Motown Piano Gets Makeover Thanks To Paul McCartney

DETROIT - During a summer visit to a Motown recording studio, former Beatle Paul McCartney wanted to run his fingers along an 1877 Steinway grand piano played by some Detroit music greats he considers idols.

Undaunted, the legendary rock and roller from England told museum officials following a July concert at Comerica Park that he wanted to help restore it.

"He said well what are your plans for the piano? And we explained that we need to get it restored so that it can be played, but we are a nonprofit. And he said well do you mind if I have Steinway do that? And we said of course not, we'd love for you to do that," said Motown Historical Museum chief executive Audley Smith Jr.

On Monday, the piano will be picked up from the Detroit museum and shipped to Steinway & Sons in New York for restoration. The work is expected to take up to five months.

The piano company has to assess the piano's condition before a cost can be determined.

"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," Steinway & Sons President of Americas Ron Losby told the newspaper in a statement.

"I think for him the most significant of all the experiences were him coming to Studio A and being actually in the small little room, formally a garage, where from 1959 to 1972 all of the great Motown music was created. He was just bowled over," said Smith.

"We're especially proud, as an American company, to help the Motown Museum in preserving the legacy of the Motown Record Company, whose artists and albums played such a vital role in one of the great eras of American music."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.