John Lennon Rehearses ‘Give Peace a Chance’ in Unearthed Video
This previously unreleased in-bed performance, documented by cameraman Nic Knowland and sound recordist Mike Lax, is the song's earliest known recording — captured six days before the couple's famous performance during their second Bed-In for Peace at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
The clip, restored and issued in 5K by the John Lennon Estate, shows the Beatle smiling, laughing and tapping his foot as he fumbles through the song's unformed "everybody's talking 'bout" verse lyrics. But the chorus melody and lyric are in place, with Ono joining on a high harmony.
You can watch the footage below.
The second Bed-In, originally planned for New York, was moved to the Bahamas after the couple was denied entrance into the county due to Lennon's 1968 cannabis conviction. But because of the hotel's layout and the hot Bahamas weather, they relocated to Montreal — selecting that city due to its close proximity to the American press.
During their weeklong stay, the couple gave numerous interviews and ultimately recorded "Give Peace a Chance," Lennon's debut solo single and the first credited as Plastic Ono Band.
The rehearsal video precedes the expansive box set John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band — The Ultimate Collection, out April 23. The track appears on the eight-disc project, along with demos for every Plastic Ono Band song and Lennon's non-album singles from the era. The newly remixed and remastered box also includes rehearsal recordings, outtakes and jams and studio conversations.