Message from Yoko Ono
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.
Yoko Ono Lennon
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 indefinitely so everyone can get a chance to see it.
Tell your friends to go to http://bit.ly/BedPeace to watch the film, read about it, Tweet and Facebook message about it – discuss PEACE with your friends.
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE
IMAGINE PEACE: Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE.
i love you!
About this Exclusive screening of BED PEACE
BED PEACE is FREE to watch exclusively on YouTube and here on IMAGINEPEACE.com.
Join us in the chat on Twitter (#BEDPEACE) and Facebook by using the widgets on the right, or in the toolbar below (at the bottom of your browser). Tell all your friends, talk about the film, and IMAGINE PEACE: Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE.
About BED PEACE
1969 was the year that John & Yoko intensified their long running campaign for World Peace.
They approached the task with the same entrepreneurial expertise as an advertising agency selling a brand of soap powder to the masses. John & Yoko’s product however was PEACE, not soft soap, and they were determined to use any slogan, event and gimmick in order to persuade the World to buy it.
BED PEACE (directed by Yoko & John and filmed by Nic Knowland) 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 Yorke, 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.
“As we said before: WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It)“ – yoko
Directed by Yoko Ono & John Lennon
Starring John Lennon & Yoko Ono
© 1969 Yoko Ono Lennon.
THE PEACE POLITICIAN – THE BED-INS-AMSTERDAM AND MONTREAL
By Anthony Fawcett
from his book ‘One Day At A Time’
“The actual peace event we staged came directly from Yoko. She had decided that whatever action she took, she took for a specific reason. Her reason was peace. I’d been singing about love, which I guess was another word for peace. Our actual peace demonstrations were Yoko-style events. They were also pure theatre. The Bed sit-in in Canada was one of the nicest ones, and I participated almost like a spectator because it was Yoko’s way of demonstrating.” (John Lennon, 1975)
Once Yoko had shown John a way in which they could demonstrate, he was able to use all his influence as a Beatle and as a public figure, enhanced, of course, by his beguiling rhetoric, his tremendous reserve of energy and capacity for endurance. John’s motive was primarily to do something constructive with the constant publicity given to anything and everything he did. Their objective was to turn the Bed-In into an event that would have maximum effect through the widest coverage.
“We worked for three months thinking out the most functional approach to boosting peace before we got married, and spent our honeymoon talking to the press in bed in Amsterdam,” Yoko explained. “For us, it was the only way. We can’t go out in Trafalgar Square because it would create a riot. We can’t lead a parade or a march because of all the autograph hunters. We had to find our own way of doing it, and for now Bed-Ins seem to be the most logical way. We think the Bed-In can be effective.”
The first Bed-In took place after John and Yoko’s secret marriage in Gibraltar on March 20, 1969. They picked Gibraltar after having tried to get married everywhere else first, and also, John said, because it was quiet, friendly, and British. Two days later they were ensconced in Suite 902 of the Amsterdam Hilton and word quickly got out that the Lennons were spending seven days of their honeymoon in bed for peace and as a protest against all forms of violence. The world’s press were formally invited to interview them to discuss their campaign.
Identically dressed in white robes, John and Yoko sat in an enormous king size bed in the Grand Bedroom of the Presidential Suite, surrounded by flowers, posters, and drawings. The walls were covered with hand-painted signs reading “Bed Peace,” “Hair Peace,” “I love John” and “I love Yoko.” On the first day alone there were over fifty journalists, photographers, disc jockeys, and camera crews, all anxious to find out what was happening. John was confident but emotional; conjuring, compelling, words flowed ceaselessly from the magic Lennon tongue. His outward appearance was commanding. From John’s ever changing gallery of faces an image had evolved that perfectly suited this new role: long flowing hair framing the intense bearded face, accentuating his glazed eyes behind the National Health round wire glasses, the tautness and seriousness of his features alternating with the familiar leery smile. When he spoke he manipulated his hands in sharp gestures typical of his vibrant body language:
“We are both artists! Peace is our art. We believe that because of everything I was as a Beatle and everything that we are now, we stand a chance of influencing other young people. And it is they who will rule the world tomorrow.”
