Grateful Dead T-Shirt Shatters Auction Record, Selling For Nearly $18,000

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

October 20, 2021

A simple, yellow Grateful Dead t-shirt from 1967 is now the most expensive vintage rock 'n' roll t-shirt to ever be sold at auction.

The shirt was expected to go for between $350 - $700, but like a number of other items in Sotheby's Grateful Dead auction, its sale price far-exceeded expectations when it went for $17,640.

Designed by Allan "Gut" Terk, the Grateful Dead tee demolished the previous record for a rock shirt, which was set by a Led Zeppelin garment from the band's 1979 Knebworth concert that sold for $10,000 through eBay in 2011.

The buyer is biker gang memorabilia collector Bo Bushnell, who runs the Outlaw Archive. Bushnell paid a total of $19,315.80 for the shirt after buyer's premium fees.

Bushnell was presumably motivated to buy the Grateful Dead shirt because Terk was a Hells Angel.

"We just did this to keep the memory of Gut 'Terk' alive and to keep his history under one roof," Bushnell wrote via Instagram.

Another Dead t-shirt from 1977 sold at the same auction for $15,120, making it the second most-expensive rock tee ever sold at auction.

Sotheby's also sold Jerry Garcia's 'Budman" amp during the auction. The amp was expected to fetch between $5,000 - $7,000, but went for an astonishing $378,000.

Grateful Dead
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