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John Lennon Estate Releases Early Demo Video of ‘Give Peace a Chance’

The John Lennon Estate has released a never-before-seen video of John Lennon and Yoko Ono rehearsing “Give Peace a Chance,” just days before they premiered the song in May of 1969.

The video was recorded by cameraman Nic Knowland and sound recordist Mike Lax and shows Lennon and Ono running through an ad-libbed demo version of the song in their room at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel in the Bahamas. Dated May 25th, 1969, the video is the earliest known recording of “Give Peace a Chance,” and was filmed just days before Lennon and Ono premiered the song for the world during their famous Bed-in for Peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal on May 31st.

The “Give Peace a Chance” clip also offers a glimpse of a Bed-in from another universe: Originally scheduled for New York, the Bed-in had been relocated to the Bahamas hotel due to Lennon’s 1968 cannabis conviction in the U.S. But due to the unconventional layout of the Sheraton hotel room, Lennon and Ono flew to Canada at the last minute to hold the weeklong publicity event, which also provided them close proximity to the American press.

On Saturday, April 24th, Ono will participate in Tim Burgess’ Twitter Listening Party series for John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT. She’ll be joined by Sean Ono Lennon, Klaus Voormann, and other Plastic Ono Band friends and associates for the virtual listening party.

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