John Lennon’s Imagine Piano


Imagine an utterly unremarkable upright piano, hazelnut brown, standing on the pavement in front of a museum, a theatre, a prison or a school. Would you stop, or would you glance at it momentarily and walk on by? Then imagine that on this piano one of the most resonant songs of the 20th century was composed and that it stands at the scene of a shocking act of violence.

Welcome to the Imagine piano tour, the brainchild of singer-songwriter George Michael and his partner Kenny Goss, who runs a Dallas art gallery, and featuring the piano bought in 1970 by John Lennon and put in his studio in Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire. Michael bought the piano six years ago for £1.5m – a record price at the time for pop memorabilia. Having bought in, as it were, to the history of the song, the couple felt it would be wrong to leave the piano languishing in their front room and the idea of taking it to places where extreme acts of violence had taken place or were taking place was born. “By taking the piano to all these sites, we are reminded that violence has long been a part of our history,” Michael said.

John Lennon’s Imagine Piano Makes the last stop in Dallas and the USA this week before leaving for London. It’s on display at The Goss Michael Foundation this Wednesday May 8until Saturday May 11. The Marc Quinn History and Chaos Exhibition currently on display also echoes the conflicts of today’s world.

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