Monday, April 28, 2008


Start with a fact. George Michael owns the piano John Lennon used to compose his great song 'Imagine' in 1971. OK, now inspire this fact with an idea. Michael decided to take this iconic instrument on tour. He didn’t have in mind any old tour. He was convinced that this piano was such an extraordinary icon for the human desire for peace that it would do its work best in places with powerful emotional resonance - places touched by acts of violence. So the piano has been played in emotional hotspots like Dealy Plaza, Dallas (where JFK was assassinated), the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and New Orleans. At first blush, this comes across as a “what-are-they-talking-about?” idea. But the results have been remarkable. In New Orleans, the piano was offered to the public to sit at, or play, without restrictions. This was not a shrine to John Lennon but a chance to be inspired by this icon to think and act for peace. As one of George Michael’s colleagues said, “It gives off Lennon’s spirit, and what he believed in, and what he preached for many years”. Guess what? People everywhere totally get it.

I am often asked how people can love inanimate objects. “You say that an Apple computer is a Lovemark, but how can anyone really love a computer?” That sort of thing. Well the answer is John Lennon’s piano.