May 26, 2007

The Chronicle: Daily News Blog: John Lennon's Piano Takes a Detour to Blacksburg

Undismayed could not make up something this utterly foolish and completely depressing.

The piano on which Lennon composed and recorded his 1971 masterpiece "Imagine" is coming to Blacksburg as part of a tour to highlight peace and nonviolence. The tour was rerouted to Blacksburg in the wake of the April 16 shootings.

The piano, which was purchased by singer George Michael and his partner, Kenny Goss, at an auction in 2000, will also be displayed publicly today at the Blacksburg Farmers Market at 8 a.m. and in the atrium of Squires Students Center from noon until 3 p.m.

The piano will be photographed Sunday in Litchfield's back yard on Jackson Street as part of a potential documentary, book and exhibit. During the tour, the piano is photographed on or near the site where infamous acts of violence occurred. The piano has been photographed in Dallas, where President Kennedy was assassinated, the Memphis hotel were Martin Luther King was killed, Oklahoma City and, now, Blacksburg.

"Kenny and George both believe by taking the piano to Blacksburg, they hope to honor those that lost their lives, those injured and those whose lives were impacted forever by this great tragedy," Caroline True, the tour's director and producer, said in a news release. "Their deepest wish is to imagine a world of peace, a world without violence."

So does this piano exorcise the demons of the site, or does it just send out happy ("gay") vibes to clarify the air? Or is this just some sad attempt by George Michael to sponge off of the grief of others?

Maybe they should send it to Iraq next.

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