19. The Fuck Racism T-Shirt
We always made T-shirts for the Trent & people would take them on holiday with them & photo them at crazy landmarks, just for a laugh.
About 1990, we made the Fuck Racism shirt. It was a really simple idea, aiming to be really provocative & very clearly spell out our Trent stance.
It just had the two words on the front & the little Trent logo in the corner…
We shifted a tonne of these, they really hit the spot & everyone was talking about them. This was a great way to push / raise the Bar & to show what side of the line we were on as well.
The cops & the council at the time, weren’t quite so happy about it & hauled us in for a telling. A very ‘interesting’ discussion took place.
They were crying about the terrible outrage that the word fuck might cause, if people saw it & seemingly unable to grasp the bigger picture, they totally missed the actual point…
The Thought Police
They questioned why a Bar would want to get involved in political stuff like that & just 100% didn’t get it.
They wanted us to stop selling them, so of course we did immediately & sprinted back to the Bar & threw them all straight in the bin… Yeah, course we did – Ha!
We were far more offended by the concept of racism & that was why we rocked it like that in the first place.
It had levels & it made people think. The crux of the shirt & why it was so successful was, which word offended people most?
When we were doing it, we didn’t really put that much thought into it, we just wanted cool, hardcore shirts to wear in the Bar & Clubs, but it was nice to do something that caused such a massive stir & as a promotional tool, for both the Bar & what we stood for, this was the bomb.
You never know where T-shirts get to, from having loads of them at one point, we’ve now only got one single Fuck Racism shirt left. It’s a garment we treasure.
Maybe we will re run it for WHQ sometime soon & see what the reaction is like today, a full quarter of a century later..?