In these grim economic times and rainy days, we could do worse than remind ourselves that there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel! Forty years ago this week, John Lennon and Yoko Ono set about bringing a message of peace to the world from their bed in the Amsterdam Hilton hotel. They vowed to stay in bed for a whole week (24 - 31 March, 1969) in what they called a "bed-in for peace". It certainly drew alot of media attention to their message of peace and in particular their stance against the war in Vietnam, which can only be a good thing. While this might not be everyone's idea of a great honeymoon, I can't think of a better place to stage a peace protest than a nice comfy bed. I took part in an anti-war demo in Manchester once and by heck it was freezing!
This wasn't their last bed-in though. A few months later on 26 May 1969, John and Yoko checked into Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel to start their next peace protest, to continue the momentum of the first one. For another week the couple, along with Ono's five-year-old daughter Kyoko, entertained guests including U.S. black civil rights advocate Dick Gregory, Quebec separatist Jacques Larue-Langlois and American cartoonist Al Capp. It was at the end of this bed-in that a historic and spontaneous performance of 'Give Peace a Chance' was recorded.
Here at the museums, we're very proud to hold a piece of this moment in history. In our collections we have an 'All You Need is Love' beadspread that was handmade by the local Montreal Hare Krishna Chapter and given to John and Yoko for the protest.
Currently you can see the bedspread from the Montreal bed-in for peace in The Beat Goes On exhibition at World Museum Liverpool. Peace out.