John Lennon and “Give Peace a Chance.”
Today, many fans and critics of John Lennon don’t realize how much Yoko Ono inspired John. Always the artist, he absorbed and respected Yoko’s history of performance art and sophistication. (Yoko Ono’s 80th birthday was February 18th.)
Together, they mounted a public event combined with their honeymoon at a hotel in Montreal, Canada, spontaneously recording a single that would become the anti-Vietnam war anthem. It also reached #14 on the Billboard charts.
“Give Peace A Chance” was spontaneously written during Lennon’s “Bed-In” demonstration. When reporters asked him what he was trying to accomplish, he blurted out “just give peace a chance!” A large number of journalists and celebs were in the hotel room for the recording including Timothy Leary, Pet Clark, Allen Ginsburg, Murray the K, Dick Gregory, and Tommy Smothers on acoustic guitar.
The single was released July 4th, 1969 in the UK, on July 7th in the USA, is one of John Lennon’s most famous songs and it’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.