For seven days, from ten in the morning until ten in the evening, John and Yoko talked nonstop about peace. Planeloads of journalists flew in to cover the event and were for the most part sceptical. Half of them had expected to see the couple~ making love in front of the cameras; when they were confronted with a barrage of serious peace slogans they were disappointed. The attitude of the British press in particular was harsh and critical, and the way in which they hurled abuse, mercilessly lampooning John and Yoko, was unnecessary and deliberately hurtful. Nevertheless, John’s message did get printed, most often with a large amount of space given to photographs accompanied by the gist of his conversation.
“We’re very shy and straight and ordinary,” John said in an effort to explain his feelings. “We’re just trying to do the best we can. But we’re in an abnormal situation-. The Blue Meanies, or whoever they are, are promoting violence all the time in every newspaper, every TV show and every magazine. The least Yoko and I can do is hog the headlines and make people laugh. I’d sooner see our faces in a bed in the paper than yet another politician smiling at the people and shaking hands.”
Apart from becoming physically exhausted John enjoyed the Bed-In, and the energy and attention that surrounded it. “It’s the best idea we’ve had yet,” he said. “Better than wriggling about in a black bag or stripping naked for people who don’t appreciate what we’re trying to do or why. Just suppose we had wanted to go to Capri for a secret honeymoon like Jackie Kennedy had, the press would have been bound to find out. So we thought we might as well do something constructive about the publicity.”
Although the main impetus for and visualization of the Bed-Ins came from Yoko, and related more to the personalities of John and Yoko than to the peace movement in general, John had been gradually influenced by the political consciousness of the sixties, particularly the London Underground.
The Underground was a diverse group embracing all manner of artists, beats, mystics and freaks, and John went out of his way to contribute to their media-especially the newspaper International Times (later IT). He had been confronted at various times by several prominent members of this community, who had asked him pointedly what he was doing about peace, and he had especially taken to heart a letter from Peter Watkins, the controversial filmmaker, repeating this question. Many smaller incidents had also registered with John. At the Alchemical Wedding, for instance, which was the Underground’s Christmas party in 1968, a gray-suited politico, waving a banner about Biafra, had screamed:
“Do you care John Lennon, do you care?”
while John and Yoko were on-stage in a bag.
Whether he liked it or not, John played a leading role in the youth movement. Being a Beatle had originally placed him in the part but his own actions had validated his position. Certainly in the eyes of the public John represented the left-wing, political aspect of the group. His widely publicized comments on Christianity and the Beatles, though completely misunderstood, were basic statements of fact reflecting the sentiments of most youth on the current state of religion. In turn, youth had followed John and the other Beatles in their experimentation with drugs, and their quest for cosmic consciousness with the Maharishi. What developed was a kind of mutual interaction between John and his audience, which he tried to influence through the Bed-Ins and later through his music.
John always had political opinions and had been satirizing the system ever since he wrote for and distributed outspoken magazines in school. He had grown up very aware of his working-class origins: “It’s pretty basic when you’re brought up like I was, to hate and fear the police as a natural enemy and to despise the army as something that takes everybody away and leaves them dead somewhere. It’s just a basic working class thing, though it begins to wear off as you get older and get a family and get swallowed up by the system.”
John’s class consciousness never did really wear off, but of course it did get overshadowed at the height of Beatlemania. Working at a phenomenal pace, constantly touring, he had little chance to express his true feelings, and felt constantly pressured by his Beatle “image.” When after a couple of American tours Epstein tried to persuade the group to say nothing about Vietnam, John finally countered: “Listen, when they ask next time, we’re gonna say we don’t like that war and we think they should get right out!” As he explained it: “The continual awareness of what was going on made me feel ashamed I wasn’t saying anything. I burst out because I could no longer play that game any more-it was just too much for me.”
The Bed-Ins were immensely important to John, since they provided the release he needed for accumulated passions and emotionally charged political feelings that had been building up inside him for so long. It was a lonely and brave stand to take and he was prepared to put his credibility on the line. Besides Yoko, there was literally nobody else who supported his actions or stood by him. To do what John did, and to pull through all the humiliation involved, it was necessary that he have complete faith in himself.
