A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS: BEATLES PIANO FETCHES 99K FOR HABITAT
Posted Friday, April 17th, 2015
Ebony and ivory are capable of far more than perfect harmony. With a little help from the remaining Beatles, the East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build Program raised a 98,888 dollars by auctioning off a hand painted piano signed by Sir Paul and Ringo.
“It’s an unbelievable ending to the adventure of a lifetime,” said Debbie Crouch, President and CEO of the Slidell based Habitat affiliate, located just north of New Orleans. “This will enable us to provide a home for a deserving veteran and his or her family. No one who has served our country should have to worry about having a place to lay his or her head at night. We cannot thank the two musicians enough for their generous gift.”
In 2014, the not for profit group bought a 1908 Kingsbury piano for 100 dollars and restored it to working order. The organization then recruited Slidell artist Lori Gomez to paint Beatles themed art on the instrument. Simple images of the Fab Four, reminiscent of the two dimensional depictions in their films adorn the piano.
Habitat planned to auction the piano at their annual fundraiser, but during the planning stages, Board Member Kim Bergeron realized that both McCartney and Starr had area gigs planned in a six day span and floated a plan to get the piano signed.
Bergeron told NoDef the expected. “It is not easy to get in contact with the Beatles. Scaling Mt. Everest without equipment might even be easier.” Still, she persisted, reaching out to every connection she could find and launching a blog and social media campaign.
However, sometimes all you need is love. Touched by the cause, both Beatles agreed to provide their sigs. First, Habitat trucked the piece to Ringo at a Mississippi gig. Originally, the plan was to have McCartney sign before a NOLA concert date. But, some scheduling conflicts resulted in rescheduling of the rendezvous. So, Bergeron loaded the piano onto a truck and drove it down the long and winding road to Louisville, Kentucky. Despite multiple breakdowns, the Kingsbury found its way to Sir Paul.
With all of the pieces in place, habitat placed the piano up for auction on CharityBuzz.com. The nearly 100k price fetched by the 100 dollar pickup will cover the cost of a home for a vet and their family.
“What I have loved most about this experience is the outpouring of love and support from so many people who believed in what we were attempting to do,” said Bergeron.