Dead items “Sold to the man in Tie Dye”

SAN FRANCISCO — An auction of Grateful Dead memorabilia Tuesday brought in more than $1.1 million for items collected by the band’s longtime road manager. The collection of Lawrence “Ram Rod” Shurtliff included a 1975 cream-colored Travis Bean electric guitar played by the main man, Jerry Garcia, which fetched $312,000, according to Bonhams & Butterfields Auctioneers. Deadheads bidding by phone and in the crowded auction room bid up prices for band photos, original album artwork, guitars and other musical gear RAM ROD collected over decades. A leather guitar strap worn by Garcia on stage about 1973 sold for $20,400 — 4 times the estimated selling price. A flight case containing Garcias picks, unopened guitar strings and other accessories sold for $16,800. RAM ROD died in 2006. He started as a truck driver for the band in 1967 and went on to become president of the group’s board of directors when the Dead incorporated in the 1970s.


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