Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chris Casali's Top 5 Wishingwell Records shirts

I guess everyone has that one thing that they are into a little more than anything else, and for me it is Wishingwell merch. At this point I have over 50 different items with no duplicates. I think part of the attraction to Wishingwell is the staggering number of designs that were produced. The Dubars were not afraid to mix things up, that's for sure.

We are going to be starting a running feature on called "What Hardcore shirt has stood the test of time for you?". This feature was completely inspired by the similar ongoing one here at Double Cross (What HC/Punk album has stood the test of time for you?). Tim asked me to share with you my top 5 Wishingwell Records shirts in order to kick things off right. - Chris Casali (


#1 - Wishingwell Records Test Print shirt

I first heard about this shirt from my friend Ritter (LOJ, Trash King Records) who had seen John Coyle, the singer of Outspoken wearing it during their reunion set in 2003. When pictures finally emerged from that show, I knew that I had to track it down. All my favorite Wishingwell prints on one shirt? Yes please! After several emails with John from Outspoken, it was clear that my search was going to be more difficult than originally thought. It seems that a European Outspoken mega-fan had flown in to see them play at this reunion show. After the set he was talking to John and had commented on how much he liked the shirt. Apparently John took it off his back and gave it to the dude as an appreciation for coming all the way out to see them. Great.

That turned into a hunt for a mysterious European dude with no name or country. I was finally able to track down this guy after a few months, and after several YEARS of emails, we were able to work out a ridiculous trade for it. Let's just say that I traded many amazing records to bring this baby home. I am not sure if I am recalling this story correctly as the email has long since been deleted, but I recall Jae telling me a little story about this shirt. Apparently he had gotten this shirt from Pat Dubar and had cherished it for many years. One time he wore it to a show, and Courtney Dubar got in his face and demanded to know where he got the shirt as he figured he must have stolen it. Apparently they only made a couple for friends. Pat Dubar swooped in to set the story straight before the discussion went any further. This is the cornerstone of my collection, and is the same shirt featured in the Radio Silence book.



#2 - black BL'AST! Wishingwell 4 sided

OK so I'm sure many of you out there would like a Bl'ast! shirt (or tattoo, what up Dan Cav!). I have a few variations of the red 4 sided shirts, including one that belonged to Matt Bold, and one that belonged to Kev INSTED. As if my sickness wasn't bad enough, someone had told me long ago that they had seen a black 4 sided Bl'ast! shirt. Never having seen one in person myself, I added it to my want list where it sat lonely for many years. As with most things people collect, if you wait around long enough you will find what you are looking for. I was doing my usual cruise through Ebay land and BOOM this shirt was listed. Sure it is beat up, cut up and faded gray, but there in front of my eyes was a real black Bl'ast! 4 sided. I'm sure it's because of the condition, but I was able to grab this for pretty cheap money. If anyone reading this has one of these, or any other variation of a Bl'ast! Wishingwell shirt, you know where to find me.



#3 - Insted Bonds Of Friendship 3 sided longsleeve

This Insted shirt popped up out of nowhere on ebay as well many years ago. I had never seen one of these before, and I knew I needed to add this to my collection. The seller was based out of NYC, and he told me he picked this up when he saw them on tour in 1988. As with most old shirts, the original owners have amazing memories associated with them, and it often takes years to part with that. This seller had kept this shirt even after selling off all his other shirts and records. I was able to work out a deal with him, and proudly added this to my collection. I traded this away a few years later, only to have it again in my possession. I have not seen another one of these pop up for sale yet.



#4 - Wishingwell Records 4 sided shirt

Sometimes people list things on Ebay without properly checking the spelling of the items listed. This particular shirt was listed as a "Wishignwell" shirt. I watched and waited for 7 long days before I placed my bid at the last second to scoop this up. I was surprised that there was another bidder on this shirt, especially with the misspelling. Only after winning did I figure out that the other bidder was Brian Murphy who had just started with Jim Connelly and me. He has never forgiven me for outbidding him on this, but many years later, we are still working together - even though I can't bring it up.



#5 - Uniform Choice 4 sided red and blue

I have a whole slew of Uniform Choice "straight and Alert" shirts, all with different colors and prints. This one stands out as one of my favorites because of the blue writing on the front. I feel like I need to strap on a pair of 3D glasses before I look at it. Sure this thing is beat to all hell, but it has found a home here with its brothers.


TJK said...

I'm no collector, but this is a really great feature. I think the Records that Stand the Test of Time deal is getting a little slow. But as long as the pics accompany the story, this will be a nice addition.

Anonymous said...

someone needs to do a story on Courtney Dubar. From UC merch guy to one of the founders of Affliction clothing. Pretty interesting guy.

Martin said...

Ah man, no 'U.C. - Use Your Head'? Maybe that would've made #6...probably one my favorite shirts.

Anonymous said...

If its one shirt/Logo that brings back all the my great punk memories its that old man skin head/straight edge dude whatever he is with the carved x's bad ass!!!

Anonymous said...

I want em all!!!!!!!!!!!

martin schaub said...

I´m the guy who got the "test-print-shirt" from john coyle at the sink with cali fest 2003. Nice to see it again. but I didn´t even say anything about the shirt to him. I don´t care about shirts that much. I just said how much I enjoyed their set. He then just asked me if I like his shirt and if I wanted to have it as a present. I didn´t say no:-)!He seems to be a real nice guy!
He told me that it is a " wishing well family shirt". there were only a handfull made. so it is not really a "test-print" as far as i know.
plus I didn´t fly to CA just to see OUTSPOKEN. I just happend to be in SF for a couple of months during 2003.

Brett Hardware said...

Great piece on some great threads. More.

Anonymous said...

sounds like euro dude never deserved WW shirt in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


tom said...

slumlords have a great ripoff design of that instead shirt for the sleepover at jacko's 7"

Anonymous said...

no YOT BDTW shirt?


Anonymous said...


Dont pollute this nice post with that douches name.

Thank you, drive thru.

Ibn Mark said...

Love the Bonds of Friendship tee!

Jcoyle said...

I agree I am such a Dilido. Whats up with trying to do something positive and give a kid a shirt that i could have sold for some serious$$
I wish I was more hardcore.

Martin, you taught me a great lesson and I hope you traded it for some great stuff. I was going to give away my Outspoken shirt collection but I guess I will hold onto it for now, although it light of recent events it has little meaning to me.

Dont worry too much about the UC shirts, I sure in the near future some label will repress them without the bands approval to pay their rent.

Then everyone can have one and just like everything else in this worled it will have no value.

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