Montreal celebrates 40th anniversary of John and Yoko’s bed-in for peace

Officially, I went to Montréal to report on what airport representatives are talking about at their annual marketing and communications conference.  And I will.

But today, I’m hanging out at the hotel called Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, which hosted John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in for peace forty years ago.

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“JoYoko,” as the concierge up on the 19th floor calls them, checked in to suite 1742 on May 26th, 1969 and checked out on June 2nd, a week later.  Their bed-in grabbed worldwide attention and culminated with the recording of the now iconic song Give Peace A Chance on June 1st.

John Lennon wrote the song on the spur of the moment and the suite was turned into a makeshift recording studio with 50 or so people crowded in for the recording,  including celebrities such as Tommy Smothers and Petula Clark.

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Guests can still rent the John Lennon Suite and although the furniture has been replaced several times, hotel officials say those who stay in the room often insist there’s still “a mystical aura” in the room.  Maybe that’s because the walls of the living room and the bedroom are covered with all sorts of memorabilia from the event, including newspaper articles, framed gold records of Give Peace A Chance with music and lyrics, and pictures of JoYoko.

I didn’t get a chance to visit the suite on this trip (it was booked long ago) but I did go see the memorabilia-laden Imagine exhibition documenting the week-long peace protest that’s on view at the nearby Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (admission is free through June 21st, 2009) and  housekeeping notes from John and Yoko’s stay at The Queen Elizabeth.

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One thought on “Montreal celebrates 40th anniversary of John and Yoko’s bed-in for peace

  1. Joan Athey says:

    And there’s a beautiful book of never seen before photos about the Bed-in that will give you chills up and down your spine. Give Peace A Chance has stories from eye witnesses to the recording and an exclusive essay by Yoko about what the Bed-in meant at that time to her and what it means now. Visit http://www.peaceworksnow.com. There’s a stack of books in English and French at the Montreal Museum bookshop. Enjoy!

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