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Eric's "Magic Piano"


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In January 2000, I was searching for Eric Carmen rarities on eBay when a very interesting autograph caught my eye. It was a vintage 1917 Steinway grand piano. The listing noted that the piano was signed by "famous musician Eric Carmen." I immediately picked up the phone and dialed Eric, who checked out the auction item and then returned my call with a very surprising story.

Turns out this very Steinway was the piano Eric wrote just about every one of his songs from his early Raspberries days through his first couple of solo albums. "Let's Pretend." "I Can Remember." "All By Myself." "Go All The Way." Eric called it his "magic piano." I recall Eric saying on a local radio station in the early '70s that at one point the only piece of furniture he had in his apartment was a piano. This piano.

He sold the piano when he moved to Los Angeles and signed it for the new owner. How it ended up in a Chicago piano dealer's eBay auction is anybody's guess.

The auction closed with the reserve unmet at $15,100, so it's whereabouts are currently unknown. And yes, in case you were wondering, Eric did place a bid.

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Steinway pianos are the creme de la creme in professional circles and even without its illustrious provenance, this piano would be an amazing bargain. Given its amazing history, it truly is a *magic* piano. I would love to have that magic in my living room!

If Eric really did bid on the piano, I would hope that one day this miracle instrument would find its way back to him so it can produce more magic.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 9 years later...

LC, the last time Seattle Steve posted was in March of 2016.  Before that, it had been several years since he posted.

Stringer last posted in February of 2016, and it had been a couple of years between that post and the previous one.

I don't know if they belong to any of the FB groups regarding Eric or 'berries...

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  • 1 year later...

Eric and his "magic piano" lived in the same high rise in Euclid, Ohio, on the same floor, the 21st, that I lived in.(same years,too)  He couldn't remember if he was in the east or west building when I asked him. I was in the west....if I had only known. He would have had to get a restraining order against me.


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  • 10 months later...

LC asked.... "1) Anyone ever find out more information about where this piano ended up? "

If we had the Steinway-assigned serial number from the auction sale (I can't see that info in the auction photos) OR if Eric ever made note of it from when it was in his possession, it might be possible to trace it through subsequent or more recent sales.


My favorite line from "Groundhog Day" is from the scene where Phil is playing piano MUCH better than when he first started lessons....

Piano Teacher:
Not bad... Mr. Connors, you say this is your first lesson?

Yes, but my father was a piano *mover*, so...

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