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CNN Today

A Piece of History: John Lennon's 'Imagine' Piano Set for Auction

Aired February 18, 2000 - 1:14 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: A piece of history, once owned by one of the world's most beloved musicians, is going up for sale. The piano, on which John Lennon composed his unforgettable song "Imagine," is being auctioned off on the Internet in just a couple of months.

And, as CNN's Tom Mintier explains, many expect it to become the most expensive item of pop memorabilia ever sold.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the people ...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It may not have been John Lennon's most popular song...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENNON: ... living life in peace...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MINTIER: ... but, these days, the one most remembered.

The song "Imagine" was composed on this piano, now on display in Liverpool and up for auction. Minimum bid: $2 million. Too much for a piano?

SHELAGH JOHNSTON, CURATOR, THE BEATLES STORY MUSEUM: Well, for a piano, maybe it is, but, certainly, not for this piano. Being the instrument on which John did compose "Imagine" and John being the composer of the millennium, the piano is absolutely unique.

MINTIER: The piano is an upright Steinway that was purchased by a private owner eight years ago. The value increased dramatically when the owner discovered a video that showed John Lennon using it to write the song "Imagine."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENNON: ... you may say I'm a dreamer...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TED OWWEN, EOFFER.COM: Everyone associates the white piano with "Imagine" and the white room. Here we are, in The Beatles Story, with the piano that, actually, not only John composed "Imagine" on and sang all of the songs on the "Imagine" album, but is the piano that was in the Tittenhurst studio and the one that was used to record the album.

MINTIER: The piano will be auctioned on the Internet at eoffer.com. It will remain on display at The Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool until October 9, a significant date; it would have been John Lennon's 60th birthday.

Tom Mintier, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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