Bed Peace: John and Yoko

Moved by the recent unrest in London, Yoko Ono, artist and wife of the late John Lennon, has decided to share the 1969 film "Bed Peace" (directed by Yoko and John and filmed by Nic Knowland), online.

[The film] is a document of the Montreal events and features John & Yoko in conversation with, amongst others, The World Press, satirist Al Capp, activist Dick Gregory, comedian Tommy Smothers, protesters at Berkeley’s People’s Park, Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg, quiltmaker Christine Kemp, psychologists Timothy Leary & Rosemary Leary, CFOX DJs Charles P. Rodney Chandler & Roger Scott, producer André Perry, journalist Ritchie York, DJ & Promoter Murray The K, filmmaker Jonas Mekas, publicist Derek Taylor & personal assistant Anthony Fawcett.

Featured songs are Plastic Ono Band’s GIVE PEACE A CHANCE & INSTANT KARMA, Yoko’s REMEMBER LOVE & WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND & John’s acoustic version of BECAUSE.

Watch the film at Looks like the film will be offered there in YouTube form for this weekend only.

Update: From Yoko Ono's office (and from Yoko Ono herself, in the Boing Boing comments on this post) , word that "BED PEACE will now be available until midnight Sunday 21st August." No commercial release planned, though some old VHS tapes are still available online through various sellers. "Yoko just wants to encourage people to be reminded of and to discuss PEACE, especially after the recent events in the UK," says a rep.

(Image courtesy Yoko Ono)


  1. Dear Friends,

    In 1969, John and I were so naïve to think that doing the Bed-In would help change the world.
    Well, it might have. But at the time, we didn’t know.

    It was good that we filmed it, though.
    The film is powerful now.
    What we said then could have been said now.

    In fact, there are things that we said then in the film, which may give some encouragement and inspiration to the activists of today. Good luck to us all.

    Let’s remember WAR IS OVER if we want it.
    It’s up to us, and nobody else.
    John would have wanted to say that.

    I have had so many of you contact me and ask if we can keep BED PEACE playing for longer, so I have decided to extend the deadline for another week – until midnight on 21st August – so everyone can get a chance to see it.

    Tell your friends to go to to watch the film, read about it, Tweet and Facebook message about it – discuss PEACE with your friends.


    i love you!

    Yoko Ono Lennon
    London, UK
    August 2011

    1. much love to you.  <3

      if only more people on this planet could rise above some of our inner primate urges and some of our (anti-)social programming, said planet could be such a better place for everybody to live.

    2. I watched it, I loved it, I shared it with everyone, like you just shared it with me.

      Thank you, Yoko :)

    3. Your efforts changed my world, my imagination, my career, my art, my music. You have changed the world. Thank you.

    4. John meant and still means so much to me. Thank you for keeping his memory, and my memory of him alive. Peace.

  2. Thank you Yoko.  What you and John did was only naive in the way that any great expression of love and hope can seem to be.   Your ongoing work to promote peace and your loyalty to the memory of John speak to me of vast inner strength and true wisdom.  The worst kind of naivety is the belief that nothing can or will change.

  3. Folks, it’s much more complex than that. Anyone who buys into the crazy logic of artists peace arguments are probably natural born peace nicks just as most of humanity are natural born war mongers. Let’s face it we pop out of mom ready to take up arms organize and go out and do what ever comes to mind. London is a perfect example. I can’t help but think of a vid I saw on YouTube where a BBC reporter is interviewing a teen asking why he is here. And the child answers because cops kill with no reason, and they’re thieves. Meanwhile behind him his fellow rioters were destroying property and sacking the stores they had broken into. The reality of human militarism lies in the biological urgings to theft.

    A real peace movement has to take into effect the fact that militarism is a natural urge endowed by our maker, be it natural or super natural, and will not go away simply by being nice. There is survival value in this strategy. We all descend from someone who was starving to death and with their last scrap of supplies struck out to steal from those who had more. Real peace has to at a minimum at first negate this logic. The trick is to negate this logic without having to resort to combat. A real peace movement also has to take into account of how to deal with armed forces that do not accept what ever the logic of real peace turns out to be. In the peace movements of the past 60 years they wrongly tried to attribute as much blame against all sides of the then current human martial experience.

