George Michael Buys 'Imagine' Piano

ByABC News
October 18, 2000, 7:06 AM

L O N D O N, Oct. 18 -- George Michael forked out $2.1 million to buy the piano John Lennon used to compose Imagine, Michaels spokeswoman said today.

Hes just so excited to have got it at the moment that we dont know what will happen to it, spokeswoman Josephine Green said. He feels its a piece of history and he wants it to stay in the U.K.

The wood-finished upright was auctioned Tuesday, but Michael had not been identified as the winning telephone bidder.

The piano, a Steinway Model Z upright, was built in Hamburg in 1970 and purchased by Lennon later that year.

Historic Piano

The piano was bought by a private British collector in 1992. It had been on loan to the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool since February.

Bidding was conducted live from Hard Rock Cafe branches in both London and New York, as well as via the telephone and Internet at fleetwoodowen.coms, in a sale of Beatles memorabilia organized by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac and auctioneer Ted Owen. But it was the piano that had aficionados drooling.

Film footage from 1971 shows a relaxed Lennon at its keys composing Imagine at his home in southern England before he turns to his keyboard player to remark: Thats the one I like best. Yoko Ono looks on.

The piano had been owned by a private collector and had been on show for most of the year at the Beatles Story Museum in their home town of Liverpool.

The final price at Tuesdays sale came within a whisker of the auctioneers predicted 1.5 million pounds

Michael has yet to announce what he will do with his acquisition, but the museum has offered it a home and full insurance if the new owner will keep it on display there.

New Wave of Beatlemania

A Ferrari 330GT owned by Lennon and restored by the late Dodi Fayed, Princess Dianas boyfriend, sold for $158,000.

Other Items included a pair of Lennons wire-rimmed spectacles, which fetched $8,600 and a Hammond C3 organ from Lennons studio, which sold for $58,000; and a tin of Beatles talcum powder, which drew a top bid of $290.