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Bed-In

Bed-In

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During the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, in 1969, John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 and Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
is a Japanese artist, musician, author and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking as well as her marriage to John Lennon...

 held two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 and Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, which were their non-violent ways of protesting wars and promoting peace. The idea is derived from a "sit-in
Sit-in
A sit-in or sit-down is a form of protest that involves occupying seats or sitting down on the floor of an establishment.-Process:In a sit-in, protesters remain until they are evicted, usually by force, or arrested, or until their requests have been met...

", in which a group of protesters remains seated in front of an establishment until they are evicted, arrested, or their demands are met.

Amsterdam Bed-in


Knowing their March 20, 1969 marriage would be a huge press event, John and Yoko decided to use the publicity to promote world peace
World peace
World Peace is an ideal of freedom, peace, and happiness among and within all nations and/or people. World peace is an idea of planetary non-violence by which nations willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that prevents warfare. The term is sometimes used to...

. They spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite (Room 702) at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
The Amsterdam Hilton Hotel is a five star hotel in Apollobuurt, Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. It is located at Apollolaan 138 along the Noorder Amstelkanaal, a canal connected to the Amstel river. The hotel opened officially in 1962 and is a branch of the Hilton Hotels chain...

 for a week between March 25 and 31, inviting the world's press into their hotel room every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. After their other stunts, such as the nude cover of the Two Virgins album, the press were expecting them to be having sex
Sexual intercourse
Sexual intercourse, also known as copulation or coitus, commonly refers to the act in which a male's penis enters a female's vagina for the purposes of sexual pleasure or reproduction. The entities may be of opposite sexes, or they may be hermaphroditic, as is the case with snails...

, but instead the couple were sitting in bed—in John's words "like angels"—talking about peace with signs over their bed reading "Hair Peace" and "Bed Peace". After seven days, they flew to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

, Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, where they held a Bagism
Bagism
Bagism is a term which was created by John Lennon and Yoko Ono as part of their extensive peace campaign in the late 1960s. The intent of bagism was to satirize prejudice and stereotyping. Bagism involved literally wearing a bag over one's entire body...

 press conference.

During April 1969, John and Yoko sent acorn
Acorn
The acorn, or oak nut, is the nut of the oaks and their close relatives . It usually contains a single seed , enclosed in a tough, leathery shell, and borne in a cup-shaped cupule. Acorns vary from 1–6 cm long and 0.8–4 cm broad...

s to the heads of state in various countries around the world in hopes that they would plant them as a symbol of peace. For eight months, the couple was not granted a single visit with any world leader. Their marriage ("You can get married in Gibraltar near Spain"), the first Bed-In ("Talking in our beds for a week"), the Vienna press conference ("Made a lightning trip to Vienna...The newspapers said..."), and the acorns ("Fifty acorns tied in a sack") were all mentioned in the song The Ballad of John and Yoko.

Drove from Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 to the Amsterdam Hilton

Talking in our beds for a week

The newspapers said

say what're you doing in bed

I said we're only trying to get us some peace.

Due to John and Yoko's very public image, the Amsterdam Bed-In was greeted by fans, and received a great deal of press coverage. Following the event, when asked if he thought the Bed-In had been successful, John became rather frustrated. He insisted that the failure of the press to take the couple seriously was part of what he and Yoko wanted: "It's part of our policy not to be taken seriously. Our opposition, whoever they may be, in all manifest forms, don't know how to handle humour. And we are humorous."

Montreal Bed-in


Their second Bed-In was planned to take place in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, but John was not allowed into the country because of his 1968 cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

 conviction. Instead they held the event in the Bahamas at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel, flying there on May 24, 1969, but after spending one night in the heat, they decided to move to Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

.

They flew to Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 on May 26 where they stayed in Rooms 1738, 1740, 1742 and 1744 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel
Queen Elizabeth Hotel
The Queen Elizabeth Hotel is a grand hotel in Montreal, Quebec. Completed in 1958, it was built by the Canadian National Railway, but was later sold to Canadian Pacific Hotels, now Fairmont Hotels and Resorts...

. During their seven day stay, they invited Timothy Leary
Timothy Leary
Timothy Francis Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. During a time when drugs like LSD and psilocybin were legal, Leary conducted experiments at Harvard University under the Harvard Psilocybin Project, resulting in the Concord Prison...

, Tommy Smothers, Dick Gregory
Dick Gregory
Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory is an American comedian, social activist, social critic, writer, and entrepreneur....

, Murray the K
Murray the K
Murray Kaufman , professionally known as Murray the K, was an influential rock and roll impresario and disc jockey of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s...

, Al Capp
Al Capp
Alfred Gerald Caplin , better known as Al Capp, was an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner. He also wrote the comic strips Abbie an' Slats and Long Sam...

