I was once, until I sold it, the proud owner of the tie-dyed t-shirt that Moonie wears on the front of Meaty Beaty Big & Bouncy, and for years afterwards I didn’t realise it.
Keith gave me the t-shirt he wore at the photo session for that LP on October 9, 1971, when I stopped off at Tara House en route to a Who concert at Guildford that evening, about which I have written elsewhere. We ended up going together in the lilac Roller, Keith, Kim, Dougal, my date and also John Sebastian, former Lovin' Spoonful singer/guitarist/composer and his wife Catherine, who were Keith’s house guests at the time. The t-shirt was given to Keith prior to this date (probably on a US tour during 1970) by Sebastian, who was famous for making his own tie-dyed clothing, and he even made Pete some tie-dyed overalls. When he arrived at Tara House Sebastian had given Keith more tie-dyed clothing, which is why he gave this old t-shirt to me.
Of course Keith didn’t realise he was giving me that particular t-shirt at the time and neither did I, not that it would have made any difference as Keith treated clothes, especially t-shirts, like drumsticks, to be used and discarded at will. I wore it a few times during the 70s until it shrank and I got bigger and thereafter it remained at the bottom of a drawer and then in a box in an attic. Of course, I never threw it out because I remembered where it came from.
In 2005, having read reports of sales of rock stars' clothing fetching good money, I decided to put it up for auction at Christies, and it was then that a friend of mine who's also a Who fan suggested to me it might be the same one that Keith wore on MBB&B. Well, I checked the album and, bugger me, it was. Since tie-dyed clothing can't be replicated exactly it was easy to prove and this naturally made a difference to the price.
It was a bit mouldy but we gave it a good wash and photographed it and, lo and behold, after the sale I was quids in.