Lately my dreams have been haunted by a man of few words who wears shades and driving gloves, chews a tooth pick and looks at least 85% cooler than I could ever, thanks to the beautifully cut cloth on his back. It might be blood spattered and adrenaline soaked, but at some point in my life I will own the original jacket worn by Ryan Gosling in Drive - not a reproduction, the real deal, no matter what it costs me, that much I promise you.
In honor of that compulsion, which is usually what drives my own merch obsession, and to offer a balance to last week’s bizarro column, this week I will be mostly offering up three of the coolest, rarest merchandise purchases that have ever captured my attentions. These are some of the items I would do terrible, terrible things for – which by the time I die, I will most certainly have owned one way or another. They are my merch Everests.
1. Wayne’s World 2 Fender Stratocaster
First off, the coolest guitar from the world of film: a long-necked, white beauty from the Wayne’s World films – not the Japanese Squier version released for the first film, but the Mexican version from the sequel that carries the more iconically simple Fender Stratocaster name. Each authentic piece features a simple Wayne’s World 2 metallic plaque on the base of the neck (on the reverse of the instrument), but it is the precision and perfection that goes into the production of every Fender guitar that makes this a genuinely essential purchase.
Though relatively rare, they do come up for sale every now and then, and anyone with a spare $400 lying around can fight it out for this one on eBay. Sadly, I don’t have that sort of green to throw around on a musical instrument I could never coax anything other than a tuneless screech out of, but I’d urge anyone else to make the investment. It may be a tidy sum to shell out for what essentially amounts to a plaque, but Wayne’s World 2 (and its prequel) is an underrated, iconic slice of Americana, and combining that with the beauty of Fender makes this specially released guitar something truly special.
She will be mine. Oh yes. She will be mine.
2. Back To The Future Hover Board
If you’re going to get somewhere, why not get there in style? Or at least pretend to any way. It might not be the real thing, but let’s be honest, Hollywood lied about these babies being readily available within just four years and this exceptional replica is the closest thing we’ll get to really hovering around the streets of our neighborhoods.
The eBay listing claims that the replica was made from casts of an original prop, and it looks like the claim is authentic considering how well put together and crucially how close to the original it looks. And $425 is a pittance next to that sort of diligence and dedication in craftsmanship.
Plus, you might not have to wholly abandon your dreams of soaring inches above the pavement with gay abandon. Because though I’m not that big on science, I’m pretty sure that enough hair dryers facing upwards will allow some level of hovering, without too many costs to the environment.
3. The Drive Jacket
If you’ve seen Nicolas Winding Refn‘s bonkers, genre-bending latest, you’ll already be familiar with the embroidered white satin Scorpion jacket that Ryan Gosling’s nameless protagonist rocks in almost every scene. Chances are, you marveled at its majesty, and at the craftsmanship that obviously went into it. Some of the more male members of the audience probably also fantasized about how wearing the same jacket would definitely make you as cool and as sexually appealing as Ryan Gosling, despite your retreating hairline and gelatinous paunch. Such is the power of exceptional in-film costume design: it already ranks as one of the iconic outfits in cinema history, next to Ursula Andress’s bikini and Bruce Lee (and The Bride’s) Yellow Jumpsuit and is as desirable as Tyler Durden’s gorgeous red leather jacket was back in 1999.
Unfortunately, my own physique doesn’t exactly lend itself to wearing satin – anything that ostentatious and I am instantly transformed into Scotty J. from Boogie Nights – but I figure everyone should have the opportunity to pull on a Driver jacket and scowl their way to infinite coolness. Sadly, at this stage, this poses something of a problem. The design isn’t widely available, since the jacket was specially made for the film by Richard Lim of LA’s High Society tailors, but I’m not one to roll over and accept these obstacles. There will inevitably be a copy cat sooner or later – the weight of forum interest alone will ensure it – but there is a better, cooler option available already. Those of you lucky enough to have the spare dollars may find that Lim is willing to tailor a reproduction – but why undervalue his artisan skill, when you could take the design, personalize it and walk out of the tailors sporting a unique Lim creation of your own?
Interested? Get in touch with High Society at 213.383.3333, or visit the premises at 2974 Wilshire Boulevard, LA.
T-Shirt of the Week
Since there have never been any T-shirts that I have really craved (other than a half-remembered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s number I had as a kid and bled all over), this week’s tee comes courtesy of RedBubble-based illustration genius Nik Holmes.
See you next week for more merch-related goodness. I’ll be the one in the satin jacket, rocking Stairway on my hover board. Probably.