The Belgian electronic body music group Front 242 is one of my all time favorite bands. Anything before the album Tyranny for You was incredibly original and creative. Like many great bands that continue to make music there is a cut off where things changed. The early albums which focused on Jean-Luc De Meyer vocals and military aesthetics had me fully hooked. Anything after that time period I simply can’t listen to. The canon of “good stuff” they recorded is large so I’m really not complaining. In the late 80s I collected every piece of 242 music and memorabilia I could find. Back then there was no eBay so Manhattan record stores were the hunting ground. The most rare thing I own is a Front by Front DAT Cassette. Every few months I still check eBay to see what 242 stuff is there. Once I saw the arm bands then someone bought them and I never saw them for sale again. Some friends (Pet Duo) of mine went to see them live in Berlin last night so I decided to look around online for old 242 stuff. Amazingly I found a blog called Front 242 Collector that has great photos of the arm bands and all sorts of finds.
“this is without a doubt one of the most collectible and hardest to come by Front 242 items: the Front 242 armband! Back in the day, before Transmission 242 there was the 242 Propaganda Unit. This was one of the “Propaganda Supports.” You can see 242 sporting this armband on the Official Warfare Tour and in videos. The armband was offered for sale in the Propaganda Unit catalogue (I will post this someday as well). The cost for the 242 Armband was 50 BF in Belgium, 70 BF in Europe, and 100 BF in other countries (+ postage). Today, when they do come up for sale, expect to pay upwards of $200-$250 at times! The armband is made of leather with beautiful “242” stitching and attaches to the arm with velcro. The Propaganda Unit logo is stamped inside and I believe they were numbered? This example happens to be #63.” – target242