John Lennon's Steinway Model Z piano
The Steinway Model Z piano on which John Lennon wrote the song Imagine is currently owned by musician George Michael.
Lennon bought the piano in December 1970 and had it delivered to his home in Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire. He wrote and recorded Imagine using the piano in 1971. Lennon is filmed playing the song to his wife, Yoko Ono, in the film Imagine.
The song spent four weeks at number one in the UK charts upon its re-release in 1981, following Lennon’s death.
A British collector bought the piano in 1992 and lent it to Liverpool’s The Beatles Story Museum.
In 2000, singer George Michael bought the piano at auction for £1.45 million ($2.1 million), outbidding fellow musicians Robbie Williams and Noel and Liam Gallagher. At the same auction a Hammond C3 organ used by Lennon sold for £40,000.
Since 2000 the piano has made several public appearances. In 2007, Michael sent the piano to a number of sites in the US as part of a Peace tour. These included Virginia Tech in the US, following the shooting of 32 students and the Ford Theater in Washington, DC, where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
Michael has also played the piano himself, using it to compose the title track on his 2004 album Patience.
Michael has said of the piano: “It's the cheapest-looking piano you've ever seen. I wasn't expecting the big white one — I knew it wasn't the big white one, but I didn't expect something you'd get in a very, very underfunded school."
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