Video shows John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ piano loaned to Strawberry Field exhibition by George Michael’s estate

Exclusive clip shows the instrument being moved to public display in Liverpool

Louis Chilton
Wednesday 07 October 2020 18:38
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George Michael's estate loans John Lennon's 'Imagine' piano to Strawberry Field

The late George Michael’s estate has loaned the piano on which John Lennon wrote “Imagine” to the Strawberry Field exhibition in Liverpool.

The Steinway piano, bought at auction by Michael back for £1.45m in 2000, will be able to go on public display.

Lennon wrote and recorded the 1971 ballad “Imagine” on the instrument, which Michael later used to record the song “Patience”.

When he bought the piano originally, Michael described the object as a “symbol of peace”, and said: “It’s not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people.”

His estate have loaned the piano to celebrate what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday. The Beatles star was famously shot dead outside his New York home on 8 December 1980.

Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, who serves as the Honorary President of Strawberry Field, said: “Bringing John’s piano to Strawberry Field for the first time to mark what would have been his 80th birthday is a wonderful gesture – one that will bring joy to the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Liverpool every year to get closer to the history of The Beatles and John’s legacy.

“Strawberry Field played a pivotal role in John’s childhood as one of the first places that sparked his young imagination whilst living on nearby Menlove Avenue. It’s fitting therefore that this piano should find a new home here, where The Salvation Army continues to do such good work with young adults with learning difficulties.”

Funds raised by paying visitors to the exhibition will go towards helping young people with learning difficulties.

The ‘Imagine’ piano can be seen on public display at the Strawberry Field exhibition

The George Michael Estate said in a statement that it is “proud to be associated with Strawberry Field and the work that the Salvation Army do at the centre to help young adults with learning difficulties acquire the skills and experience they so badly need to get employment which work is even more vital today than it was when the Centre first opened.”

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After being shown around the site, estate representatives “did not hesitate” in agreeing to the loan. 

According to the statement, the prospect represents “just the type of association that George would have wanted for this unique piece”.

It continued: “We know that the piano will be a source of hope and inspiration to all who come to see it and to the young people who attend Strawberry Field not only during these difficult times but for many years to come in the same way that it inspired  George since he bought it some 20 years ago.”

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