When it began, rock and roll was the gritty music of the oppressed. But that was a long time ago, and the hippies who wallowed in the Woodstock mud of yesteryear are the CEOs of today.
Be that as it may, they still like to loosen their ties, crank up The Who and do air-guitar windmills while nobody’s looking. If such an individual is on your Christmas list, you may be worried that you won’t be able to find them the right gift.
Well, don’t be. We at Fortune have compiled a list of ten stocking stuffers that are high-end enough to satisfy the most sophisticated taste, but rock and roll enough to get any corporate bigwig drooling like a 12-year-old fanboy.
Two AC/DC pool cues, ball set, two pint glasses and bottle opener
When the holiday parties are over, isn’t it nice to go out for some casual fun, like grabbing a friend to shoot some pool over a few beers? But why do it with the same equipment the pool hall uses when your loved one can bring swag emblazoned with the AC/DC logo?
The band’s official shop doesn’t sell a pool table or beer, but it has everything else the aspiring pool hustler needs. Just get two pint glasses at $13 each, a $13 pewter bottle opener, two $93 pool cues and a $186 pool ball set, and your loved one will be well on his or her way to breaking all those New Year’s resolutions for just $411.
Chuck Berry: “Rock And Roll Music – Any Old Way You Choose It (Guitar Case Edition)”
If the rock and roller in your life is an obsessive collector who simply must have every recording, alternate take and snippet of studio chat ever generated by a particular artist, then look no further than Germany’s Bear Family reissue label for an irresistible audio treat. The “Rock and Roll Music – Any Old Way You Choose It” box set contains the entire recorded canon of Chuck Berry over the course of 16 CD’s, 396 songs and over 21 hours.
2014 marked Berry’s 88th birthday, so Bear Family has made an ultra-limited edition version of this set numbering 88 copies. It comes packaged inside a guitar case and includes a signed certificate of authenticity. This version runs almost $700 and is likely to sell out, so snap one up fast, otherwise your gift recipient will receive the standard version, which costs only $400.
Led Zeppelin – Super Deluxe Box Set and T-shirt Bundles
Unless the rock and roller on your Christmas hasn’t had internet access since March, he or she is probably aware that the first five Led Zeppelin albums have been reissued in “super deluxe” box sets. Each contains the newly remastered original album and an entire second disc of unreleased music, on vinyl, compact disc and hi-res download, with an LP-sized hardcover book of unpublished photos thrown in.
In the unlikely event that said rock and roller simply never got around to buying any of them, your opportunity to rectify this situation is at hand. The Led Zeppelin Official Store is selling all five, along with t-shirts depicting the album it accompanies, for $140 each, for a total cost of $700. After that, be sure your loved one understands that he or she will be on the hook for the four subsequent boxes scheduled to be released in 2015.
The Beatles SHAG Autographed Screen Print
Any idiot can slap a $15 Beatles poster on his wall and call himself a fan. However, the truly discriminating Fab Four fan insists on no less a wall hanging than Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, as depicted in the 1968 animated classic, “Yellow Submarine,” as created by American artist Josh “SHAG” Agle.
This print is autographed by the artist and produced in an ultra-limited run of only 25 units, at a cost of $700. If your loved one doesn’t want anyone else to look at the print for free, he or she can obscure the view with an “A Hard Day’s Night” room divider for just $330.
Signed and framed 1969 Atlanta International Pop Festival Poster
The 1969 Atlanta International Pop Festival took place about a month and a half before Woodstock, and was a veritable who’s who of rock royalty. The performers included Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and Grand Funk Railroad, and a signed and framed poster commemorating the event can grace your loved one’s wall for just $700.
The Atlanta International Pop Festival is also notable for helping launch the career of the Allman Brothers Band. They performed at the 1970 gathering and went on to serenade millions of psilocybin-gobbling hippies to the dulcet strains of hour-long jams for the next four decades.
The Complete Elvis Presley Masters
You never know when your rock-obsessed loved one will suddenly fall victim to the need to acquire every recording ever made by a particular artist. If the artist in question is Elvis Presley, you’re in luck. The “Complete Elvis Presley Masters” box set is being pressed again, fresh from out-of-print purgatory.
The box contains over 800 songs, totaling 35 hours of music, making it ideal for those moments when your loved one wants to block out all contact with humanity for a full, sleepless day and a half. It also contains a 240-page hardcover book, chock full of photos and recording session information to keep your loved one up to his or her ears in all things King.
Brian May 3 Tone Sunburst Guitar
Very few “top ten rock guitarists” lists get published that don’t have Queen’s Brian May on them somewhere. In the event that your loved one can actually play a little guitar, why not buy him or her one that was actually designed in conjunction with Adam Lambert’s band mate himself?
For a mere $935, your loved one can receive a 3-tone sunburst guitar that’s a ringer for the iconic model the man himself used on “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Will Rock You.” If that’s not your rock and roller’s favorite design, the Queen online shop also features it in other colors and styles, most for the same price.
Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones 1969 U.S. Tour
In 1969, the Rolling Stones embarked on a US tour that culminated with a free concert at Northern California’s Altamont Speedway. 300,000 people showed up, the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang provided security and a man was murdered while the Stones performed. The rest is heavy vibes history.
Photographer Ethan Russell was part of the band’s tour entourage, and the pictures he took form the basis for the book “Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones 1969 U.S. Tour.” The 420-page limited edition book is stitched and bound by hand, signed and numbered by the author, and only 2,600 copies were made, the first 750 of which are presented in a $950 Deluxe Edition. Don’t rest your coffee cup on it.
Audeze LCD-3 High-performance Planar Magnetic Headphones
Few rock and rollers are as hard to please as audiophile rock and rollers, so if one’s on your Christmas list, you have our sympathies. Indeed, for the rock and roll audiophile, no vinyl pressing is heavy enough. No analog signal is warm enough. Every album reissue brings only malcontented grumbling about waveforms, high mids and ear fatigue.
If this sounds like anyone you know, reward their crabbiness with a pair of Audeze LCD-3 Magnetic Headphones. Sure, they’ll set you back $1,950, but what better way for your loved one to hear that monaural audience bootleg of the Velvet Underground playing to eight people in 1966?
2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar
Few guitars are as associated with rock and roll royalty as the Les Paul. It’s been slung over the right shoulders of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, KISS’ Ace Frehley and The Who’s Pete Townshend. None of that pedigree comes cheap, and buying one at any music store will easily cost you a couple thousand dollars.
Still, if the rock and roller on your list hasn’t annoyed you too much lately, then perhaps he or she deserves the Les Paul that goes the extra mile, the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Gibson Les Paul Custom, which costs $8,000. Only 15 have been made, so snap one up before someone who doesn’t deserve one does.