, for the sake of you and everybody else who had to sit through vital remains, i'm sorry to hear about that!

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  29. on the contrary, to those days of massive blanket size t- shirts....here in asia they wear the metal shirts suffocatingly skin tight! after departing the states, i notice the total opposite. the worst thing is these pint-sized asian kiddies think you can combine being metrosexual WHILE wearing a metal shirt (and even sport a bon jovi hair doo)

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  30. i dunno, dude! i just got the new issue of Wolf Ash, which is full of awesome dudes with Final Fantasy haircuts and super tight shirts, and i was pretty into it!

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  31. Ok, I got the lowdown on the name. Apparently there was a cafe in Amsterdam where Cees Wessels (owner of Roadrunner and BG) met his wife. The cafe closed at some point, and when he decided to start a merchandising company, he chose to name it after the cafe—which was called The Blue Grape.

    So, now we know why the merchandising company was called Blue Grape, but we're no closer to knowing just what in the fuck Blue Grape actually means. So now you have to go track down some 65 year-old Dutch stoner who owned a cafe in the 70s-80s and ask him if you want to get to the bottom of this.

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  32. Guav,

    You have been awarded a gold star in the Metal Inquisition readers wall. THANK YOU SIR!

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  33. I'll finish this one off for you.

    Being Belgian and smart I did some research with the Dutch translation for "Blue Grape".
    The bar in A'dam still exists, it's a fine wine bar that receives a lot of female visitors (we're doin research here so please make your own jokes). Read all about it in proper Engrish http://www.nlstreets.nl/EN/shop.php?stadID=2&straatID=4&blokID=44&shopID=0160a

    As a matter of fact there's also a plant with the same name. The plant's name in English is common grape hyacinth

    cheers

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  34. The only Blue Grape Merchandise I owned was a Life of Agony "Ugly" shirt. When I saw someone in the same shirt wearing the solo curtainless curtain ring above their eye, I knew I had to get rid of the shirt.

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  35. I used to work at Roadrunner in 1994 and I remember Todd, the drummer of H20 worked for Blue Grape. This was before H20 existed. Unless I'm remembering it wrong...

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  36. Hey, you can use the Wayback Machine to look at the old Blue Grape websites:

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://bluegrape.com

    It's hard to imagine how a store that features it's own Chevelle store and highlights the latest Bowling for Soup merch could ever fail to attract business...

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  37. CarlosRamirez: Yeah, Todd Friend. Good dude.

    E.B.: Blue Grape was a profiting company. It didn't go out of business, it was just sold.

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  38. Back in 1992 or something i mail-ordered a Nuclear Assault "handle with care" shirt in XL. I still have it, and it still doesn´t fit me, whereas most of my other old metal shirts look like girlie shirts on me now. It is not a Blue Grape shirt btw.

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  39. The 5 steps to modernize your band T-shirts around 1994/1995:

    1. Choose any colour but black. (preferably bottle green, burgundy red, navy blue...)

    2. Replace your logo with a font. The simpler, the better.

    3. Instead of a multi-colour print of an album cover, put some kind of logo on front (see for example Machine Head´s MH square..) Must look like the logo of a "Streetwear" brand.

    4. The print can only have one colour.

    5. Abandon the back print, but don´t reduce the price.

    Voila!

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  40. one of our finest comments sections ever! a couple latecomers that deserve to be highlighted:

    It's hard to imagine how a store that features it's own Chevelle store and highlights the latest Bowling for Soup merch could ever fail to attract business...

    and

    1. Choose any colour but black. (preferably bottle green, burgundy red, navy blue...)

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  41. I owned the distribution company that sold Blue Grape shirts into retail outlets in the UK in the late 90's... Fear Factory, Obituary, Sepultura.... all, on tat t-shirts! Try as we might, we could never get them to use better quality t-shirts!! And what was the name of the crazy woman in Amsterdam that ran the European operation?

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  42. I was wondering what happened to them. I'm looking to find an affiliate for my alternative media website! Anyone know who sells good metal/punk shirts online?!
    www.dimension31.com

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  43. Stumbled across this as we just started working with Bravado.
    Interesting topic!

