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Friday, 20 October, 2000, 16:06 GMT 17:06 UK
Lennon's piano to stay in Liverpool
John Lennon's piano
Lennon wrote Imagine here in 1971
Singer George Michael has confirmed he will hand over John Lennon's piano to a Beatles museum - but not until he has played it on his new album.

Michael bought the piano at auction earlier this week for 1.67m. The former Beatle had used it to write his famous track Imagine.

Having paid one and a half million pounds for it I'd really like to play something on it

George Michael
"It was worth every penny," he said on Friday.

The upright Steinway piano had been displayed at Liverpool's Beatles Story Museum since February.

Curator Shelagh Johnston had hoped the piano could stay there as an exhibit.

"Having paid one and a half million pounds for it I'd really like to play something on it and stick it on my next record," said Michael in an interview with Capital Radio.

"So as I'm recording right now, I think I'll hold on to it for a couple of months and see if I can get it on to my new record and then it's going back to the museum in Liverpool where I think it rightly belongs.

George Michael
George Michael: Piano should be seen by people
"It's not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people."

Speaking about the song he might play on the piano for the album, he said: "I don't really think it'll be Imagine part two - I think that's a little much to hope for really.

"It'll probably be Chopsticks in comparison but it'll definitely go on the record somewhere."

The piano was bought by Lennon in December 1970, and delivered to studios at his home in Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire.

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.

In 1992, it was bought by a private British collector who agreed to let the Beatles' Story house it for 10 months this February.

The auction was organised by Fleetwood Owen, a venture set up by musician Mick Fleetwood and auctioneer Ted Owen.

Other items included a Hammond C3 organ used by Lennon in his studio which fetched the expected price of 40,000.

A Ferrari owned by Lennon, which was restored by Dodi Fayed, was also put up for auction by Mr Fayed's father Harrods owner Mohammed al Fayed. It fetched 110,000.

And a pair of Lennon's wire-rimmed glasses believed to have been worn by the artist when he composed Imagine - and were broken in an argument between him and his then wife Yoko Ono - fetched 6,000.

See also:

18 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Imagine owning Lennon's piano
09 Oct 00 | Entertainment
'Happy Birthday' Lennon
05 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Beatles book draws fans
03 Oct 00 | Americas
Lennon killer denied parole
17 Feb 00 | Americas
George Michael video case dismissed
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