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#1779417 - 10/29/11 02:54 PM Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano
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Registered: 05/24/01
Posts: 5571
Loc: Parsonsfield, ME (orig. Nahant...
Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano
Music Royalty Unites with Steinway & Sons to Bring Legendary Instrument to Original Performance Quality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) - Oct 28, 2011 -

Audley Smith
Motown Museum
(313) 875-2264
(313) 384-6267 -- cell


Played by Motown Record Company's world renowned musicians from 1960 through 1972, and admired by over a million visitors to the Motown Museum's iconic Studio A since 1985, this 1877 Steinway grand piano was in need of some tender, lovin' care. And former Beatle and legendary musician, Paul McCartney has committed, along with Steinway & Sons, to having the piano restored to its original performance quality because, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing."

When you hear popular Motown songs such as "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "What's Going On," and "Tracks of My Tears," chances are that Stevie, Marvin and Smokey, no last names needed, recorded those hits on the Steinway piano you will find at the Motown Museum in Detroit. The last recording work on the piano was by the Commodores in 1972 on the "Machine Gun" album. Both the titled song and "I Feel Sanctified," were big R&B hits in 1974.

"When I visited the Motown Museum, I remembered listening to records as a kid in Liverpool, learning the songs 'You Really Got a Hold on Me' (by the Miracles) and 'Money' (by Barrett Strong)," said McCartney, who was first inspired to spearhead the restoration during his visit to the Motown Museum last July while in town for his sold out show at Detroit's Comerica Park. "I said to myself, 'Wow! This [the Motown Museum] is the Holy Grail!'"

Audley Smith Jr., CEO of the Motown Museum, which is located on the original site of Motown Record Company, said, "Motown has had, and continues to have, a global impact on popular culture and we all have a responsibility to preserve this great music legacy. The commitment from Paul McCartney and Steinway & Sons to restore this piano, one of the Museum's most important artifacts, is a wonderful acknowledgement of that global responsibility...indeed, a donation of a perfect pitch."

Steinway & Sons will pick up the piano on Monday, October 31, 2011 and ship it to their New York headquarters. It is anticipated that it will take four to five months for the instrument to be professionally restored by the Steinway Restoration Center - the only place where a Steinway piano can be restored to guarantee Steinway authenticity, using 100% genuine Steinway parts. By early spring 2012, the piano will be returned fine tuned, "Signed, Sealed and Delivered," to Motown Museum's Studio A.

"Steinway & Sons is honored to restore the historic Steinway piano that was used by such legends as Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Stevie
Wonder- - and to do so in the very same New York factory where it was originally built in 1877," said Ron Losby, President - Americas, Steinway & Sons. "We're especially proud, as an American company, to help the Motown Museum in preserving the legacy of the Motown Record Companywhose artists and albums played such a vital role in one of the great eras of American music."

Once returned to the Motown Museum, visitors will be able to appreciate the awe McCartney felt when he first saw the piano and it will make those visitors say, "You Really Got a Hold on Me!"


About the Motown Museum
Motown Museum is one of Detroit's most popular tourist destinations.
Each year, the Museum attracts thousands of visitors from across the nation and around the globe. Founded in 1985 by Esther Gordy Edwards, former Vice President of Motown and sister to Berry Gordy, the Museum's mission is to preserve the legacy of Motown Record Company and to educate and motivate people, especially youth, through exhibitions and programs that promote the values of vision, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Museum exhibits trace the roots of Motown's remarkable story and chronicle its impact on 20th century popular culture and musical styles.
The exhibitions include a fascinating collection of historical photographs, artwork, music, costumes and other memorabilia from this booming musical era. Each item tells a story, from the $800 Promissory Loan document Berry Gordy signed for the loan he received from the Gordy family's savings club (the Ber-Berry Co-op) to start a record company, to photos and other artifacts that chronicle the incredible popularity of Motown's artists throughout the world.

--- end ---

Contact Email :
***@globalhue.com Email Verified
Issued By : Motown Museum
Country : United States
Industry : Entertainment, Music
Tags : motown museum, paul mccartney, detroit
Last Updated : Oct 28, 2011
Shortcut : http://prlog.org/11710395
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#1779547 - 10/29/11 07:51 PM Re: Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano [Re: Piano World]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2315
Loc: NYC
The piano is from 1877, really? Is that a typo? If so, surely it must have gone through a rebuilding prior to the famous string of recordings, no?

