Tours were canceled this year, but nothing will stop us from being music fans.  This shopping season could be the best ever for merch.  

If you've been to some of the big box stores recently, you've probably seen t-shirts boasting the names of some legendary bands like Journey, Guns n Roses, Led Zepplin, The Ramones, and Def Leppard.  They're everywhere.  The merchandise tent at a band's show used to be one of the few places to get a t-shirt, but now you can throw one in your cart at Target, right on top of the toothpaste and eggs.

I have a daughter that's still in elementary school and loves classic rock, so she's getting a vinyl record player today for her birthday.  If it turns out to be a phase and she outgrows it, Mama will take over the collection so it's quite possibly the perfect gift.  She's between t-shirt sizes too, so I picked the bigger of the two so I can wear Guns n Roses gear if it ends up idle in her closet.  Oh, these music-rooted gifts are a slam dunk on so many levels. She's getting vinyl albums from Journey, The Beatles, and Aerosmith, and I may work in some Imagine Dragons too.

The Rolling Stones just launched a huge new in-person merch store, and since travel to London isn't exactly what it used to be, they've posted an online merch store that offers the same things that they have in the official flagship UK store.  A quick glance shows t-shirts, jackets, hoodies, and facemasks, all with Mick Jagger's tongue front and center.

Artists have always had merch, but the lines are becoming more expansive and diversified, and they might provide a lifeline for some of the lesser-known bands as they wait to get back on the road.  Some bands have even sent some of the proceeds to their road crews this year, to help them out while they're unemployed, but you've got to make the purchase directly from their websites for it to count.

Stores that always have music merch include:

And the stars' websites.

It's a great time to be a music fan, and while live music isn't happening, at least we can grab a shirt and look the part.  And, make some people on our holiday gift lists really happy.

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