Irsay Collection gets historic piano played by McCartney, Freddy Mercury

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Sir Elton John's Steinway Model D Grand Piano Number 426549 Used Exclusively in His Concerts from 1974 - 1993

Photo//Heritage Auctions

INDIANAPOLIS — The owner of the Indianapolis colts got a historic piece of musical equipment Saturday.

The Jim Irsay Collection announced the acquisition of a 1972 Steinway Model D Grand Piano owned by Sir Elton John Saturday. The piano was played by him along with Paul McCartney and Freddy Mercury at more than 1,000 concerts worldwide from 1974 to 1993.

Irsay acquired the piece as part of a robust collection of historic and culturally significant artifacts he has assembled over several decades. Irsay regularly loans items from the collection to museums, nonprofits, and other organizations for display and research.

Sir Elton John's Steinway Model D Grand Piano Number 426549 Used Exclusively in His Concerts from 1974 - 1993
Photo//Heritage Auctions

“When I started this collection, my goal was to preserve important pieces of American and world history so we could protect them and share them with future generations,” Irsay said. “Whether an instrument, an original manuscript, or another piece of Americana, these items continue to be a source of inspiration and joy for so many. I am only a steward, so I want to make sure people from all walks of life are able to experience and learn from this array of artifacts.”

Among the performances the piano was present at was John Lennon’s final live performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden on November 28, 1974. The piano was also loaned by Freddie Mercury of Queen for the band’s entire 1977 legendary A Day at the Races world tour.

The piano was also used for the historic Live Aid broadcast on July 13, 1985, For the grand finale, and following John’s performance, Paul McCartney performed Let It Be on the piano joined by David Bowie, U2, Pete Townshend, George Michael and others.

McCartney went on to tour exclusively with the piano until 1993. After he signed with Yamaha to promote their pianos he had the piano refinished to its original black lacquer.

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