Forty-eight years ago, John Lennon and Yoko Ono took over a room at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in downtown Montreal for their legendary bed-in.
Now after a year of work, the hotel has re-opened and it’s showing off room 1742.
“We re-created an experience to re-live and re-actualize John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in from back in 1969,” said architect Martin Leblanc.
John and Yoko spent eight days and nights there lying in bed to promote peace and to protest the Vietnam War.
There are relics from that time, including a TV that shows old footage, a phone that plays you Lennon’s voice and a tape recorder containing archival interviews.
The room is a blend of old and new. There’s are also virtual reality headsets that let you see what John and Yoko saw.
“You lay down in bed as if you were John and Yoko in 1969, but it will be a phantomastic operation of John and Yoko with journalists asking you questions as if you were John or Yoko,” said Hanae Bossert of Massiv Art, one of the firms that created the room.
There are walls covered in pictures, and a room full of archival interviews and new videos and podcasts done by the team that put it all together.
“There are vinyls, pictures, videos and you have to listen to it all. Take the time and see why those two personalities did the bed-in in 1969 and why it’s still relevant today,” said Bossert.
But room 1742 isn’t a museum, it’s still a hotel room. Back in 1969, John and Yoko spent $1,000 per night to have the room and until the end of the year it could be yours for $1,969 per night. Starting next year, the hotel says it will cost a minimum of $2,400 per night.
“The only way to come here is to actually rent the room,” said Leblanc. “There might be some events, like open door things that happen eventually.”
The room’s launch came on the UN’s International Day of Peace. To mark the occasion, organizers also held a bed-in outside at Place-Ville-Marie.