Given that the entire east coast of the United States is no doubt bunked up for a few days thanks to the hurricane, it’s as good a time as any to fill you in on Montreal’s involvement in the second Bed-In for Peace held by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Each year on December 8, the day Lennon was murdered, roses are left anonymously by the door of suite 1742 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, the location of John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace back in 1969. It was the second of two sit-ins the newlywed couple held as a non-violent way of protesting war, hoping to create awareness and inspire others to promote peace.
After the first Sit-In in Amsterdam, the plan was to hold the second in New York City, but John was denied a US visa because of a previous conviction for marijuana possession. They changed plans and headed to the Bahamas, but apparently John couldn’t find a big enough fan and wasn’t one himself of getting sweaty between the sheets – the couple left abruptly for Montreal after John found the island too hot to stay in bed for a week.
After settling into the climate-controlled Queen Elizabeth, Give Peace a Chance was recorded in the hotel room in front of dozens of journalists and celebrities. I will have a piece coming out on this on HotelChatter.com in December (during the anniversary of Lennon’s death), but I wanted to pass on the word now for anyone that might have plans to travel to Montreal in the meantime (or those simply in need of some extra motivation to spend the next few weather-filled days in bed).
The Queen Elizabeth was my home during my recent trip to Montreal, and I found it a very convenient place for first-time visitors of the city (be sure to check out my first impressions of Montreal here). It is located directly on top of the VIA Rail station and the underground city that connects to the metro (as well as over 4,000 shops). I would recommend taking the train – there are routes from Canada as well as the northeast of the US – as I really enjoyed traveling in this way.
And yes, you can stay in the exact room they occupied, but you need to contact the hotel directly to inquire about availability. They often have packages surrounding the suite – the current one includes one night accommodation, a Lennon CD with the song Give Peace a Chance, a copy of the lyrics, breakfast in bed, yada yada.
Some recommendations on the food scene in Montreal on the way next.