Music | October 20, 2021 11:18 am

A Grateful Dead Shirt Expected to Sell for $350 Was Purchased for a Record-Breaking $17,640

The shirt, designed by Allan "Gut" Terk, is now the most expensive vintage rock t-shirt ever sold at auction

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

That massive Grateful Dead auction held by Sotheby’s continues to crush expectations. Shortly after Jerry Garcia’s “Budman” amp sold for $378,000 — despite only being expected to fetch between $5,000 and $7,000 — a vintage Dead t-shirt from 1967 sold for $17,640, setting a new record for the most expensive vintage rock shirt sold at auction.

The yellow shirt, designed by Allan “Gut” Terk, crushed the previous record set by a Led Zeppelin shirt from that band’s 1979 Knebworth concerts that sold for $10,000 in an eBay auction in 2011. Prior to the auction, the Dead shirt was expected to sell for somewhere between $350 and $700.

So who shelled out the big bucks for this rare t-shirt, which is listed as being in “excellent” condition? That’d be Bo Bushnell, who paid a total of  total of $19,315.80 for it after expenses and fees. Bushnell operates the Outlaw Archive page on Instagram, which documents 1960s motorcycle club artifacts. (Presumably, the fact that Terk was a Hells Angel is of particular interest to him.) After the acquisition of the shirt, the account posted a message that read, “We just did this to keep the memory of Gut ‘Terk’ alive and to keep his history under one roof.”

Another Dead t-shirt in the same auction also became the second-most expensive rock tee ever sold at auction. That shirt, from a spring 1977 tour stop at Cornell University, sold for $15,120.