Forget your tour t-shirts, badges, and patches; those things are for the marketing lightweights of the metal world. No, if a band really wants to cash in on their five minutes of fame, the only course is to stick the band name on any manner of weird merchandise. And while it’s not quite so common to see these days, the juggernaut bands of the 80s and 90s had no qualms about having their names associated with some pretty weird stuff.
Take KISS, for example. These guys (or their management team) are pure marketing geniuses. An on-stage image that is unforgettable, alongside some decent music and wild behavior, would be enough for most bands to make a decent living. But for KISS, they decided to milk their fame for all it was worth. KISS This Wine, KISS Pez dispensers, and KISS table lamps are unusual, but not what you would consider ‘out-there’. However, the KISS Kasket has to be the single weirdest thing any band/musician has ever put their name to. Yes, you can be laid to rest in your very own piece of rock memorabilia. They discontinued production in 2000, but there was talk that they would start making them again. Did you know that Dimebag Darrell was buried in one?
But KISS are not the only old-time rockers to take advantage of their celebrity status for non-music-related business opportunities. Before Lemmy left us, he made sure that the name of Motörhead would live on. Now you’d think he did this by penning a new tune or perhaps allowing a documentary crew to film his everyday life, but no… Lemmy immortalized the band with a video slot. Yes, you read that right—there’s a video slot machine based on the band. Presumably “Ace of Spades” features heavily in the game.
The next one is an item that we’d actually use, and this is the fact that makes it so weird. You’d expect that anything related to GWAR would be either ghoulish, disgusting, or quite possibly both, but not this one. Gwar-B-Q Sauce is the wonderfully-normal, licensed product that the world’s most outrageous band decided to put their name to. They’re not the only band to dabble in the culinary delights of barbecue sauce, though. Bring the Horizon also brought out ‘Bring me the BBQ’ sauce. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, don’t they?
Alice Cooper is no stranger to controversial moments, but this is a weird product that interestingly made absolute sense. Alice Copper eyeliner was a thing, and we wish it still were, if only to see him try to sell it on a YouTube infomercial. The tagline for the product went something like ‘liberate your eyes with Alice’s own unisex mascara’. We’re not sure how you’d liberate your eyes, but, then again, we’re pretty sure Alice didn’t actually say that either.
Next up we have Mastodon’s Asstodon bikini. We’re not sure where to start with this one. It was probably quite funny when their manager told them about it on the tour bus, but in reality, it’s pretty lame. If you’re looking for ironic clothing, then perhaps Slayer’s Christmas sweater is a far better example of how to do it right.
Honorable mentions go to the many bands that somehow thought their own brand of condoms was a genius marketing play. And a tip of the hat to Tenacious D’s ‘handy’ cloth and Rammstein’s box set of ‘toys’. We’ll let you Google those last two all by yourself. We’re sure that there’s stranger stuff out there, so if you’ve found any other weird band merchandise, then let us know in the comments below. And remember, the weirder, the better.