45 Years Ago Today: John & Yoko’s First “Bed-In”

 

On March 25, 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, The BeatlesJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono used their fame to promote peace on the world’s stage. Five days after their highly-publicized wedding, the couple checked into the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam for what would be the first of two “bed-ins” for peace.

The pair sent out invitations saying, “Come To John and Yoko’s honeymoon: a bed-in, Amsterdam Hotel,” and press from all over the world responded immediately. Reporters, photographers and cameramen flocked to the presidential suite of the hotel and “fought their way in” only to find the newlyweds wearing pajamas, surrounded by flowers “like two angels in bed,” John claimed.

For six days, from 9 am to 9 pm, the newlyweds gave interviews beneath signs reading “Hair Peace” and “Bed Peace.” The footage was edited and turned into the 40-minute film, Honeymoon – which also included sequences of John and Yoko “asleep, waking up and reading the newspapers.”

After their Amsterdam bed-in ended, they flew to Vienna before returning home to London; but the protest for peace wasn’t over yet. On May 26, 1969, John and Yoko staged another bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Once again, photographers and news outlets mobbed the hotel and the event was reported by over 350 radio stations across the US.

Today the now famous presidential suite in the Hilton Amsterdam was rechristened the “John & Yoko Suite” and is available for booking for about 1,750 euros (roughly $2,400) a night.

The bed-ins were also chronlicled in John's now-iconic song, “The Balld of John and Yoko”:

“Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton / Talking in our beds for a week / The newspapers said, ‘Say, what you doing in bed? / I said, ‘We’re only trying to get us some peace.’”