And what size is this piano?
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#1779748 - 10/30/11 06:46 AM Re: Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano [Re: Piano World]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9141
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Frank,

Thanks for sharing this.

While I am happy that a historic piano will be used again, I think their choice of restoration is really quite a shame.

If this is an 1877 instrument that has been used the way it has been presented here, then the piano should be preserved. For a number of years now, Steinway has not been in this business. They have closed their restoration center (we've hired some former personnel from that facility) and projects like this are performed along their regular production line - by personnel who are trained in regular production.

Plates are regularly ground down to accomodate new design soundboards, new cuts are made into original rims to accomodate the change in rib placement, new design actions and rails are fit into pianos, and the result is very much a New Steinway sound and touch. This is fine if you want a new Steinway, but I feel that a historic instrument like this one should be restored to its original specs.

Philly's Sigma Sound has sent THEIR historic Steinway B here to Cunningham for these reasons. This piano has been used in recordings by Billy Joel, Madonna, David Bowie, Paul Simon, the Village People, Steely Dan, Whitney Houston, the Jacksons, and more . They are very concerned with keeping the integrity of this piano, and should they restore it, they want it to be fully restored to its original designs.

This makes sense to me and I think, to those who would want to use the same piano to record on as these stars did.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#1779924 - 10/30/11 01:37 PM Re: Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano [Re: Piano World]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2426
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
After the thread title, I thought maybe Sir Paul was going to become a piano tech.
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#1780211 - 10/30/11 10:31 PM Re: Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano [Re: Piano World]
Swarth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/28/11
Posts: 366
Loc: SF Bay Area Ca.
Rich, my boy you obviously missed the adverti...uh I mean the part of the press release where it was made clear. smirk

Quote:
...for the instrument to be professionally restored by the Steinway Restoration Center - the only place where a Steinway piano can be restored to guarantee Steinway authenticity, using 100% genuine Steinway parts.


The fact of the matter is I really like Steinway pianos, their business practices, eh not so much.
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#1780308 - 10/31/11 03:52 AM Re: Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano [Re: Swarth]
gnuboi Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 2349
Loc: USA
Ok, but Rich said that Steinway closed that center:

Quote:
For a number of years now, Steinway has not been in this business. They have closed their restoration center (we've hired some former personnel from that facility) and projects like this are performed along their regular production line - by personnel who are trained in regular production.


Actually I remember seeing ads for Steinway's restoration not that long ago. Maybe they are back.

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#1780327 - 10/31/11 05:08 AM Re: Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano [Re: Piano World]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
I believe the actual restoration facility is history but Steinway still does limited restoration in the factory itself. I'm sure Bob or ? from Steinway can set us straight. I've heard that the seniority personel who worked in restoration are back in production. I'm sure Steinway will do a good job wherever.

Well in Los Angeles,you know where and who rebuilt the Steinway B in Rusty Anderson's studio. As for restoration, WE don't do freebies. grin
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#1780385 - 10/31/11 09:05 AM Re: Paul McCartney to Restore Motown Museum's Grand Piano [Re: pianobroker]
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9141
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: pianobroker
I believe the actual restoration facility is history but Steinway still does limited restoration in the factory itself. I'm sure Bob or ? from Steinway can set us straight. I've heard that the seniority personel who worked in restoration are back in production. I'm sure Steinway will do a good job wherever.


PB,

Confirmed with an early morning chat today. Yes, the separate restoration center is closed and S&S in NY does some restoration alongside new production in the production facility.

I know in L.A. you are far removed from the East Coast thing, but I can get on a train in Philly and be in Midtown Manhattan in just over an hour. Because of this we have taken advantage of factory technicians when it is appropriate and we have relationships with some of the people there.

I made no comments on the quality of work done, but this thread may open up into that discussion. Let me be clear though - any quality issues that I know of have nothing to do with the craftsmen "on the line" actually performing the job to the best of their capabilities, they have to do with management decisions in how to best deal with the huge cost of labor. This forces a "lineman" to make compromises that they otherwise would not.

Anyway, my issue is with the type of restoration that will be done. At Steinway these days, they no longer do the same type of restoration work that they did years ago. If they get a historic B, for instance, they have made a corporate decision NOT to restore it to it's original specifications, but to make it very much like a new Steinway. (See my original post)

When we are talking about a historic scale that was thought to be a great instrument, this makes no sense to me. The value of this piano is in it's historic significance. Using different materials, designs, and execution methods will yield a different piano - period.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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