, and others, and all but Capp sang on the peace anthem Give Peace a Chance
Give Peace a Chance
"Give Peace a Chance" is a song written by John Lennon, originally under the moniker Lennon–McCartney, released as a single in 1969 by the Plastic Ono Band on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 13 in the United Kingdom, Apple 1809 in the United States. It is the first solo single issued by Lennon, and...

, recorded by André Perry in the hotel room on June 1. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

 conducted interviews from the hotel room. The event received mixed reaction from the American press.

In December 1969 John and Yoko spread their messages of peace with billboards reading "WAR IS OVER! If You Want It - Happy Christmas From John and Yoko". These Billboards went up in eleven major world cities.

In popular culture and later bed-ins


The Bed-in performance has since been re-interpreted and re-used in protests by a number of artists since 1969, most notably Marijke van Warmerdam with her gallerist Kees van Gelder at the same Amsterdam Hilton in 1992 and the Centre of Attention
The Centre of Attention
The Centre of Attention is a London-based contemporary art organisation set up in 1999. Projects are shown internationally and constitute an ongoing enquiry into the phenomenon of art production, presentation and consumption....

 in 2005 in Miami. A fictional Bed-In protest was also featured in a 2006 Viva Voce
Viva Voce (band)
Viva Voce is an American indie rock band from Portland, Oregon, formed by Kevin Robinson and Anita Robinson. Their music draws on several influences including psychedelic rock, classic rock, folk and R&B.-History:...

 music video.

The event was referenced in the Oasis
Oasis (band)
Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Originally known as The Rain, the group was formed by Liam Gallagher , Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs , Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan and Tony McCarroll , who were soon joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher...

 song "Don't Look Back in Anger
Don't Look Back in Anger
"Don't Look Back in Anger" is a song by English rock band Oasis, released in 1996 as the fourth single from their hit second album Morning Glory?. The song was written by the band's guitarist and main songwriter, Noel Gallagher. The song became the band's second single to reach #1 in the UK...

", in which lead singer Noel Gallagher
Noel Gallagher
Noel Thomas David Gallagher is an English musician and singer-songwriter, formerly the lead guitarist, backing vocalist and principal songwriter of the English rock band Oasis. He is currently fronting his solo project, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.Raised in Burnage, Manchester with his...

 sings "I'm gonna start a revolution from my bed / 'Cause you said the brains I had went to my head ". The latter lyric was supposedly said by Lennon during a taped conversation he had at his room at the Dakota Hotel.

In the music video for the Marcy Playground
Marcy Playground
Marcy Playground is an American alternative rock band consisting of three members: John Wozniak , Dylan Keefe , and Shlomi Lavie . The band is best known for their 1997 hit "Sex and Candy".-Early years:...

 song, "It's Saturday
It's Saturday
"It's Saturday" is the name of the fifth single by alternative rock/post-grunge band Marcy Playground. It was originally titled "Teenage Hypochondriac" but was changed before the release date of the album...

", the group finds their way to the bed of John Lennon and Yoko during their bed in.

Linkin Park
Linkin Park
Linkin Park is an American rock band from Agoura Hills, California. Formed in 1996, the band rose to international fame with their debut album, Hybrid Theory, which was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2005 and multi-platinum in several other countries...

 members Chester Bennington
Chester Bennington
Chester Charles Bennington is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. He is best known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the rock band Linkin Park....

 and Mr. Hahn imitated the incident in a photograph taken by Greg Watermann in their book From the Inside: Linkin Park's Meteora.

In late 2006, Billie Joe Armstrong
Billie Joe Armstrong
Billie Joe Armstrong is an American rock musician and occasional actor, best known as the lead vocalist, main songwriter and lead guitarist for the American punk rock band Green Day...

, lead singer of Californian rock band Green Day
Green Day
Green Day is an American punk rock band formed in 1987. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool...

, and his wife, Adrienne Armstrong, did a similar bed-in, featuring Billie Joe and Adrienne lying on the bed, with a poster above their heads saying "Make Love Not War" in Spanish.

On Lewis Black's Root of All Evil, comedian Andy Daly exhibits a video clip showing that he has also attempted a bed in to protest the War in Iraq. Trying to mimick Lennon and Yoko's original bed in, he climbs into the bed of an Asian woman, who sprays Daly with pepper spray.

Commemoration


In 2010, the city of Montreal unveiled a commemorative artwork in Mount Royal Park commemorating the famous bed-in. The work by Linda Covit and Marie-Claude Séguin is entitled Give Peace a Chance and features the words "give peace a chance" in forty languages.
In June 1969, author, horticulturist environmentalist and peace campaigner Pete Perry staged a lie-in for Peace at his home in Stevenage, Hertfordshire UK. He left his front door open for a week, inviting people to come in and say 'hello', and to bring flowers with them. It was a huge success, and led to the formation of 'The Magic Oak Tree Family' or MOTF, which is alive and well, and still growing throughout the world. More on this at http://widgeripoo.net/about_us

External links

  • http://www.johnlennonbedin.com
  • http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1887244,00.html
  • http://www.johnlennonhilton.com/