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    Beatles - A Sign From the Montreal Bed-In For Peace Signed By John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1969). An incredible, one-of-a-kind artifact from an event that defined the 1960s, with John Lennon at its center. Here is an actual hand-made sign from the Montreal Bed-In For Peace, reading "MURRAY THE K COMES ON MONDAY," boldly signed and dated at the event by John and Yoko Ono, and made especially notable for the mention of famous American radio personality "Murray The K" Kaufman. This sign was affixed to the wall of the Montreal hotel suite, to the left of the bed (John's side), and appears prominently in photographic and video records of the event, including the film of the recording of "Give Peace A Chance", where the sign can be seen directly between John and Tommy Smothers as they play their guitars.

    John Lennon's marriage to Yoko Ono took place on March 20, 1969 in Gibraltar, after which the newlyweds made their way north, first to Paris, and then to Amsterdam. As their wedding had received extensive press coverage they decided to use the publicity to promote world peace, and so from March 25 to March 31 they staged the first Bed-In For Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton. The event was a media juggernaut, and the couple set their sights on a second event, to be held in New York City. However, John was unable to secure a US visa due to his 1968 cannabis arrest, and so Montreal was chosen as an alternate North American location. From May 26 to June 2 the couple decamped to a large suite at the Hotel Reine-Elizabeth, where they entertained guests and reporters. John used the opportunity to speak by telephone to a number of US radio stations, as well. On June 1, the song "Give Peace A Chance" was recorded live in the hotel room, and released as a single less than five weeks later.

    The sign is a 8.5" x 11" sheet of Canadian-made Rolland Earnscliffe Bond Linen paper, with "MURRAY THE K COMES ON MONDAY" written in dark, wide marker, now slightly faded. At mid-right John has written "John Lennon 1969" and drawn a caricature of himself and Yoko in bold black marker. Yoko has added her signature just below in blue marker, the overall size of the signatures measuring approximately 3.5" x 5.5". Framed to 12" x 14.5", double-sided, to allow viewing of both front and back of the sheet. In Near Fine condition, the sign shows yellowing consistent with paper of this age, and was at one time folded into eighths. There is a very slight loss of paper at the top measuring approximately .75" x .125" possibly from removal from the wall where it was affixed.

    Provenance: Sotheby's New York, Sale 5604, Lot 331, June 27, 1987. COA from Heritage Auctions.

    There are other notations on the sign, both front and back. On the front is written "DEREK TAYLOR & J.L." in blue ballpoint, upside down at bottom, through the word "MONDAY". Several other light notations are also evident on the front, either faded or perhaps having been pressed through from another sheet: "LEARY - DOCTOR" at the top, "BERKELEY - FRI" at left, "FILM - 3 - SATy" at bottom, and "LAUGH-IN FRI - JAVITZ" at right. On the back are two different notes, the first, printed in black ballpoint reads "Brown Rice, etc./Vogel's Health Foods, 1186 St. Denis/861-9944/Closes at 6:00". Below that, in blue ballpoint, written in cursive, "George Bowering/I tried to phone/a message, but -?" and with a small flower drawn below. Without knowing the writer(s) or context, finding meaning in these notations would be speculative, however this is known: Derek Taylor was the Chief Press Officer for the Beatles' company Apple, and he was present and instrumental in the staging of the Bed-In. Dr. Timothy Leary was a prominent figure among 1960s youth, and a guest at the Bed-In. Laugh-In was a popular television program in the 1960s with counterculteral appeal. George Bowering is a well-known Canadian author and poet, active in the 1960s, who became Poet Laureate of Canada from 2002-2004. Records are unclear of Vogel's health food store; the location listed is a 19th Century Montreal building that today houses a coffee shop.

    Murray "The K" Kaufman was a prominent disc jockey in New York in the 1960s, and is perhaps the radio personality most associated with the Beatles. When the Beatles made their first American visit in February 1964 he was invited by Brian Epstein to spend time with the group, broadcasting from their suite at the Plaza Hotel, and accompanying them to both Washington DC for their first American concert, and to Miami for their Ed Sullivan Show appearance there. He was alluded to in the 1978 Beatles television parody The Rutles, with the actor and comedian Bill Murray appearing as a disc jockey named "Bill Murray The K".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2015
    19th-20th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,985

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