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Paul McCartney Restores Historic Motown Piano

Paul McCartney
Lars Baron, Getty Images

After decades of disrepair, the ebonies and ivories on a piano used by many of Motown’s biggest acts are living in perfect harmony again — thanks to a repair job paid for by Paul McCartney, who will play the instrument at a benefit gala later this month.

The fundraiser, scheduled for Sept. 18 at Steinway Hall in New York City, will find McCartney playing the piano along with Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr., in front of a well-heeled audience that will have paid $10,000 per person to be in attendance. (According to Billboard, “Invitations and solicitations have been sent to various targeted individuals, but anyone interested in attending can contact the museum at 313-875-2264.”)

The whole thing was set in motion last year, when McCartney toured the Motown Museum and noticing the piano was in bad shape, offered to foot the bill for a thorough repair that included new strings, hammers, and legs. (Motown historians take note: The original parts will go on display at the Museum.)

“One of the things Paul said is he wanted to see this project through from beginning to end,” Motown rep Robin Terry explained. “We thought this was an appropriate way of doing it, unveiling the piano and inviting both Paul and Mr. Gordy to be the first to sort of put their DNA on it, if you will.”

After the event, the piano will be returned to its rightful perch in the studio, not far from where it was once used on recordings by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and many others.

Next: McCartney's Most Underrated Songs

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