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Monday, 26 February, 2001, 12:29 GMT
Lennon's piano up for sale
John Lennon, whose piano is being auctioned in London in March
John Lennon used the piano until his death in 1980
A piano that once belonged to ex-Beatle John Lennon is expected to sell for 1m ($1.45m) when it is auctioned in March.

The upright ebony Steinway was kept in Lennon's Manhattan apartment from 1979 until his widow, Yoko Ono, gave it away as part of an album promotion in 1984.

The piano is the centrepoint of a huge rock and pop auction to be held at London's Hard Rock Cafe on 27 March, organised by Fleetwood Mac star Mick Fleetwood.

This piano used to write Imagine was bought by George Michael
Collectors can also bid for Lennon's 1970 white Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousine - once the most expensive car in the world - plus handwritten Elvis Presley lyrics, a piano used by Elton John during his first public performance and a 1982 Trabant car, signed by U2.

The Steinway was the only piano in Lennon's apartment at that time, and it is likely that he and Ono used it to compose the Double Fantasy album.

Last year, singer George Michael bought the piano on which Lennon composed the song Imagine for 1.45m ($2.1m).

In-car record player

Lennon's limo was sold to fellow ex-Beatle George Harrison in 1973 when Lennon moved from Britain to New York, and Harrison then sold it to Mary Wilson of The Supremes in 1975.

The car was one of only 428 made by Mercedes and has recently been restored to its former glory, complete with a unique black velvet interior and in-car record player. It is expected to fetch up to 500,000 ($730,000).

U2 at this year's Grammy Awards
Grammy stars U2, whose signed car is set to fetch 10,000
It is one of 110 lots available at the auction, which is being organised by Mick Fleetwood's auction house, Fleetwood Owen. Potential buyers can browse the lots and make bids online.

The piano played by Elton John during his first public gig at the Northwood Hills pub near his home in Pinner, Middlesex, UK - when he was still known by his original name of Reginald Dwight - is expected to sell for up to 30,000 ($44,000).

'Many a wrong note...'

John was paid just 1.50 per performance, and the piano comes with a note from John saying: "This is to certify that this piano has played many a wrong note, only due to me. Long live uprights! (And the Northwood Hills) Elton John."

Two hand-written poems by Doors front man Jim Morrison - Sirens and Start Again - are expected to fetch approximately 2,500 ($3,600) each, while letters and lyrics written by Elvis Presley, George Harrison and Paul McCartney are also up for grabs.

A brightly-coloured Czech Trabant car - similar to the one used on the cover of U2's 1991 album Achtung Baby - is expected to sell for up to 12,000 ($17,500). Its bonnet has been signed by members of the band and it has the number plate U2-98FM.

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See also:

20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's piano to stay in Liverpool
18 Oct 00 | Entertainment
George Michael buys Lennon's piano
08 Dec 00 | Entertainment
The life of Lennon
09 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Lennon's housebricks for sale
03 Oct 00 | Entertainment
John Lennon's legacy
19 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Hendrix jacket fetches 35,000
10 May 00 | Entertainment
Townshend kicks off net auction
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