Grateful Dead shirt from 1967 sells for big bucks

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A rock fan has gotten their hands on a Grateful Dead t-shirt that once belonged to Dan Healy.

The band shirt was sold for $17,640 during a Sotheby’s auction that was held on Thursday, Oct. 14. It was one of 166 items put up for sale from the Palo Alto rock group.

According to Sotheby’s, the yellow graphic tee was designed by Hells Angel Merry Pranksters and late counterculture artist Allan "Gut" Terk – both of whom were prominent figures in the alternative lifestyle scene during the 1960s.

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The five-figure t-shirt is considered a size large and measured 27.5 inches in length and 20 inches in width. Sotheby’s deemed the shirt to be in "excellent condition" before the auction took place, according to its product listing.

A yellow Grateful Dead graphic t-shirt that once belonged to soundman Dan Healy sold for $17,640 at an online Sotheby’s auction. (Courtesy Sotheby’s)

The shirt features the Grateful Dead’s band name and two sunbeam shapes that look similar to the yin-yang sign from Taoism, a philosophical and spiritual belief system from China.

Sotheby’s reported that the yellow t-shirt goes back to 1967 and was used in some of the Grateful Dead’s early "major performances."

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The international auction house said the shirt was provided from Healy’s collection. Healy was the band’s soundman from 1967 to 1994.

Original estimates for the item were $6,000 and $8,000, but the winning bidder – Bo Bushnell – shelled out more than double for this piece of Grateful Dead history. Additional fees brought up Bushnell’s final price to a little more than $19,300.

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Bushnell, who is the founder of the Outlaw Archive, announced his winning bid to the public on Friday.

"We just did this to keep the memory of #GutTerk alive and to keep his history together under one roof," he wrote in an Instagram post. 

Other collectors participated in the online auction from Oct. 7 to Oct. 14, which was titled "From the Vault: Property from the Grateful Dead and Friends."

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Vintage band merchandise, instruments and sound equipment were also sold for hundreds or thousands of dollars each.

The Grateful Dead entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 for their album "Workingman’s Dead" and later earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. 

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The band included Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, Tom Constanten, Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux, Brent Mydland and Vince Weinick.

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