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Rock Hall Anniversary: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace

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Just days after they tied the knot on March 20th, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono continued their push for peace, by staging a bed-in; one in Amsterdam and another in Montreal. The idea came from “sit-ins”, where protesters remained seated in front of establishments until eviction, arrest, or demands were met.

For the week of March 25th and 31st, Lennon and Ono checked into the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel’s presidential suite, where they sit in bed, with two signs over their heads; one saying “hair peace” and the other “bed peace”. But it didn’t stop there. Lennon and Ono also would invite the press every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., and along with the huge press coverage, the bed-in was soon greeted by fans.

After Amsterdam, Lennon and Ono headed to Montreal on May 26th, for the second bed-in. During the week, they stayed in four rooms at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, and once again the press was there. The couple was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and guests of the bed-in included Dick Gregory, Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg. Lennon, Ono and the guests all sang the peace anthem “Give Peace a Chance”, which was recorded in the hotel room.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in, is considered one of the most historical moments in music history, one that would be reinterpreted in the years to come. People including Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, comedian Lewis Black, and artist Marike van Warmerdam have all made interpretations of the bed-in, some for a cause, some to simply just interpret that famous moment. Lennon and Ono’s bed-in would also be heavily documented, including in a film Bed Peace, which Ono made available on YouTube in 2011.

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