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The New Rock Collector Deals In Dirty Laundry

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A rapidly rising market for rock memorabilia collectors may be more intimate than the artists’ guitars or faded yellow ticket stubs: the shirt off their heroes’ backs.

“I’ve seen a T-shirt worn by Johnny Cash sell for upwards of $5,000,” Leila Dunbar, senior vice president and director of the collectibles department at Sotheby’s in New York told Forbes writer Hitha Prabhakar. “If a piece was worn by a celebrity and the person was photographed wearing the piece, the price goes up astronomically.

Collectors are now looking to purchase limited quantity band tee shirts and shirts worn by members of the bands, which command sky-high prices, especially if the group disbands or a member dies.

One headline-garnering collectible includes a shirt that read “Home” worn by John Lennon during many of his concerts in the early 1970s, advertising a favorite restaurant in the city. An image of Lennon wearing the tee has become so well known that Julien Auctions, a concert memorabilia auction house in Los Angeles, sold the original for $16,400 three years ago, according to the paper.

“It wasn’t a fan who purchased the shirt. It was a collector,” Julien’s president, Darren Julian, told Forbes. “The collectos are interested in acquiring rare items because of their value.”

Other items, like a limited edition “My Adidas” Run-D.M.C. T-shirt collaboration produced in the early 1980s, has fetched $13,000. Sweaters made for the Rolling Stones members and entourage promoting their 1972 “Goats Head Soup” tour, are priced at $10,000 at the What Comes Around Goes Around vintage clothing store in New York.

“As a collector, you are killing two birds with one stone with this place,” store co-owner Seth Weiser told the paper. “There were only a couple made, and there is a high possibility one of the band members actually wore it. That also makes the value increase.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers