Keyboard used on 10cc’s greatest hits to go up for auction

A keyboard that graced some of the most intelligent and innovative hit records of the 1970s is to go under the hammer.

The Fender Rhodes electric piano owned by former 10cc member Eric Stewart was used on many of the band’s biggest hits, including Dreadlock Holiday, Life Is A Minestrone, The Wall Street Shuffle and, most famously, 1975’s ground-breaking I’m Not In Love, which topped the UK chart for two weeks.

The original promotional video for I’m Not In Love featured Stewart, who sang lead vocal on the track, playing the Fender Rhodes.

During a hiatus in 10cc’s career in the 1980s, the keyboard was used by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder in studio recording sessions.

Mr Stewart, 74, is selling the Fender Rhodes and also a customised 1950s Gibson Les Paul guitar, which featured on many 10cc tracks, and also two of Paul McCartney’s solo albums, Pipes of Peace and Tug of War.

Auctioneer Luke Hobbs with the Fender Rhodes electric piano owned by former-10cc member Eric Stewart
Auctioneer Luke Hobbs with the Fender Rhodes electric piano owned by former-10cc member Eric Stewart (Gardiner Houlgate/PA)

Luke Hobbs, auctioneer from Wiltshire-based Gardiner Houlgate, said the instrument was expected to fetch between £6,000 and £10,000.

“This keyboard is probably the most significant piece of 10cc memorabilia ever to come on to the market,” he said.

“If you listen to I’m Not In Love, it’s the very first thing you hear. It really is an iconic piece of British pop history.

“As well as being integral to 10cc’s sound, the keyboard featured prominently in the band’s videos and photographs.

“I’m anticipating a lot of interest from collectors, fans and possibly museums.”

Formed in 1972, 10cc comprised four members: Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley and Lol Creme.

Between 1972 and 1983, the band released nine albums and 25 singles in the UK, 11 of which reached the top 10, three going to number one.

The band  was once described as “the missing link” between The Beatles and Blur.

They broke up in 1983, reuniting briefly in 1993 to record a new album.

A version of the band featuring Graham Gouldman continues to tour and play live.

I’m Not In Love featured on the soundtrack of the hit 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy.

The three-day auction will take place from September 11 at Gardiner Houlgate in Corsham, Wiltshire.