John Lennon: Empire State Building lit up for his 80th birthday
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John Lennon and Yoko Ono took the idea of spending your honeymoon in bed to a new level. Rather than getting up to what most would consider expected on such an occasion, they lay in bed together in a hotel room, inviting the world’s press. This was a protest against the Vietnam War which began on March 25, 1969, and continued on and off until June 1.
Can you stay in the hotel rooms from the Bed-Ins for Peace?
John Lennon fans can absolutely stay in the first hotel room the couple slept in – but for a big price.
The Bed Ins for Peace began at the Amsterdam Hilton on March 25, 1969, the room for which has been permanently memorialised.
The Amsterdam Hilton room is available for between $1,800 and $2,300 a night, according to the Washington Post, which equals £1,300 and £1,650.
As for the second hotel, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, staying in room 1742 costs the same as it would any other in the hotel, with prices starting at £188 a night.
However, this room is not quite the memorial of the Amsterdam one, though it has permanent stickers on the windows to showcase the signs John and Yoko held up behind them.
During the 50th anniversary of this event, which was in 2019, the Fairmont offered a special package which meant staying in the room was much more expensive but included special mementoes so fans could live a night in the Beatles star’s shoes.
The Bed Ins for Peace began on March 25, 1969, only a few days after John and Yoko had tied the knot.
The pair had been the subject of a great deal of media attention, mainly around growing tensions between The Beatles and Yoko’s involvement in their work.
After the band split, Yoko was characterised as one of the potential catalysts for their break up, which was to come less than a year after the bed-ins.
Using the heightened media coverage to their advantage, John and Yoko invited press up to their bedroom at the Amsterdam Hotel for a mystery press conference.
Many thought they were about to see the consummation of the couple’s marriage, given in 1968 the couple released an album called Two Virgins, where the cover showed them both standing completely nude.
However, this was not to be the case, and the bed-ins were a protest against the Vietnam War, with the couple also vowing to grow their hair to preach world peace.
Speaking about why they were there, John said to the Washington Post: “We’re going to stay in bed for seven days, rather than having a private honeymoon, as a private protest…”
Yoko interjected: “For the violence that is going on in the world. Instead of making war we though, ‘Let’s stay in bed.’”
John added: “And grow your hair for peace. Let it grow until peace comes.”
He also said he was ‘depressed’ at how the media were ‘picking on Yoko’ but they were able to turn the ‘hounding’ into something of use: to promote world peace.
After seven days in Amsterdam, they flew to Vienna to do a Bagism press conference, before their second bed-in.
They intended to take the bed-in to New York City, but John was not allowed to enter the USA due to a cannabis conviction.
As a result, they chose to go to the Bahamas, but only lasted one night due to the immense heat in the hotel room.
After one night at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel, they flew to Canada, staying first in Toronto before going to Montreal’s Fairmont Queen Elizabeth for their second protest, which began on May 26.
They stayed across four different rooms in the hotel, inviting guests to join them including Allen Ginsburg and activist Dick Gregory.
On June 1, they recorded the song Give Peace a Chance in room 1742, which was the last day of their protest.
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