    Some of the tees I had from Blue Grape back in the day (Obituary - Cause of Death tree, one of my best tees!!) fit amazingly.
    Their larges fit more like Mediums, though. So the sizes were just never "spot on"..

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  44. Interesting. I was looking for vintage TON shirts on eBay but anything I found from blue grape (not that I was looking for it specifically) was bidding upwards to $50.00 and more. They did look short and fat at that. Are these just sad old Goths and Metalers willing to pay anything for a piece of their youth?

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  45. …Actually being very nearly 30 myself add to the fact that I am also swathed in a White Zombie tee shirt I do believe I fall in to that category.

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  47. I had a Life of Agony, baseball shirt. Of course it was XXL. being skinny and with a shaved head, I looked like a terminaly sick child.

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  48. I've been looking for a certain Pungent Stench shirt for quite some time now. Just came accross one on ebay. Blue Grape. $250. SERIOUSLY??? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=270424776905

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  49. Ha, just talking about this over beers. We broke out of our boarding school in Ireland to go see Obituary play in a pokey little pub in 93 or 94.That End Complete tour shirt was the coolest shirt I ever had. None of us cared about the 2 week's suspension we got when we got back, and we didn't care how stupid we looked in those xxl T's either (still have the photos)they were the shit.We got our hands on as many of those shirts as we could (you couldn't get them in South Africa)for our trip home. For the love of God someone re-print those shirts!

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    Replies
    1. I'v been scouring the internet for a certain Obituary T from the liner notes of World Demise for years. It is simply black and white, band logo on front a picture ofa man pointing a pistol at a baby seal on the back. I know it existed because i owned it before I lost it when my house burned down nearly 10 years ago. The search continues. . .

      Delete
  50. whatever happend to this bold dude, micheal jackson, i met him a few times at the RoadRunner office in Holland?!

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  51. Hi
    Anyone knows when did Blue Grape start their business and in what year that Blue Grape order forms attached for the first time to the CD booklets?
    thanks

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  52. I wish I wasn't 11 years old then and wish i had an income. I would have bought ever shirt, hat and pair of JAMS in the catalog. I've since bought a some of the items I always wished I had: Obituary pile of skulls longsleeve.

    I mostly worse only Slayer shirts back then, so BROCKUM was the company dealing with them.

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  53. I wish I wasn't 11 years old then and wish i had an income. I would have bought ever shirt, hat and pair of JAMS in the catalog. I've since bought a some of the items I always wished I had: Obituary pile of skulls longsleeve.

    I mostly worse only Slayer shirts back then, so BROCKUM was the company dealing with them.

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  54. Came across this site looking for old school shirts...wish my my parents hadn't thrown out all my metal stuff, I miss my metal dresses! I actually had a couple that fit ok...the LG wasn't too bad for a normal size person. Great comments on this topic. Love the matching obituary jam/shirt uniform. Wish I was that badass.

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  55. DEATHBLOODYDEATH, Blue Grape started in 1990, and that's also when they started including order forms in with CDs, as that was already an established industry practice.

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  56. I am glad to see that so many of you think fondly of Blue Grape as i did and that Guav and Buske are keeping the history alive. I ran Blue Grape from 1992 until we sold the company in 2004 to Sanctuary and Bravado. Back in the early nineties we worked with every death metal band you could think of from Pungent Stench, to Gorguts, to Suffocation to Obitiuary, Deicide, Disincarnate, Malevolent Creation, etc etc. At that time Sepultura was our biggest band. In 1995 Type O Negative, Fear Factory, Machine Head were our top selling tees. Eventually we expanded to horror film tees, and more mainstream bands like Nickelback. Today we still work with Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, Job for a Cowboy, Children of Bodom, Black Label Society, Slipknot and many many others. We also work with lots of pop acts like Lady GaGa and Mariah Carey. Times change and i can tell you that the product is alot more sophisticated and the shirts fit alot better. Somehow i will always look fondly back on those Blue Grape days in the 90's. We never knew what we had back then or at least i didn't. I am glad to see that others share my fond memories.

