Fifty years after John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously staged a honeymoon “bed-in” for peace in an Amsterdam hotel, a Dutchman has unearthed 30 minutes of color footage of the event from his cellar.
The couple spent a week mostly under the sheets at the Hilton hotel to spread a pacifist message — smoking, eating, singing and playing guitar while receiving journalists for interviews.
The European leg of their honeymoon, which included an unusual press conference in Vienna with the glamour pair obscured inside a giant “bag”, was a huge media event — each step captured by photographers and videographers.
This included a Dutch team shooting footage for a two-part, 84-minute documentary, a kind of video diary filmed at the pair’s request.
It was broadcast only once, shortly after the honeymoon, and shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival the same year before disappearing into the archives of broadcaster KRO, where Jan Hovers was employed in the 1980s.
During a major cleanup of used film reels, he stumbled upon a tin marked: “Mr & Mrs Lennon’s Honeymoon” among others earmarked for the rubbish heap.
“I asked if I could keep it and they said: ‘No problem, it will all be destroyed anyway’,” Hovers told the Nieuwsuur current affairs programme broadcast Sunday.
He said he watched the footage with great pleasure, but then “forgot about it”.