Sotheby's just held an extensive auction of Grateful Dead items, from guitars and audio gear to clothing worn by the band and other memorabilia. The 1967 t-shirt above—one of the first pieces of Dead merch—sold for a staggering $17,640, breaking the record for the most expensive vintage rock shirt. (The previous record holder was a 1979 Led Zeppelin shirt that went for $10,000 on eBay in 2011.) A "Steal Your Face" t-shirt also sold in the recent auction for $15,120.
The yellow t-shirt was designed by Hells Angel and longtime Dead friend Allan "Gut" Terk, a psychedelic graphic artist best known for painting the Merry Pranksters' "Furthur" bus and the Acid Test "Graduation" poster. It is unclear whether the shirt was washed before it went on the auction block.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
After expenses and fees, auction winner Bo Bushnell paid a total of $19,315.80 for the Grateful Dead souvenir, which was listed in excellent condition among the Sotheby's lot "From the Vault: Property from the Grateful Dead and Friends."
Bushnell operates the Outlaw Archive page on Instagram, which documents 1960s motorcycle club artifacts and ephemera. After the acquisition of the shirt, the account said, "We just did this to keep the memory of Gut 'Terk' alive and to keep his history under one roof."