As a seemingly rare rock ‘n roll lover who sees (and, yes [sadly], seeks) connections between music and sports – and as an observer of and sometimes participant in rock style – I’ve long been fascinated by rockers’ attempts at bringing athletic wear onto stage. To date the merging of athletic clothing and rock ‘n roll has not taken root, although rap/hip-hop artists have succeeded beyond any sports-and-music fan’s wildest desires, ranging from track to football field to the hardwood. Hip-hop artists have even worked in the popular athletic gear with perhaps the highest degree of difficulty of incorporating into rock ‘n roll style (or style anywhere off the playing field for that matter): the baseball jersey.
But we’re here to talk about athletic wear as one of rock’s unfulfilled fashion ideas. Sorry to stoop to Rockism, but let’s not kid ourselves: rock ‘n rollers have not had much success in this realm. It’s important that we focus on rock ‘n roll artists who’ve attempted bridging this divide and see if we can’t figure out whether there is any reason for future rock musicians to pursue this concept.