    It’s a very complex problem, and a very real one. And sitting in bed won’t address it.

    1. I agree, we are a war-mongering species.  However, we are only that way because we revert to our basic and necessary instincts.  We have not grown very much as a species since the days we lived on the African savannah, and to think differently required a new way of looking at the world and our neighbours within it.     

      We really are better than this.  We create so much, but only to see it destroyed by looters and thugs.  But it has been the same way for thousands of years, the Romans and Greeks experienced it, the Victorians, the French, the Americans.  Rioting is a sign of general, ill-defined discontent.  There are always opportunists, and sometimes the opportunists are part of the reason we can’t talk about the problem without mentioning ‘criminals, mob and scum’.  

      In most countries, demonstrations against the state are illegal, including here on Airstrip One.  Same in Oceania.  The UK ‘riots’ may not have a strong political message like the pro-democracy campaigns in the middle-east, but they certainly have a message to send to the authorities.  The message is simple; we are not satisfied with the way the system is being run.

      If you have any doubts about this, ask any 17 year-old living on a council estate in a city, compare his/her reactions to a 17 year-old who is at school in one of the wonderful schools our country provides for the wealthy.  

      The rioting has stopped.  The discontent hasn’t.  We have an unelected government of ultra-wealthy despots whose raison d’etre is to make sure there is a cheap and constant supply of uneducated workers.  

      To those of you watching from the outside, keep your eyes on the build-up to the Olympics, and the measures the UK government uses to silence protesters.  1984?  We’re way past that.

  4. I watched the film. It’s striking how not very different current conditions are. Lennon said, “In the old days Christ used miracles. Well, today’s miracle is communication, so let’s use it to get the message out.” I think his words are a lot more true now. Twitter & FB have really put power in the people’s hands, for good (arab spring) and bad (uk riots). But like anything, it’s not a quick fix. Look at Egypt. Everyone thought it was some glorious change, but it’s still about as bad as it ever was.

    The basic problem in all revolutionary movements, violent or no, is the lack of patience in the nature of humans. The modern day pace of life has only accelerated this character flaw. People want instant results, instant change, instant gratification. Another thing we’ve seen with the post-Mubarak Egypt is that simple messages are easy and galvanizing, but everyone has different agendas, different goals, and you end up in-fighting with the same people you were holding hands with a month earlier.

    But Lennon was right; without non-violence any movement is doomed. But reforming a system? I don’t think anyone has figured that out yet. As long as the populous is doped up on reality shows and overworked, they’ll stay in line. But I feel like there’s a change in the weather coming, a tension that we saw in the UK riots. In many ways those days in ’69 are pretty similar… (aside from maybe young people being better able to express themselves back then).

  5. Thank you Yoko for your generosity in sharing the film. I too miss Johns presence, there is so much mis-information in the world today. Everyone needs to hear the truth, if that is all we had it would be a lot.
    I know some people say we need more than a film to change, but they are mostly wrong. We have to start somewhere, being narrow minded about the whole deal is another obstacle. I am reminded of the Butterfly effect, where a Butterfly flapping its wings in South America can eventually lead to a storm over the ocean. People think about what they can do, you can take a first step towards a solution.

  6. Thank you so much, Yoko! 

    I’m on your side of history, because you’re on the good side of history. And on the side that wins much more often than it loses. It just takes time, of course, and a lot of loving effort.

  7. There will never be peace so long as the ruling classes are there, preying on everyone else. They add insult to injury by criminalizing the underclass, and telling the victims of economic slavery that it is their fault. By letting their guard dogs (police) maim and murder with impunity. The wealth of the first world is robbed from the “3rd world”, following physical and cultural genocide.

    Psychopathic dictators the world over are armed by British, American, French and Israeli “defence” contractors. The euphemism would be laughable if it weren’t so criminal.

    The news often has reports on the latest massacre but never explains how these savages got hold of machine guns. Did they make them in Africa out of scrap metal?

    The only peace here is the peace of the graveyard. 

    The hippies are closet Christians. “Love your enemies” is brainwashing to keep slaves compliant. 

    Have a peaceful day.

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