Saturday, October 10, 2009

Give Peace a Chance in Delray Beach

Like John Lennon?

You have until Sunday, Oct. 11 to see "Give Peace a Chance," a 40th anniversary celebration of the Bed-In for Peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada mounted in the 1925 Gymnasium of Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach.
On display are approximately 40 large scale photos by Gerry Deiter, who was on assignment for Look magazine and was invited by Lennon to document the week-long event.
Deiter's photo spread never appeared in Look. He filed away the negatives and sadly died in 2005.
The photos were catalogued posthumously by Deiter's friend Joan E. Athey, who has published a book on the subject. The Delray Beach exhibit, which also features vintage guitars identical to those played by Lennon, as well as other artwork and memorabilia, is only the second public exhibition.
A highlight of the Oct. 5-11 event was a Friday, Oct. 9 reenactment of the Bed-In recorded by press and camera crews and culminating with the singing of "All We are Saying is Give Peace a Chance." That date would have been Lennon's 69th birthday.
Korean-born Sung Knowles and Delray Beach librarian Christopher Leary played the parts of Yoko and John and gamely posed for photos, flashing peace signs from bed the entire evening. At 8:15 p.m. a video camera was set up and everyone was invited for a mass singing of "Give Peace a Chance." I was invited to play Timothy Leary, who had sat at the foot of the bed, shirtless, playing an Indian drum.
I gamely doffed by shirt, assumed the position, and we performed the song once without rehearsal by the crowd of young and old adults and children of all ages. I thought it went well.
The aim was to get the video posted on YouTube. The video can be accessed by going to and typing in Give Peace a Chance Delray Beach.
Meanwhile you can more information about the exhibit by calling 561-243-7922 or by visiting

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