Watch Earliest-Known Performance of John & Yoko’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ in Unearthed Video from ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band Ultimate Collection’

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Shortly before recording their anthemic “Give Peace a Chance” at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel during their Bed-In for Peace, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged a rehearsal of the composition at the  Sheraton Oceanus Hotel in the Bahamas.

Until this week, video of that performance — the earliest-known rendition of the song — was never released, but it has been unearthed on Tuesday as another preview of the upcoming Ultimate Collection edition of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

The performance, captured by Lennon’s film cameraman Nic Knowland and sound recordist Mike Lax, can be experienced below:

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band — The Ultimate Collection will be out Friday, April 23.

Click here to pre-order the 2-CD set from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order the 2-LP set from our Rock Cellar Store
Click here to pre-order the 8-disc Super Deluxe set from our Rock Cellar Store

More about John & Yoko’s Bed-In, per a news release:

Originally set for New York, the second Bed-In was relocated to the Bahamas after John and Yoko were denied entrance into the U.S. because of John’s 1968 cannabis conviction. However, due to the layout of the hotel and the sweltering Bahamian heat, the couple flew to Toronto the following day and eventually settled in Montreal, chosen for its close proximity to New York and the American press, which they were hoping to use to get the attention of President Nixon.

The couple set themselves up in a hotel suite for a week, where they allowed unlimited access and gave endless interviews, in order that their extended honeymoon serve as a “commercial for peace.” The event culminated with the recording of John’s first solo single and the first to be credited to the Plastic Ono Band, “Give Peace A Chance.”

This “Give Peace a Chance” demo is the latest preview of the upcoming Ultimate Collection revisiting of Lennon’s first proper album of his post-Beatles career. It joins a recently debuted mix of “Look At Me”:

And here’s  “It’ll Be Me. (Jam),” a previously unreleased jam/cover recording from the album sessions featuring Lennon on vocals and guitar and Ringo Starr on drums, as well as Klaus Voormann on bass and Billy Preston on piano:

A remastered version of “Mother” was also shared ahead as a tribute to Lennon’s mother, Julia:

There will also be a special Twitter Listening Party event geared around the release of the Ultimate Collection. Per a news release:

Fans around the world are invited to listen to the new mixes of John’s landmark solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection, together on Saturday, April 24 at 10 am PDT/1 pm EDT/6 pm BST as part of Tim’s Twitter Listening Party, the acclaimed interactive listening experience created and hosted by Tim Burgess (The Charlatans UK).

The event will include participation from Yoko Ono Lennon, Sean Ono Lennon, original Plastic Ono Band bassist and artist Klaus Voormann, John and Yoko’s friend, personal assistant and album cover photographer, Dan Richter, mixer/engineer Paul Hicks and the entire audio team behind the new Ultimate Collection.

Immediately following the Listening Party, the newly launched Twitter Spaces will host an after-party featuring a discussion hosted by Chris Hawkins of BBC Radio 6 Music and featuring Sean Ono Lennon, Klaus Voormann, Dan Richter, Paul Hicks, Tim Burgess, Ultimate Collection Compilation Producer/Production Manager Simon Hilton and a variety of special guests to talk about the making of the album, its legacy and the exciting new collection.

Visit for details about how to join and stay tuned for more info that will be revealed closer to the date at

More on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and the album’s legacy, per a news release:

Inspired by the primal scream psychotherapy he and wife Yoko Ono had been practicing with Dr. Arthur Janov, John, joined by the minimalist Plastic Ono Band – Ringo Starr on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass, and producer Phil Spector – confronted his demons, professed his love for his wife, railed against false idols and declared the dream was over on his most personal album.

As for the details regarding the Super Deluxe set:

Fully authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon, who oversaw the production and creative direction, and from the same audio team that worked on 2018’s critically acclaimed Imagine – The Ultimate Collection, including triple GRAMMY®-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks and mixers/engineers Rob Stevens and Sam Gannon, the Ultimate Collection puts listeners in the center of the studio and explores the album’s 1970 recording sessions at EMI Studios 2 & 3, Abbey Road along with John’s post-Beatles singles, “Give Peace A Chance,” “Cold Turkey” and “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” from inception to the final master through scores of unreleased and rare demos, rehearsals, outtakes, jams and studio conversations, revealing how these beloved songs came to be. Everything in this expansive box set has been newly mixed from scratch from brand new 192kHz/24bit hi-res transfers. In addition to the various new mixes, the set boasts 87 never-before-heard recordings.

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