Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has taken his Beatles fandom to a new level, purchasing the piano on which John Lennon wrote songs for the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.
“I’m elated now to be the steward of John’s 'St. Pepper’ upright piano. It’s a responsibility I take seriously, with future generations in mind,” Irsay wrote in tweeting the news of his latest acquisition Saturday. “#GettingThemBackTogether #Beatles”
Irsay’s “#GettingThemBackTogether” reference presumably is to other purchases he has made, such as the Gibson SG guitar that George Harrison gave to Badfinger’s Pete Ham and a 1966 Vox guitar that he purchased for $408,000 in 2013, according to the Indianapolis Star. Those are part of a collection of about 200 guitars, including some that belonged to Prince, Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan, that Irsay owns. In 2015, Irsay bought Ringo Starr’s drum set for $1.75 million.
Irsay paid $718,750 for Lennon’s piano, according to TMZ Sports, but the auction site that handled the sale, Gotta Have Rock and Roll, did not reveal the price it fetched. Its minimum required bid was $575,000. Lennon had the piano, which dates to 1872 or thereabouts and was made by John Broadwood and Sons, in two of his homes in London and added a plaque to it that reads: “On this piano was written: ‘A Day in the Life,’ ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ ‘Good Morning,’ ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite’ and many others. John Lennon. 1971.”
“Sgt. Pepper’s” was released in the spring of 1967. Lennon was shot to death on Dec. 8, 1980, in New York City.
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