01 Jun Anniversary of the Montreal Bed-In for Peace
On this day in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were posted in bed, halfway through their second bed-in, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.
After the initial success of their first bed-in event in Amsterdam, the couple decided to duplicate the idea in other locations. Originally planned for New York, Lennon’s cannabis conviction swiftly ended that idea and the Bahamas were selected before the heat caused the pair to change their minds and head on to Montreal.
A number of celebrities and journalists were invited to the room to meet the couple and join the message for peace. Guests such as Timothy Leary, Tommy Smothers and Dick Gregory all made it to the room to join in, while infamous cartoonist Al Capp made it to attempt to provoke the pair. A video of their encounter is available here. The confrontation inspired John and Yoko to make a voodoo doll for the obnoxious cartoonist, pictured left. The invited guests, bar Capp, all joined in to record the impromptu single “Give Peace A Chance”, now regarded as on the most renowned anthems for peace amongst any artist. Canadian, American and world presses alike reported on the story, albeit with mixed reactions.
The bed-in went on to inspire numerous artists to reference the event or hold their own bed-ins, also in the name of spreading the peace message. Not only this, but the Lennon’s are also credited with being amongst the first figures to use their popular culture notoriety to try and affect change around the world. There is an available film of the bed-in made in conjunction with Yoko Ono that can be found on her Imagine Peace website and linked above.