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  57. I came up with this blog when I searched for Blue Grape Merchandise on the net, really the Blue Grape patches are great! I was born in 1991 so I couldn't bought any of those bell-shirts. I've been colecting patches for my vest on ebay and is hard to get, if any of you have some please contact me if you are interested to sell them, so sad that blue grape doesn't exist anymore. My e-mail is oso_felipe@hotmail.com Cheers!

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  58. This blog is great, I love it!
    I'm a metalhead from Italy and I missed the great Blue Grape era.
    I still have my green Machine Head longsleeve from 1994 and two Slipknot t-shirts (one from 1999 and a baseball jersey from 2000).
    I also got a sort of Sepultura white hooded jacket but it looks like a dress on me back in 1995 or 1996.
    Such a great company with amazing IDEAS and ITEMS!!!

    I'm so proud to had a chance to be a part of it!!!

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  59. I know it's been a while since this Blue Grape talk was happening, but I've only discovered it by trying to search for the company on the net, like someone else in these comments before me. The reason why I was searching for BG is that for years I've been trying to get hold of a Life of Agony blue basketball (not baseball) shirt that they made following the release of Soul Searching Sun, I believe. Every now and then i check eBay for it, but no luck. Doeas anyone know if such a shirt can still be bought anywhere?

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  60. Lazar,

    I mentioned your search for that LOA shirt to the fine folks at Tee Till Death who said they will keep their eyes open for you. If you're unfamiliar with that site, definitely bookmark it — they post a ton of LOA merch pretty often.

    http://teetilldeath.com

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  61. Cheers, thanks a lot!

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  62. Was just trying to search the net for Blue Grapes website to try and order some fresh T-Shirts as they last for ever, Im wearing an old school Fear Factory Obsulete T and the prints in great condition - quality rather than these cheap n nasty metal t rip off's that get around ! R>I>P Blue Grape !!!!

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  63. Wow; I just stumbled across this article when looking for sample licensing agreements (if anyone from Bravado is reading this, I'd love to see one!). I'm fairly new to the rock 'n roll merch trade, but my boss, Frank, has been peddling band t-shirts for about 30 years. I showed him this article and he launched into a Blue Grape "Where Are They Now?" monologue. It was great reading through the comments, and though I'm way late to the conversation, apparently other Blue Grape disciples went on to WEA & Indie Merch.

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  64. Ahh, Blue Grape. . .memories. . .Way back before you could buy an offensive metal shirt that would piss off your mom or get you a stint in Saturday detention at school you only had two options: attend the concert or Blue Grape. Nowadays you can go to the mall with your daughter and walk out pretending you saw the Master of Puppets tour in 86. Apparently, the decline of western civilization started where Blue Grape ended.

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  65. Here it is Obituary guy:

    http://shirthell.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/obituary-seal-shirt-1994/

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  66. If anyone has seen the two Type O Negative DVDs they show a short clip of Steven Weber (Felix?) from Blue Grape Merchandising being gagged with an apple and tape on the After Dark DVD. A person who looked exactly like him was seen shoving grapes into his ass on the Symphony For The Devil DVD. Seems unlikely to be a coincidence. Perhaps they should have called it Brown Grape Merchandising?

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  67. I still have my Fear Factory shirts though.

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  68. I worked at BG for a few years in the 90s. I specifically remember they did a licensing deal with Troma films, and Felix kindly hooked me up with a one-of-a-kind Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid proof shirt. I'm pretty sure they also had Sgt. Kabukiman shirts.

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  69. My 1991 blue grape Death Human shirt I bought in 93' was a medium but was so small I made it into a patch and still have it stitched to the back of a hoodie. I miss pre Internet era. Blue grape blues © the only time I ran into xxl was at shows. Great blog thanx

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  70. I loved Blue grape merchandise, had Cannibal Corpse heavy canvas shorts it was just beautiful, really heavy canvas and very nicely made not like today’s Chinese made stuff. I recently purchased shorts from Spiraldirect.com it looks OK on their web side, but when I get it quality is so far from Blue grape shorts and I hate it. I had no problem with Blue grape sizes?

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