The Bed Peace was a famous Situationist-influenced media event staged by John Lennon and Yoko Ono from March 26, 1979 at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel, The Netherlands, and from May 26, the same year at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada.
Amsterdam Bed Peace Edit
During their honeymoon, on March 26, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono started a 'bed-in' at the Amsterdam Hotel (until March 31). By the very weirdness and audacity of the stunt, the canny artists drew more coverage in the media for the Peace movement than had hitherto been achieved by any single event.
The term Bed Peace is a play on the word piece, in the sense of an artistic performance. There is also anecdotal evidence that Dick Diamond of the Australian '60s band, The Easybeats, said that it was because of something that he said, that Lennon came up with the name for his Amsterdam bed-in. Diamond's story was that Lennon was talking about the different 'peace' stunts he was doing, and also how he would be honeymooning in Amsterdam and was planning the bed-in. Dick Diamond was Dutch-born, and his story went that he humorously said to Lennon, "You should call it 'Bed Peace' because a word that sounds like that means 'bedbug' in Dutch -- it would be a good joke".
In the Dutch language there is a word, 'pissebed', roughly equated to the English-language 'wood louse'. The word pissebed in Dutch has a remote connection with bed wetting.
Montreal Bed Peace Edit
For a week from June 1, 1969, John and Yoko gave interviews while in bed in Room 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada (still the most frequently requested one at the hotel), ignoring the media hostility that became associated with their highly successful attempt to use bed theatre to bring the concept of peace and 'War is Over -- if you want it' to a global audience.
London's Daily Mirror noted: ‘A not inconsiderable talent seems to have gone completely off his rocker.'
Many people came to visit the Lennons in their hotel room, including American entertainer Tommy Smothers, Petula Clark, Dick Gregory and Timothy Leary. During this Bed Peace, Lennon, Ono and their guests, The L'il Abner cartoonist Al Capp, also visited and conducted withe the lennons a hostile and vociferous interview, which was captured on film.
Under the name The Plastic Ono Band, the Lennons and their roomful of guests recorded 'Give Peace a Chance' in the hotel room on June 1, 1969. Early in the bed-in, a reporter asked John Lennon what he was trying to do. Lennon said, "All we are saying is give peace a chance", spontaneously, but liked the phrase and set it to music for the song. He sang the song several times during the bed-in, and finally, on June 1, rented an 8-track tape machine from a local music store and recorded it in bed.