“Yoko and I are quite willing to be the world’s clowns,” he said, “if by so doing it will do some good. I know I’m one of these ‘famous personalities.’ For reasons only known to themselves, people do print what I say. And I’m saying peace. We’re not pointing a finger at anybody. There are no good guys and bad guys. The struggle is in the mind. We must bury our own monsters and stop condemning people. We are all Christ and we are all HitIer. We want Christ to win. We’re trying to make Christ’s message contemporary. What would he have done if he had advertisements, records, films, TV and newspapers? Christ made miracles to tell his message. Well, the miracle today is communications, so let’s use it.”
Protests were raised about the cost of the Bed-In, the extravagance of the Hilton Hotel luxury suite, the money for which could perhaps have been used in a more practical way. John was adamant, however, on that point:
“People criticized us for spending all that money protesting about Biafra and suchlike, when the money would have been more useful had I sent it directly there. But I’d already done that. And I have always respected the sentiments behind that kind of charity and I always will do. But it doesn’t solve the problem…. In a capitalist society like ours, people are much more effective if they have money. And we have. Our name is known and so we’re using our fame and our money to advertise for peace. Some people say that that is a pretentious ambition but we feel that the big problems are where you’ve got to start …. “
The Amsterdam Bed-In was a beginning, a sort of trial run for John and Yoko to feel their way around and see how much they could accomplish with this type of hard-sell campaign. They felt the event was successful mainly because it did get their message plastered all over the front pages of the world’s newspapers. For John it was the start of a spiralling manic devotion to the peace cause, which led him into frenzied attempts at all-out media saturation.
By the time of the Montreal Bed-In two months after Amsterdam, John and Yoko were more self-assured and glowing with supercharged energy. They were ready to take on North America. As veterans of the “sell peace” campaign, with the echo of a thousand interviews behind them, they now faced the biggest challenge of their chosen career. They had desperately tried to gain entry into the United States, but each time John’s visa had been denied. Rather than wait any longer, they decided on the practical strategy of staging a second Bed-In close enough to talk to the U.S. media, and generate a flood of publicity. They arrived in Canada after finding the Bahamas totally unsuitable. It was midnight on Monday, May 26,1969, when John and Yoko and their entourage checked into the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. After much aggravation with immigration authorities they were granted a ten-day stay, during which time they were to give over sixty interviews to the press.
Inside their crowded suite John and Yoko sat peacefully holding hands, surrounded by pink and white carnations, record players, film equipment, and busy phones. They were both relaxed and at ease with reporters. “The whole effect of our Bed-In has made people talk about peace,” John said. “We’re trying to interest young people into doing something for peace. But it must be done by nonviolent means—otherwise there can only be chaos. We’re saying to the young people-and they have always been the hippest ones-we’re telling them to get the message across to the squares. A lot of young people have been ignoring the squares when they should be helping them. The whole scene has become too serious and too intellectual”
“What about talking to the people who make the decisions, the power brokers?” suggested a cynical reporter. John laughed, “Shit, talk? Talk about what? It doesn’t happen like that. In the U.S., the Government is too busy talking about how to keep me out. If I’m a joke, as they say, and not important, why don’t they just let me in?”
From their bed John spent a lot of time on the phone talking with AM and FM radio stations all around the United States and Canada. His energy seemed to be unlimited, and he kept up a more or less constant conversation, one call after another, all the time promoting peace. The immediacy of his rhetoric was put to the test when he was connected to students who were in the midst of a Peoples’ Park demonstration in Berkeley. They were emotionally worked up and scared about a showdown with the police.
“Help us, what are we going to do? It’s going to go wrong!” they shouted.
With understanding and persuasiveness in his voice, John replied:
“There’s no cause worth losing your life for, there isn’t any path worth getting shot for and you can do better by moving on to another city …. Don’t move about if it aggravates the pigs, and don’t get hassled by the cops, and don’t play their games. I know it’s hard, Christ you know it ain’t easy, you know how hard it can be man, so what?-Everything’s hard-it’s better to have it hard than to not have it at am” John worked himself up into a fury: “Entice them, entice them! Con them-you’ve got the brains, you can do it. You can make it, man! We can make it-together. We can get it-together!”
