John Lennon used the piano to write songs like "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and "A Day in the Life"

By Rachel DeSantis
April 04, 2019 10:40 AM

Money — that’s what they want for a piano once used by legendary Beatle John Lennon to crank out some of his biggest hits.

An upright piano on which Lennon once wrote tunes for the Beatles’ iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is up for auction and is expected to fetch up to $1.2 million.

The John Broadwood and Sons piano, which dates back to 1872, is believed to have been in Lennon’s possession since 1966 and was said to be his favorite, according to the Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction site.

Lennon used the instrument to write hits like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life” at his Kenwood estate, which he sold in 1968 amid a divorce from first wife Cynthia Lennon.

The “Imagine” singer eventually handed the piano off to a friend, but not before adorning it with a plaque that told of its storied history, according to the auction site.

Sothebys/Bournemouth News/REX/Shutterstock; Inset: John Downing/Getty

“On this piano was written: ‘A Day in the Life,’ ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,’ ‘Good Morning, Good Morning,’ ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,’ and many others. John Lennon 1971,” the plaque reads.

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in 1967, and marked a turning point for the band, who had only just started making the move from puppy love pop to something more innovative with 1966’s Revolver.

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison
John Pratt/Keystone/Getty

The experimental Sgt. Pepper’s, which saw the Fab Four take on alter egos, was ranked No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

The piano was originally sold from a private collection at Sotheby’s London in September 1983, and will be up for online auction starting April 10. The minimum bid is $575,000, and it’s expected to fetch between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

John Lennon
UMG

The piano Lennon used to write his signature solo song “Imagine” was auctioned off in 2000 to late singer George Michael for $2.1 million, according to CBS News.

“It’s not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people,” Michael said.

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Beatles memorabilia remains a hot commodity nearly 50 years after their split, with a rare demo cut of “Love Me Do,” the band’s first single, selling for about $12,000 last month.

The record — which even included a misspelling of Paul McCartney’s last name, so that the songwriting credits read “Lennon-McArtney” — was one of just 250 demos printed by Parlophone Records in 1962.

It was dropped off at a British Heart Foundation fundraising store in West Sussex, England, and was eventually auctioned off on the BHF’s eBay site.

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