If you are old enough to remember the 1960s, “Give Peace a Chance” could melt your heart or cause youthful memories to tumble into consciousness. Walking in the gallery door, there’s the stirring sound of John Lennon’s anti-war anthem for the ages.
Then, before that door shuts behind you, we see them: John and Yoko, two hairy hippies hanging out in bed together in flowing white pajamas, like apostles for peace. At the new 12 Pine Street Gallery, 52 photographs transport viewers to May 1969, when the celebrity newlyweds staged their “Bed-in for Peace” in Montreal. For eight days, the former Beatle and his wife, Yoko Ono, camped out in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel as a nonviolent protest against the war raging in Vietnam. Lennon, who was 28, and Ono, 36, did their first bed-in while honeymooning in the Netherlands two months earlier. The second publicity stunt was targeted for New York City, but Lennon was barred from entering the U.S. because of a marijuana arrest. “They basically spent a week in their pajamas, talking to anyone who would listen to them. To me, it’s very powerful,” says Victoria A. Rehberg, organizer and curator of the exhibit.
Source: The Daily Gazette, Schenectady
Photo Credit: Joan Athey/Peaceworks Now Productions