At times like this, I felt his peace campaign was working. The personal contacts and exchanges were worth so much more than any photo in a newspaper. More important, he was getting his message over to the kids who needed his advice, and who really believed in him.
For a long time, John had been thinking about using his music to promote peace. On the final weekend of the Bed-In, between eight in the evening Saturday, and three the next morning, John led everyone in the Montreal hotel room in singing his newly written “Give Peace A Chance.”
It was a rousing song with a simple, catchy message, a perfect expression of John’s feelings. An eight-track portable recording machine was hauled to the hotel to record it. The chorus included comedian Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary and his wife Rosemary, Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg and the Canadian chapter of the Radha Krishna Temple.
“Give Peace A Chance” was spontaneous and improvised. It was perhaps the most important contribution John could give to the peace movement, and the phrase “we don’t have a leader but now we have a song” was soon echoed all over America.
By Anthony Fawcett
from his book ‘One Day At A Time’
Anthony Fawcett was the Lennon’s personal assistant from 1968-1971.
by Kevin Concannon, Ph.D.
from his book ‘IMAGINE PEACE’
Asked by a reporter what inspired their Peace Campaign, Lennon replied:
“Well, it built up over a number of years, but the thing which struck it off was we got a letter from a guy called Peter Watkins who made a film called The War Game and it was a long letter stating what’s happening—how the media is controlled, how it’s all run, but he said it in black and white, and the letter ended up “What are you going to do about it?” He said people in our position and in his position have a responsibility to use the media for world peace. And we sat on the letter for three weeks and thought it over and figured at first we were doing our best with songs like All You Need Is Love. Finally, we came up with the bed event after that and that was what sparked it off. It was like getting your call-up papers for peace.”
Returning to London from Amsterdam, the artists announced that they would be mailing acorns, as symbols of peace, to ninety-six world leaders. That May, they set their sights on Washington and New York. Kaleidoscope, an underground newspaper based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, reported on their plans:
“John Lennon and Yoko Ono, inseparable everywhere, will arrive in NYC later this month to give a concert with a ‘plastic band’ (plastic pillars and speakers containing tape tracks and equipment). They’ll also take a helicopter’s eye view of Manhattan and try to reach as many heads of state as possible, at the UN, to hand out their little boxes of acorns….”
When the U.S. State Department indicated they were not likely to issue Lennon his visa (due to his earlier conviction in London for marijuana possession), Lennon withdrew his application and announced that he and Ono would head instead to the Bahamas for another Bed-In.
“During our stay in the Bahamas we will protest against violence, talk to students and send some acorns to President Nixon. I will also talk about my visa situation.”
Unwilling to suffer the heat, and recognizing that the island was further from the United States than they had realized, within twenty-four hours the couple departed the Bahamas and headed to Toronto with an entourage of technicians, planning to beam radio broadcasts to the United States. They told reporters that Canada was as close as they could get to the United States.
Ono and Lennon set themselves up at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel between 26 May and 2 June, 1969. Ono told Penthouse magazine’s Charles Childs:
“Many other people who are rich are using their money for something they want. They promote soap, use advertising propaganda, what have you. We intend to do the same.”
Over the course of the week, scores of journalists and photographers, disc jockeys, and celebrities visited the artists. Radio stations throughout North America took the opportunity to interview Ono and Lennon live from the Bed-In. As the Bed-In transpired in Montreal, antiwar demonstrators in “People’s Park” in Berkeley seemed poised to engage with police; over a live radio transmission via telephone link, Ono and Lennon encouraged the demonstrators to take the path of non-violent resistance, going so far as to suggest that they simply leave the park if left no other alternative.
It was also during the Montreal Bed-In that The Beatles’ Ballad of John and Yoko was released as a single. The ballad refers to John and Yoko’s wedding, the Amsterdam Bed-In, and the Acorns for Peace project. Arriving on the airwaves and in the shops during the Montreal Bed-In, the song further fueled press attention.
The highlight of the Montreal Bed-In was the recording of the song, Give Peace A Chance.
