Ain't that a shame -- there were no takers in the online charity auction for a piano played and signed by 79-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Fats Domino.
The piano had been up for bid since June 1, with a starting price of $100,000. The auction closed Wednesday, with no takers.
Unsigned, the baby grand donated by the Baldwin Piano Co. is valued at about $60,000, said Jamie Sylves, a spokeswoman for Charity Folks, the company that hosted the online auction on its web site, http://www.charityfolks.com.
Sylves said organizers are considering relaunching the piano auction closer to the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which is Aug. 29.
Proceeds from the auction were to benefit environmentally friendly rebuilding efforts in Domino's hurricane-devastated hometown of New Orleans.
The piano, made from wood harvested in areas that are not environmentally threatened, was among about two dozen autographed instruments at auction in recent weeks for the New Orleans arm of the environmental group Global Green USA.
Global Green has been working with New Orleans area residents, schools and businesses to renovate or rebuild storm-damaged structures using energy-saving materials such as metal roofing and recycled textiles.
This is the first environmentally friendly, or "green," piano built by Baldwin, Sylves said. The piano has been on display in the lobby of a downtown New Orleans hotel since May 24, when Domino performed "Ain't That a Shame" before an intimate crowd gathered there.
Domino's signature is visible on the music rack above the keyboard. He also signed the top of the keyboard cover, said Domino's longtime friend Haydee Ellis, who witnessed Domino's performance and piano signing.
Besides the piano, guitars autographed by members of the bands Bon Jovi, Counting Crows, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and ZZ Top were up for bids, along with guitars autographed by country singer Brad Paisley and rock star Avril Lavigne. Also up was a saxophone signed by Kenny G and drum head autographed by members of the band Hootie & the Blowfish.
Final figures were not immediately available, but the money will benefit Global Green's rebuilding efforts, including a project in the Lower 9th Ward's Holy Cross neighborhood that was launched in April 2006 with a design competition by actor Brad Pitt.
Domino rode out Katrina in his Lower 9th Ward home, which flooded along with 80 percent of New Orleans when Katrina's storm surge broke levees on Aug. 29, 2005.
His home is being rebuilt by the Tipitina's Foundation, which helped scores of musicians find housing and new instruments after the storm. The foundation is working with Elton John, Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, B.B. King and others who will record a tribute album of Domino's songs to benefit the foundation.
Roughly 25 percent of the album's proceeds will go toward rebuilding Domino's home, which is expected to cost upward of $100,000.
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