Grateful Dead T-shirt from 1967 sells for nearly $20K at auction

19 October 2021 | Muri Assunção | Yahoo News

A T-shirt billed as “one of the earliest official Grateful Dead shirts” has sold for a record-breaking $17,640 at auction.

The yellow tee was part of Sotheby’s “From the Vault: Property from the Grateful Dead and Friends,” an auction that featured items from Grateful Dead Productions and the band’s inner circle.

The shirt was designed by Allan “Gut” Terk, a graphic artist and Hells Angel who was a prominent figure in 1960s California counterculture. He designed album covers and posters for psychedelic rock bands, including the Grateful Dead, and partied with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” author Ken Kesey.

The vintage Grateful Dead t-shirt sold for a record price through auction at Sotheby’s.

The shirt was listed in “excellent condition.” The winning bid far exceeded estimates it sell between $6,000 and $8,000.

The T-shirt was previously owned by Dan Healy, an audio engineer who worked with the Grateful Dead. It’s believed to be among the first T-shirts that were mass-produced by the band — although in extremely limited quantities.

Bo Bushnell, a collector of outlaw biker gang memorabilia, placed the winning bid of $17,640. The total, with all fees included, came to just over $19,300.

Bushnell, who runs the Outlaw Archive Instagram account that documents 1960s motorcycle club artifacts and ephemera, wrote that “We just did this to keep the memory of #GutTerk alive and to keep his history under one roof.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dead T-shirt sold eclipsed the previous record for most expensive vintage rock shirt: a rare Led Zeppelin tee from a 1979 concert that sold for $10,000 on eBay in 2011.


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