Hotel celebrates Lennon-Ono bed-in after 50 years

Room 1742 at The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal is part of the art exhibition which celebrates the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in for peace.
Room 1742 at The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal is part of the art exhibition which celebrates the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in for peace.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE

MONTREAL • John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent a week in pyjamas in 1969 at The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, welcoming journalists and recording Give Peace A Chance as the Vietnam War raged.

Fifty years later, the hotel is celebrating their fabled experiment in pacifism with special events, including guided tours of their room.

"We're still talking about it 50 years later, but, at the time, we had no idea the impact that it would have," said Ms Joanne Papineau, spokesman for the hotel.

"After the couple left, for years we didn't talk about the bed-in, but then John was murdered, other wars continued and people started showing up wanting to see where it all happened," she noted.

From May 26 to June 2, 1969, Beatles singer Lennon and his wife Ono received journalists who interviewed them in bed, as well as fans and fellow artists.

Amid this merry chaos and with limited technical means, Lennon composed and recorded his famous hymn to peace, Give Peace A Chance.

The special events at the hotel include an exhibition of photographs taken during the bed-in, guided tours of the famous room and a concert for peace.

The couple rented four adjacent rooms in the hotel (1738, 1740, 1742 and 1744) for their stay in 1969.

The rooms have since been combined into a single suite.

Mock-ups of two original handpainted Hair Peace and Bed Peace signs adorn the windows.

There is also a showcase of the works of the widow of Lennon, who was shot dead outside their New York apartment in 1980. The killer said he did it to get attention.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2019, with the headline 'Hotel celebrates Lennon-Ono bed-in after 50 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe