Vintage Grateful Dead t-shirt sells for $ 17,640 at auction

What is the most expensive price you would pay for a group t-shirt? We’re more comfortable in the $ 20- $ 25 range, but would consider up to $ 50, depending on the group, design, and exclusivity.

Obviously, however, some people are ready to go higher. Much higher. Like … $ 17,640 more.

That’s the price of a vintage Grateful Dead shirt that has just been auctioned off at Sotheby’s. The shirt was created in 1967, making it one of the first Grateful Dead t-shirts. And that was from the collection of Dan Healy, a sound engineer who worked many times with The Dead and pioneered the band’s Wall of Sound, aka one of the most rock and roll things of all time.

(This is where I disclose that I never really made it into the Grateful Dead, but I was once a part of a bowling team that my friend called “Greatful Dead,” for some reason. ‘Either way, continue.)

This is the shirt in the lower left corner of this tweet. Here is the list of auctions, via Sotheby’s:

Designed by the Hells Angels, Merry Prankster and graphic designer Allan “Gut” Terk, a key figure in the Californian counterculture in the 1960s. Friend of Ken Kesey, he was the painter on the Pranksters’ “Further” bus in 1964 and designed the Acid Test Graduation posters. In 1967, through his work for the dead, he was acclaimed in the Bay Area music scene for his t-shirts and posters.

The shirt broke the previous record for the most expensive band t-shirt, winning the crown of this extremely rare 1979 Led Zeppelin concert t-shirt that sold for $ 10,000 in 2010.

According to Defunkd, a vintage t-shirt site specializing in group t-shirts, Healy’s collection of items auctioned off included another Grateful Dead shirt that sold for $ 15,120. It becomes the second most expensive band t-shirt of all time and the most expensive ringtone t-shirt ever sold, if we keep the score. (We are.)

Which shirt will break the record? Will a vintage Weezer Roomba vacuum ever sell for $ 50,000? While we’re on the topic, could someone buy us this Van Halen 1979 World Tour t-shirt? (Thanks in advance.)

Only time will tell. For now, let’s just appreciate the vintage grandeur of our new record holder.

Elizabeth J. Harless