This Steinway Model Z piano on which John Lennon wrote “Imagine” was bought at auction in the year 2000 for £1.45m ($2.1m) by George Michael who outbid fellow stars Robbie Williams and Liam and Noel Gallagher for the famous musical instrument.
The piano was bought by Lennon in December 1970, and delivered to studios at his home in Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire where he composed and recorded “Imagine” on it, and was filmed playing the song on it for the first time to wife Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. A private British collector had bought the piano in 1992 and loaned it to The Beatles Story Museum in their home town of Liverpool.
Michael played the piano himself on his 2004 album, “Patience,” and wrote the title track on it, but he says he was a little scared to use it:
“Well, I was just afraid to make any cigarette burns on it because then people would confuse mine with his.”
The piano itself isn’t the immaculate grand piano featured in the video of the song, Michael explains,
“I mean, it’s a funny-looking thing — 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.”
Michael then reportedly returned the instrument to a Liverpool museum, saying that the piano was
“not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people”