File under clothes…

By Shawn Robare

A blog entry a day, day the third.  So in searching for a pictoral history of nostalgia for my childhood, as I do more than is probably healthy, I kept hitting a brick wall on one subject.  Clothes.  Now this makes complete and total sense to me, because really, who keeps 20 year old T-Shirts and shorts, and their old worn out Vans shoes?  Well okay some weird people do, but hardly any of them scan in images or take pictures of them and post them on the internet.  In particular I’m looking for a picture of a particular pattern of Vans shoes, they were midnight blue with black bats all over them. 

But I digress, because the point of this post is not to keep the search on, but to shed some light on stuff that I did find.  In particular the one item of clothing that I wanted to find were images of the Town & Country Surf and Skate T-shirts that had the various cartoon characters like good ‘ole Thrilla Gorilla as you see to the right.  After a year of looking, I finally stumbled upon the correct phrase in a google search and I found Steven Azar’s website which is like the grail of T&C T-shirt designs.  Steven designed and drew the art for a bunch, if not all, of these shirts during this period of the 80’s.  I think I had all but two of these growing up and I loved them to pieces.  In fact the first game my parents bought me for my NES game system was T&C Surf and Skate (screen shots here, here, and here) probably because I wore the shirts so much.

So for anyone who had a soft spot for these shirts, here are some more of the designs, here and here.

  • Jack Halliday

    I loved T&C surf designs when I was young, it freakin breaks my heart I cannot get a Thrilla Gorilla T-shirt anymore. Those were the good old days for sure, I remember all the other kids in school would wear Thrilla Gorilla shirts and had skate boards with (Mans First Tool) stickers on them, it was great. It was a fun and mystical time, I remember me and some friends were gonna move to Hawaii and surf North Shore on our T&C boards when we got older, I miss those days! Very fun, and Steven Azar’s characters are why I even like T&C today!

  • CC

    I had SOOO MANY of those T&C stickers. All those characters man! I spent way too much money on their stickers.

  • EBC

    I loved T&C surf designs when I was young, it freakin breaks my heart I cannot get a Thrilla Gorilla T-shirt anymore.

  • Gizmo

    I remember T&C being everywhere as a kid, kids at school had the stickers, the shirts, keychains, the game, you name it, it was big time, I miss those days, they were just better. I have a small collection of T&C stuff today, I even bought the Pro-Series boards I wanted as a kid, they shred well, I use one of them often LOL. Here is a fair pic I took with my cell of my little collection

  • Gizmo

    I remember T&C well, everyone had Da Boys back in the day. I remember going to school and people had T&C stickers on their skateboards and lunch boxes, folders, shirts, T&C was where it was at, everyone used to talk about going to Hawaii to surf the big waves LOL. I remember walking into Mervyn’s as a kid with my mom, and seeing a big Thrilla Gorilla cardboard stand up next to all the shirts, those were the days. I still have a little T&C collection today, I managed to buy the Pro-Series boards I wanted back then also, and they work well, I use them here in California every summer. Anyways, I took a fair pic of my little T&C collection with my cell phone, hope it brings back some memories also :op.

  • Gizmo

    Oops, sorry, double post. I tried the first time, but did not think it went through LOL.

  • Gizmo

    Hello Shawn, Thanks. Yeah I sure have, I check out Steve Nazar’s site every so often to check out the latest T&C art he is selling, very cool stuff, he’s the T&C man, he definately put them on the map back then. I try to get a hold of everything I can now and then, but some of the Da Boys stuff is hard to find, and when I do find it, its very expensive LOL. I recently tried to get a Hardcore Detectives school Folder that was up for bid, but it ended up going for over $20, keep in mind it was well used LOL, I did not anticipate that, so I missed out not watching.

  • Biscuiteer

    I had that T&C Surf Designs shirt but lost it. I was in Hawaii when that was popular, and eventually got the Nintendo game a few years later. Out of nostalgia I looked up T&C about a decade ago and started buying their clothes. They’re nothing like those and most t-shirts look exactly alike but when some peers would see them, they would recognize the brand and the first things that would come up would be the old shirts and the game. About two years ago they shut down their online store and only sell locally or through e-mail requests.

    • Yeah, I miss the Steven Azar designs. I wish he’d make prints of some of that stuff. I just bought a couple vintage T&C Christmas cards featuring all the characters that I’m hoping to make copies of and give out at the end of the year…