Hammer to Fall on Queen Kawai Piano


8th November 2021

The piano is believed to feature on Queen’s 1984 album The Works, which ironically included the hit single Hammer to Fall. The instrument is expected to fetch £10,000–£20,000.

Used by Queen in both the recording studio and on tour, the Kawai EP 308 Baby Grand Electric Piano was bought from Queen by new wave rockers The Alarm in 1985 following a chance meeting between lead singer Mike Peters and Freddie Mercury.

Queen and The Alarm both performed at the 1984 Montreux Pop Festival in Switzerland. While drinking in a nearby hotel bar, Peters was approached by a member of Queen’s crew who informed him that Freddie Mercury wanted to meet him.

Mike Peters said: “Freddie was very humble and told me that he was a massive fan of The Alarm’s album. He asked me lots of questions about its recording. Then he gave me a card with his number and told me to call him if he could help us in any way.”

In 1985, when The Alarm needed a piano, they arranged to buy the Kawai from Queen for around £3,000. The Alarm’s road crew collected it from the home of Queen drummer, Roger Taylor.

After being used on tour with The Alarm for three years, Mike Peters took ownership of the piano and stored it in his recording studio, a converted chapel in north Wales.

Explaining his decision to sell the piano, Mike Peters said: “The piano certainly has a kind of magic. I’d love it to go to someone who gets the same buzz from it as we did.

“This year is The Alarm’s 40th anniversary. It’s a good opportunity to refresh everything we do. Some of our equipment is out of date and we need to reclaim some space.”

The Alarm supported Queen for two nights at Wembley Stadium, London on the band’s 1986 The Magic Tour. This was Queen’s final tour with Freddie Mercury and bass player John Deacon. It is estimated that over one million people attended the 26 concerts.

Luke Hobbs, auctioneer at Gardiner Houlgate in Wiltshire said: “This is an incredible piece of rock memorabilia and a fantastic instrument. With new technology, today’s electric pianos are a fraction of the size of the Kawai. We’re anticipating interest from collectors all over the world and fans of both Queen and The Alarm.”

The Alarm formed in Rhyll, North Wales in 1981 and had a series of hits in the 1980s including Sixty-Eight Guns and Spirit of ‘76. Following a break-up in 1991, the band reformed in 2004 and continue to perform.

Other equipment being sold by The Alarm includes a range of guitar amplifiers and flight cases.

See www.guitar-auctions.co.uk for catalogue previews.

The auction will take place at Gardiner Houlgate, 9 Leafield Way, Corsham, Wiltshire, SN13 9SW on Wednesday 8 December.

The Kawai piano will be available for public viewing over Monday 6–Tuesday 7 December from 9am–5.30pm and on the day of the sale itself.

For more information contact Luke Hobbs or Jamie South 01225 812912 or 07718 988374 (m) or by email at auctions@gardinerhoulgate.co.uk.

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