Abbie Hoffman, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Dick Gregory, Tommy Smothers, and dozens of others joined Ono and Lennon in their hotel suite to record this classic track as part of the weeklong event.
At the 15 November 1969 antiwar demonstration in Washington DC, one of the largest ever, folk singer Pete Seeger sang the song for the quarter million people in attendance. As Newsweek reported:
“Soon the entire assemblage was chanting the plaintive hymn — “All we are saying is give peace a chance”—over and over. The peace movement had found an anthem.”
Although surprised by the sudden emergence of the song as America’s peace anthem, Lennon calculated from the beginning to market “the product called peace.” “It’s got to be sold,” he said, “to the man in the street. We want to make peace big business for everybody.”
“We might not have a leader,” one protester in Washington said last week, “but now at least we have a song—and a mass movement doesn’t go anywhere without a song.”
by Kevin Concannon, Ph.D.
from his book ‘IMAGINE PEACE’
accompanying Yoko Ono: IMAGINE PEACE Featuring John and Yoko’s Year of Peace (Stony Brook University, NY)
Dr. Concannon is professor of Art History and Director, School of Visual Arts, Virginia Tech.
ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW Dec 1970
You chose the word “peace” and not “love,” or another word that means the same thing. What did you like about the word “peace.”?
Yoko and I were discussing our different lives and careers when we first got together. What we had in common in a way, was that she’d done things for peace like standing in Trafalgar Square in a black bag and things like that — we were just trying to work out what we could do — and the Beatles had been singing about “love” and things. So we pooled our resources and came out with the Bed Peace — it was some way of doing something together that wouldn’t involve me standing in Trafalgar Square in a black bag because I was too nervous to do that. Yoko didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t for peace.
We decided that if we were going to do anything, like get married or like this film we are going to make now, that we would dedicate it to peace and the concept of peace. During that period, because we are what we are, it evolved that somehow we ended up being responsible to produce peace. Even in our own heads we would get that way. That’s how it is. Peace is still important and my life is dedicated to living — just surviving is what it’s about — really from day to day.
What do you think of “Give Peace A Chance?” As a record?
Yes. The record was beautiful.
Did you ever see Moratorium Day in Washington, D.C.?
That is what it is for, you know. I remember hearing them all sing it — I don’t know whether it was on the radio or TV — it was a very big moment for me. That’s what the song was about. You see, I’m shy and aggressive so I have great hopes for what I do with my work and I also have great despair that it’s all pointless and it’s shit. You know, how can you beat Beethoven or Shakespeare or whatever? In me secret heart I wanted to write something that would take over “We Shall Overcome.” I don’t know why. The one they always sang, and I thought, “Why doesn’t somebody write something for the people now, that’s what my job and our job is.”
When you got done, did you feel satisfied with the Bed Peace?
They were great events when you think that the world newspaper headlines were the fact that we were a married couple in bed talking about peace. It was one of our greater episodes. It was like being on tour without moving, sort of a big promotional thing. I think we did a good job for what we were doing, which was trying to get people to own up. We got a big response. The people that got in touch with us understood what a grand event it was apart from the message itself. We got just “thank you’s” from lots of youths around the world — for all the things we were doing — that inspired them to do something. We had a lot of response from other than pop fans, which was interesting, from all walks of life and age. If I walk down the street now I’m more liable to get talked to about peace than anything I’ve done. The first thing that happened in New York was just walking down the street and a woman just came up to me and said “Good luck with the peace thing,” that’s what goes on mainly — it’s not about “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” And that was interesting — it bridged a lot of gaps.
PLAYBOY INTERVIEW Dec 1980
Rock ‘n’ roll was not fun anymore. So there were the standard options in my business: going to Vegas and singing your greatest hits – if you’re lucky – or going to hell, which is where Elvis went.
With our first attempts at being together and producing things together, whether they were Bed-Ins or posters or films, we crossed over into each other’s fields, like people do from country music to pop. We did it from avant-garde left field to rock ‘n’ roll left field. We tried to find a ground that was interesting to both of us. And we both got excited and stimulated by each other’s experiences.
The things we did together were all variations on a theme, really. We wanted to know what we could do together, because we wanted to be together. We want to work together. We don’t just want to be together on weekends. We want to be together and live together and work together.
