The earliest footage of John Lennon performing “Give Peace A Chance” has been posted online by the Lennon estate. The film was shot on May 25th, 1969 during Lennon and wife Yoko Ono's scrapped second “Bed-In” event at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel in the Bahamas, only six days before the legendary recording in Montreal.
Back in 2018, a previous unseen clip of Lennon at the hotel performing “Oh Yoko!” was released to promote Lennon's then-new Imagine – The Ultimate Collection box set. The clip is a tie-in with the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band super deluxe box set, which will be released on April 23rd.
According to the official announcement: “The performance, which was captured by cameraman Nic Knowland and sound recordist Mike Lax, has never been released until now and is the earliest known recording of the song. The film has now been meticulously restored and released today in incredible 5K by the John Lennon Estate.”
Shortly before his death, in the fall of 1980, John Lennon explained that for anyone to seek definitive answers from him, his music — or from anything — is missing the point of living in the now and as an individual: “The idea of leadership is a false god. And if you wanna use the Beatles — or John and Yoko — people are expecting us to do something for them. That’s not what’s going to happen. Because they’re the ones that didn’t understand any message that came before, anyway. And they’re the ones that’ll follow (Adolf) Hitler or the Reverend (Sun Myung) Moon, or whatever. Following is not what it’s about. But leaving messages of 'This is what’s happening to us; hey, what’s happening to you?' Sending postcards and letters is what we do. And that’s different. We’re all in the same boat.”