A Brief History
On March 25, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono came up with a unique way to celebrate their honeymoon, by inviting friends and reporters to spend the day in their hotel bedroom each day for a week!
Digging deeper, we find soon to be Ex-Beatle John Lennon married to the love of his life, Yolo Ono, on honeymoon in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Holland).
In accordance with Lennon and Ono’s avowed opposition to war (especially the Viet Nam War) they staged an event they called a Bed-In for Peace, where the lovebirds would spend a week in their Hilton hotel room bed entertaining guests and reporters from 9 am to 9pm each day. They planned to capitalize on the sure knowledge that their wedding would be huge entertainment news to push their message of peace and coincidentally provide an enormous platform to promote their latest record.
With a prurient lust for the bizarre, many people wondered if the couple would be engaged in public displays of sexual conduct, the event certainly got the publicity the couple had hoped for. So much so, that they decided to do it again!
Not permitted into the United States because of being caught with marijuana in 1968, Lennon and Ono had to look for another location rather than their intended New York venue. They chose the Bahamas, but after only one day of oppressive heat they moved their act to Montreal, Quebec Canada and began their next Bed-In on May 26, 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
The Bed-Ins have been frequently referred to in popular culture, appearing in films, music videos, and songs, and even parodied by comedians! Green Day lead singer Billie Armstrong and his wife even made their own Bed-In poster in 2006 and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Mr. Hahn staged a similar photograph.
The city of Montreal revealed artwork commemorating the 1969 Bed-In in 2010, displaying the words “Give Peace A Chance” in forty languages. Not surprisingly, the piece it titled Give Peace a Chance!
Lennon and Ono failed to end war with their publicity stunts, but certainly added to the legend that is John Lennon. All they were saying was Give Peace a Chance!
Question for students (and subscribers): What would you stage to promote peace? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see….
Athey, Joan, Paul McGrath, et al. Give Peace a Chance: John and Yoko’s Bed-in for Peace. Wiley, 2009.