A little NSFW
It was Kiss who really went to town on merchandise and licensed their likeness for almost anything. A smart idea as it made them multi millionaires, but here are some bits of band merchandise that are a little weird or downright in poor taste. Be warned, some of the items here are NSFW.
Bizarre Band Merch #5: Cannibal Corpse Candle
To be fair there’s nothing wrong with the idea of a Cannibal Corpse candle, but releasing it when guitarist Pat O’Brien’s house has just caught fire is pretty poor taste. O’Brien was arrested on December 10th on assault and burglary charges in a strange incident where he was apparently ranting and raving about the rapture, while his own house was on fire which set off some of the ammunition he had on his property. A search revealed that he had more than 80 weapons including flamethrowers although all but one were legal. The candle was offered to retailers in mid December, after O’Brien’s arrest and doesn’t come with exploding ammunition.
Bizarre Band Merch #4: Ghost’s Phallos Mortuus Ritual Box Set
There are plenty of bands who have released sex toys – Motorhead’s Orgasmatron, Motley Crue’s Dr Feelgood and so on, but the weirdest is probably the Phallos Mortuus Ritual box set from Ghost. The box set comes with (no pun intended) a t-shirt, a butt plug, a divorce paper scroll, a silicone dildo with Papa Emeritus II’s head, a metal logo charm and a t-shirt in a Ghost Bible box set. The box set ended up only getting a limited release due to legal action – no, it wasn’t because of the sex toys but the t-shirt. From what we can gather, the artwork was a fan created piece that was based on the cover of the movie Virgin Witch but the merchandising company hadn’t gotten their permission to use the image. On top of that, an alt model had been used as the inspiration for the woman in the image and wasn’t amused to see herself with a dildo in her hand on a band t-shirt.
Bizarre Band Merch #3: Weezer’s The Wuggie
Winter 2008 saw the release and massive success of The Snuggie – the blanket with sleeves. Weezer were always quick when it came to memes but they one upped themselves by releasing The Wuggie, the Weezer Snuggie, in time for Christmas 2009. The Snuggie sold for $29.99 so Weezer launched their version for $29.99 and you got the their new album Raditude for free. The album was $14.99 on it’s own, so fans snapped up the package deal, cementing Weezer’s status in the history books when it comes to weird merchandise.
Bizarre Band Merch #2: Kiss Air Guitar Strings
Kiss have never been shy about licensing their likeness to anything and everything, including coffins. In 2017 though, the band hit a new low with Kiss Air Guitar Strings which are literally an empty packet. The air guitar joke has been done before with FM 96.3 offering free air guitars to listeners and HMV offering the same with copies of Guitar Hero but evidently someone decided that free was way too cheap and now you can own Kiss’ Air Guitar Strings for $3.99. Or you could just give the money away.
Bizarre Band Merch #1: Burzum Aske Candle
The product that inspired this article. Also offered up just in time for Christmas with the Cannibal Corpse one, was this candle which was loosely inspired by the cover of the Burzum EP Aske. The Fantoft Stave Church in Norway was built in 1150 then reconstructed in the 1800’s before being moved to Oslo in 1883. In 1992, Varg Vikernes, the bassist of Mayhem, the one member of Burzum and Lord of the Rings super fan, allegedly burned the church down, using a photo of the burned out shell of the church as the cover for the Burzum EP Aske (Aske meaning Ash in English). This rather tasteless candle depicts the Fantoft Stave Church on fire rather than the burned out version on the EP cover, providing yet another nod and a wink to the fact that Vikernes burned it down.