Got a spare million dollars lying around? If so, as a music fan, you could do worse than investing it in John Lennon's piano from his Dakota period, which will, along with other such notable items of
Got a spare million dollars lying around? If so, as a music fan, you could do worse than investing it in John Lennon's piano from his Dakota period, which will, along with other such notable items of rock memorabilia, be auction at London's Hard Rock Cafe on March 27. The auction is being conducted by FleetwoodOwen, the business run by Fleetwood Mac's leader/drummer Mick Fleetwood and his partner Ted Owen. It was FleetwoodOwen who recently sold the white Lennon "Imagine" piano to U.K. pop veteran George Michael. Of the Dakota piano -- a Steinway -- Fleetwood enthuses, "Fantastic story. It's an instrument that came out of John's apartment at the Dakota building. It was absolutely without any question the only keyboard instrument in that apartment." "John personally went in and chose that piano, which is all really cool. Those are the sort of things we like to seek out. The more personalized a piece of product is, the better." A car that belonged to Lennon in 1969 is the other major piece on sale at the event. But with the Steinway estimated to fetch $1 million, isn't there a danger that the only people who can afford these items will be ones without Fleetwood's evident awe for rock'n'roll and its practitioners? "We had similar thoughts from people on the 'Imagine' piano, and yeah, it would be lovely if the same thing happened [here], where you have a George Michael who went away and recorded his next album on it," Owen says. "But our business really is based on looking after the client and getting the best price for the client." In addition to future auctions, FleetwoodOwen's plans include the Emporium -- an online entertainment memorabilia store -- and the Moshpit, which will put buyers and sellers of such material in touch for a fixed fee. Though Fleetwood asserts that he takes the business very seriously ("My input on this is not a slap-my-name-on-it-and-disappear type-of-[thing]," he says), fans of the band he has kept together for more than three decades need not fear for its future. "We reformed three years ago and put 'The Dance' out, which was a very successful album, with the ['Rumours'] line-up and yes, we're going back in," he reveals. "Hopefully by September, Fleetwood Mac will be in the studio working on a new album, with the intention of going out and doing a major world tour in the summer of 2002."