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Imagine Piano Peace Project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The "Imagine Piano" at the Crittenden County Courthouse in Marion, Arkansas, 2007. It was there in relation to the West Memphis Three.[1]
The "Imagine Piano" on display at the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

The Imagine Piano Peace Project was a peaceful demonstration against violence in which a piano associated with nonviolence was exhibited at various U.S. sites of infamous violence. The piano, a Steinway upright, was purchased new by John Lennon in December 1970 and delivered to the recording studio in his home in Berkshire, England. There, in 1971, he composed and recorded the song "Imagine" on the piano, and was filmed using it to play the song to his wife Yoko Ono.[2]

A private collector bought the "Imagine piano" in 1992 and allowed the Beatles' Story museum in Liverpool, England, to exhibit it from February to October 2000, when it was sold by the auction house Fleetwood Owen, a business partnership of musician Mick Fleetwood and auctioneer Ted Owen that sold other Beatles memorabilia in the same auction.[3]

In the 2000 auction, English singer-songwriter George Michael and his American domestic partner Kenny Goss bought the piano for £1.45 million. They allowed the piano to be exhibited at a peace protest on November 22, 2006, at "The Grassy Knoll" in Dallas, Texas, U.S., where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963,[4] and from April through May 2007 the piano was on a "tour" of U.S. places where significant acts of violence had taken place: At each site, someone played (and sometimes sang) the song Imagine, and the owners' employees videotaped and photographed the event for future publications to benefit charity.[5] Throughout the tour, the piano stopped at locations such as the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Waco, Texas, the Lorraine Motel, and Ford's Theater.[6]

In late May 2007, Michael and Goss donated the "Imagine piano" to the victims of the shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, and the piano was delivered to that school.[7]

The piano was on display at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona in 2010.[8]

The tour ended in 2019, with the last stop being the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas, Texas.[6][9] In October 2020, the piano was put on display at the Strawberry Field exhibition in Liverpool.[10]

See also


Further reading

  • "George Michael and John Lennon's Imagine Piano: Tracking the Journey through News Clippings". gmforever.com. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2020.


  1. ^ "John Lennon's "Imagine" Piano in Marion Today". KAIT8. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  2. ^ "John Lennon at 80: George Michael-owned Imagine piano put on display". BBC News. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  3. ^ "George Michael Buys 'Imagine' Piano". ABC News. 18 October 2000. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Imagine - John Lennon's piano on a grassy knoll!". NZ Herald. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  5. ^ Pilkington, Ed (16 April 2007). "Imagine: Lennon's piano on a peace tour". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Piano John Lennon Played to Compose 'Imagine' Ends 'Peace Tour' in Dallas". NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  7. ^ Zimmerman, Ann (2 August 2007). "Why Piano Owned By John Lennon Is Touring America". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  8. ^ Jansen, Steve (18 March 2010). "John Lennon's "Imagine": Original Piano Delivered to Phoenix's Musical Instrument Museum". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  9. ^ Hicks, Tyler (9 May 2019). "John Lennon's 'Imagine' Piano Is in Dallas Through Saturday". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  10. ^ "John Lennon's Upright Piano at Strawberry Field". World Piano News. 10 October 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.