Kickstarted by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 as a response to the Vietnam war, the Bed-In was intended as a tool to promote peace.
The Bed-Ins for Peace were two week-long peaceful protests against war, intended to highlight new ways to promote peace.
In the midst of the Vietnam War in 1969, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono held their first Bed-In protest at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. The Bed-In was filmed and later turned into a documentary Bed Peace, which was made available for free on YouTube in August 2011 by Yoko Ono, as part of her website “Imagine Peace”.
We take a look at the top 5 Bed-Ins, starting with the one that ignited them all, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
1. Knowing their March 20, 1969 marriage would be a huge press event, Lennon and Ono spent their honeymoon in the presidential suite (Room 702) at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for a week between March 25th and 31st.
The couple invited the press into their room every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m, where they met with reporters, just sitting in bed and wearing pyjamas—in Lennon’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, Austria, where they held a Bagism press conference.
2. The second Bed-In, was at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. John and Yoko settled into the Queen Elizabeth Hotel on May 26 where they stayed in Rooms 1738, 1740, 1742 and 1744. During their seven-day stay, they invited Timothy Leary, Tommy Smothers, Dick Gregory, Murray the K, Al Capp, and Allen Ginsberg. The peace anthem “Give Peace a Chance”, was recorded by André Perry in the hotel room on June 1, 1969.
The cardboard sign reading ‘Bed Peace’, created by John Lennon for his 1969 bed-in peace protest in Montreal, was sold by Christie’s auction house to an anonymous telephone bidder in 2011 for $155,600.
3. In 2010 the Liverpool centre for the contemporary arts staged a 62-day event, Bed-In at the Blue-coat, which used Lennon & Ono’s original bed-in as a template for 62 daily performances by artists, activists, community groups and others to do “something for a better world.” Ono blessed the event and sent a video message. The project started on 9 October, on what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday, and ended on 9 December, which marked 30 years since his death.
4. On September 13, 2018, Ono who was joined by the Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, actor Jeff Bridges and then-New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, would participate in a Bed-In which was held at New York City Hall and focused on promoting support for New York City schools.
5. In late 2006, Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Californian rock band Green Day and wife Adrienne did a similar bed-in with a poster above their heads saying “Make Love Not War” in Spanish.
Check out the free bed peace doco below: