Gilley’s Beer Signs, Shirts and Posters
(February, 2012 NOTE: Since the airing, and re-runs, of the “American Pickers” episode where Mike and Frank meet Mickey Gilley and buy some of his memorabilia, prices for anything with the name “Gilley’s” on it have fluctuated widely from where they were prior to the episode, so any pricing information given in answer to questions posted by readers below is probably no longer meaningful. Use discretion and common sense when making an offer just as you would on any other purchase in life.)
Today, June 26, 2011, I’m adding pictures of our posters, shirts and signs for Gilley’s Beer, including neon, paper/cardboard, and painted wood. They range from hard-to-find to one-of-a-kind. Enjoy.
Let’s start with the vintage classic Gilley’s Beer neon sign. They hung in the original Gilley’s Pasadena, Texas club and were also for sale for a whopping $150.00 each! That was a LOT of money back in the 1980’s so you can imagine they didn’t sell a ton of them. They are extremely hard to find today, especially since neon is so easy to break. When John Travolta asked Mickey Gilley if he could have one of these great neon signs, Mickey obliged. There is a picture of the presentation in the book “Saturday Night at Gilley’s.”
This Gilley’s neon sign measures about 25″ wide by 14″ high at the frame. We were lucky enough to be able to acquire a second identical neon Gilley’s Beer sign that is also fully functional. Below are two pictures, one of our sign lit up and the other while it was off.
Next is an almost certain one-of-a-kind painted wood sign from Gilley’s Pasadena, Texas that was removed from the club during cleanup after the fire. When Mickey Gilley sued his partner Sherwood Cryer and won the lawsuit, their partnership was ended and the club was closed in 1989. Shortly thereafter, the club was gutted by a fire. Mickey accused Sherwood of having the fire set but no proof was ever found by the authorities to substantiate Mickey’s claim. GilleysMuseum.com has in its possession an email from a Pasadena, Texas local who claims they know who set the fire, and names names, but since we can’t verify the information we’ll just leave it at that.
This great vintage looking painted wood sign is quite large. It measures 6 feet wide by 2 feet high and is painted on 1/2 inch thick plywood, so it’s quite heavy too. There are 2 holes about 1 foot in on each side near the top where screws held it to the wall at Gilley’s back in the day.
The background color is a pale cream with a baby blue border. The cool vintage style “Drink Cold Beer” is in dark blue and Gilley’s is painted its classic red. This sign definitely shows its age and looks excellent for the period.
Our next sign is an 11″ by 17″ printed on heavy paper/card stock sign that hung in the original Gilley’s Pasadena, Texas club. As you can see, the paper is cream colored and the printing is in red and black. It features a drawing of the Gilley’s beer can with Mickey’s face inside an outline of the State of Texas.
Here’s an odd fact that hopefully someone out there can explain. The picture of Mickey shows him wearing a hat, but every beer can, bottle, or other product showing a Gilley’s beer can or bottle with a picture of Mickey Gilley in the state outline shows him without a hat. So is this just a random artist’s version of the can or is it a picture of a very rare can we’ve never seen before? HMMM??? Anyone have an answer? We’d love to hear from you.
So here’s the paper Gilley’s Beer sign.
In our years of searching we’ve only come across 3 styles of Gilley’s shirts promoting Gilley’s Beer. The first is the only one of its kind that we’ve seen anywhere, and is not in either of our Gilley’s merchandise catalogs. It’s a light blue men’s dress shirt with a Gilley’s Beer bottle on the back. In fact, when Mickey Gilley was here he said he had never seen this shirt before either so it’s possibly a one-of-a-kind that never went into production.
Our shirt is a size 16-35 and is made of 65/35 poly/cotton. The shirt is branded with a tag that says Big Smith. It pictures a Gilley’s Beer bottle on the back and as you can see, Mickey Gilley is NOT wearing a hat in the picture on the bottle. It’s in excellent condition.
The front does not make any reference to Gilley’s Beer. It only shows the old Gilley’s Club logo, and features the classic arrow/slit pockets, so it most likely dates before the mid-1980’s. Here is a picture.
Next we have a vintage, classic red ringer on white Gilley’s Beer tee shirt. It’s a Screen Stars size large, made of 50/50 cotton/polyester fabric. It’s in great condition.
This one features the same graphic, on the front as well as the back, as the back of the dress shirt above. In addition, it says “Hot Times … Cold Longnecks.” It, too, does not appear in our catalogs so our guess is that it’s pre mid-1980’s. Here’s a picture.
Our third shirt is also a red ringer on white vintage classic t-shirt. This great Gilley’s Beer tee shirt is a size medium, 50/50 cotton/poly Screen Stars shirt in beautiful condition.
It features a large Gilley’s A Premium Texas Beer logo with Mickey Gilley’s picture inside the Texas state outline. And again, Mickey is NOT wearing a hat. This shirt sold at Gilley’s in the mid-1980’s for $9.00 each. Here’s the picture.
Our next picture is slightly off subject but it’s still a promo featuring Gilley’s Beer from the original Gilley’s club in Pasadena, Texas so I thought I’d throw it in. This is a full page ad in Variety Magazine (one of the top entertainment industry publications for decades) with a picture of the classic Gilley’s Beer can right in the middle. It’s dated August 23, 1979 and measures 14 1/2 inches high by 11 1/2 inches wide.
Again, slightly off topic but relevant is a rare Schlitz Beer poster featuring Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee. It measures 17 inches wide by 24 inches high and looks great. The poster is titled “Take a Schlitz Country Break.”
And finally, here is a rare old 1981 Schlitz Beer poster Saluting Mickey Gilley. It measures 18 inches wide by 24 inches high and is in perfect condition.
Okay, I guess this is obvious, but for those of you who don’t do much buying and selling, any pricing/value given is only an estimate of current sales and prices. Condition, shipping costs, and changes in demand can cause large price changes and don’t invalidate the previously listed price, they just indicate how volatile prices can be from one like object to another over time. Remember, these items are decades old and can vary widely in all aspects of their value.
I guess that will about do it for today. Hope you like what you saw and again, please post any comments, questions or thoughts about these or similar items. We always love hearing from you.
See ya next time,