Piano John Lennon Played to Compose ‘Imagine' Ends ‘Peace Tour' in Dallas

The Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas' Design District is the last stop for an iconic instrument before it heads 'home' to London.

"'Imagine' was definitely written on this," said Kenny Goss, co-founder of the Goss-Michael Foundation, as he said next to John Lennon's old piano. "There's cigarette burns where he was smoking on that side and this side."

The late singer/songwriter George Michael bought the upright Steinway piano in the year 2000 for $2.1 million. Today it's worth an estimated $8 million to $12 million dollars. Goss says it's one of the most valuable pieces of pop memorabilia in the world.

"He loved John Lennon's music. He realized what it stood for," said Goss speaking of Michael, the foundation's co-founder. "The value is really in what it stands for. 'Imagine' is an anthem for peace, love, anti-war."

The piano was put on display at the old Goss-Michael Foundation gallery in 2007, around the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. Goss had an idea.

"I said, take the piano down to Dealey Plaza," Goss recalled. That started a more than decade-long Imagine Piano Peace Project Tour in locations of violence and conflict.

"It went to the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. It went to Waco," said Goss, referring to the location of the former Branch Davidian Compound.

The piano sat in front of the Lorraine Motel where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. The tour included the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Ford's Theater where President Lincoln was shot, and the campus of Virginia Tech after a shooting there.

"People are so moved when they see it," Goss said. "Maybe they walk away and think, how can I make a difference...good change can happen from horrible things, but people have to be motivated to do it."

The last leg of the Imagine Piano Peace Project Tour coincides with an exhibit at The Goss Michael Foundation, Marc Quinn: History & Chaos, which depicts places of conflict. "These show what John Lennon could have been writing about," said Goss looking at the colorful paintings hung on the gallery's stark white walls.

The John Lennon's 'Imagine' piano will be on display through Saturday at The Goss-Michael Foundation from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. each day. The gallery is located at 1305 Wycliff Ave., Dallas.

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