The Bed-Ins were a part of the whole time of protests that changed the world. For all the negative aspects of the time, it really did change the world. People were resisting what was going on. That was the saving grace of it. And we were just a part of it.
We knew we would be followed by the press after we got married, so we sat down and said, “What use can we make of the situation that would be interesting, a nice projection of what can be?” We asked, “How can we utilize the situation we are in?” So we had our honeymoon in public. We decided to use it to make a statement. Our life is our art. That’s what the Bed-In was. We sat in bed and talked to reporters for seven days. It was hilarious. They all came charging through the door thinking we were going to be screwing in bed. And of course we were just sitting there with peace signs. In effect, we were doing a commercial for peace instead of a commercial for war. The reporters were going “uh-huh, yeah, sure,” but it didn’t matter because our commercial went out irrespective. As I’ve said, everybody puts down TV commercials, but they go around singing them.
We told the reporters that and they responded, “Uh-huh, yeah, sure…” But it didn’t matter what the reporters said, because our commercial went out nonetheless. It was just like another TV commercial. Everybody puts them down but everybody knows them, listens to them, buys the products. We’re doing the same thing. We’re putting the word “peace” on the front page of the paper next to all the words about war.
With hopes that wishful thinking will create a new reality?
That’s it. You got it. It’s the same idea we had for “Give Peace a Chance.” It wasn’t like “You have to have peace!” Just give it a chance. We ain’t giving any gospel here – just saying how about this version for a change? We think we have the right to have a say in the future. And we think the future is made in your mind.
I think it’s not so much we, if you meant the two of us, but all of us are part of the future. The future is already within us. I think that the world is going around and is alive because some people really know that whatever they think really happens. It isn’t on an esoteric, intellectual level, but I really believe that whatever you think will happen. So we’re sort of responsible for our thoughts, even. We all have very negative thoughts and all that, too, and I’m not saying we should repress them, but somehow transform them into something positive.
Somebody comes along with a good piece of truth. Instead of the truth being looked at, the person who brought it is looked at. It’s like when bad news comes, they shoot the messenger. When the good news comes, they worship the messenger and they don’t listen to the message. Whether it be Christianity, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Marxism, Maoism, everything. They’re all about the person and not what the person said. This ism, that ism, ism, ism, ism. It’s always some big guy in the sky. And if they’re dead, that’s really good.
Read Christ’s words, read Buddha’s words, any of the great words. But we don’t need the imagery and the “Thou must worship like me or die.” People got the image I was anti-Christ or anti-religion. I’m not at all. I’m a most religious fellow. I’m religious in the sense of admitting there is more to it than meets the eye. I’m certainly not an atheist. There is more that we still could know. I think this magic is just a way of saying science we don’t know yet or we haven’t explored yet. That’s not anti-religious at all.
Is it a Lennon-McCartney song as it is credited?
No, I didn’t write it with Paul. It should have been Lennon-Ono. After being interviewed for weeks and weeks and weeks, night and day, with Yoko and me talking about peace from our beds, I had those words coming out of my mouth or Yoko’s – wherever the hell they came from – and it became a song.
ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW Dec 1980
I get truly affected by letters from Brazil or Poland or Austria – places I’m not conscious of all the time – just to know somebody is there, listening. One kid living up in Yorkshire wrote this heartfelt letter about being both Oriental and English and identifying with John and Yoko. The odd kid in the class. There are a lot of those kids who identify with us. They don’t need the history of rock & roll. They identify with us as a couple, a bi-racial couple, who stand for love, peace, feminism and the positive things of the world.
You know, give peace a chance, not shoot people for peace. All we need is love. I believe it. It’s damn hard, but I absolutely believe it. We’re not the first to say, ‘Imagine no countries’ or ‘Give peace a chance,’ but we’re carrying that torch, like the Olympic torch, passing it from hand to hand, to each other, to each country, to each generation. That’s our job. We have to conceive of an idea before we can do it.
I’ve never claimed divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answer to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can, but only as honestly as I can – no more, no less. I cannot live up to other people’s expectations of me because they’re illusionary.