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When Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Jeff Bridges held a bed-in

Remembering when Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Jeff Bridges held a bed-in

(Credits: Far Out / YouTube Still)


On the morning of September 2018, unwitting New Yorkers walking past Manhattan’s City Hall were met by one of the best sights imaginable. The former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr as well as Yoko Ono – the widow of the band’s late frontman, John Lennon – and ‘the Dude’ himself, Jeff Bridges, recreated the iconic bed-in protests that Lennon and Ono first held in 1969 to decry the Vietnam War.

Laying in an oversized bed decked with crisp white sheets, the trio re-acted the protest to support New York City’s schools. The bed-in was part of the fifth annual ‘Come Together: NYC’ event, which also celebrated the return of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a mobile production studio that provides first-hand creative experiences in media to students of all ages. 

The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus was introduced in 1998 with the explicit intention of continuing the musician’s legacy by promoting peace and unity through the power of art. The former Beatles frontman is also inextricably linked to Manhattan, as it is where he and Ono called home and where Lennon was murdered in 1980.

The overall theme of that year’s ‘Come Together’ event was activism, which played into the idea of the bed-in. This saw students from various local schools convene outside City Hall with signs echoing Lennon and Yoko’s original protest, with messages such as ‘Bed Peace’, ‘Hair Peace’ and ‘Imagine Peace’. Together, the crowd sang Lennon’s 1969 anti-war classic, ‘Give Peace a Chance’. 

Then-incumbent Mayor Bill de Blasio and city speaker Corey Johnson also joined Starr, Ono and Bridges. Of the 2018 bed-in, Starr said: “What a great way to have peace, love and music ‘Come Together’ and honour John’s life”.  

“John would be very proud to know that this project encourages young people everywhere to embrace their creativity and share their ideas for peace. I am so happy to be celebrating its 21st year,” Ono explained.

“It’s an incredible day for me to finally go to bed with Yoko,” Starr also joked to the press at the time, with Ono, laying beside her husband’s bandmate, saying: “I think that maybe John is hearing us. Give peace a chance… just remember that we are creating the world”. Despite the tension that arose towards the end of The Beatles’ career and after they split in 1970, Starr and Ono have been friends for a long time. She even congratulated him on Twitter earlier in 2018 for receiving a knighthood.

The Big Lebowski star Jeff Bridges was on hand as a national spokesman of the charity Share Our Strength to promote the child nutrition programme ‘No Kid Hungry’. “Wake up, dream big, and Come Together!” he said. “Together with Sleep Club, I was so proud to be part of this event. I’m amazed to see what people can get done when they dream big and turn those dreams into reality. John and Yoko dreamed big and the Lennon Bus is a great example of making dreams come true.” 

After hearing the iconic trio speak, a band performed a rendition of John Lennon’s 1971 hit ‘Imagine’, with Mayor de Blasio flashing the peace symbol while holding Ono’s hand.

Watch a clip of the event below.

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