Give Me a Chance
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May 1969. As a sixteen-year-old, Gail Renard joined John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their week-long bed-in for peace in a hotel in Montreal, Canada. She looked after Yoko's five-year-old daughter, helped to find tambourines and joined in the first recording of "Give Peace a Chance" with Timothy Leary, the Smothers Brothers and various other celebs. John looked after her - sending her home every night to her mother who had spoken to him on the phone and insisted that there were to be no drugs or sex while her daughter was around. It was John's faith in Gail's ability which directly lead to her later success as a writer, and he helped her to secure her first paid submission - an interview with him for the Beatles' magazine.
Bed-In; now they were overwhelmed. John and Derek also had safety concerns. There were so many people jammed into such a small space, they were afraid someone might get hurt, which would have been unthinkable. Not only that, but the hotel’s other guests weren’t thrilled by the hubbub at this usually dignified, prestigious hotel. Derek hurried to see if he could find the hotel manager, to sort out some extra rooms, hoping that more space would make the Bed-In seem less of a pressure cooker. As
into the hotel to see him. But when I got Susy on the phone, she sounded really weird, as if she had the most terrible cold in the universe, with hay fever on top of that. I could barely make out what she was saying as she spluttered that she had just come back from hospital, after surgery on her sinuses. Her face, she told me, was bruised and swollen, and just to finish her new look she had two black eyes as well. It wasn’t exactly high fashion. Even worse, Susy had been ordered to stay in bed
eight days and that was never going to be enough. I couldn’t bear the thought of it ending – but on the other hand I knew I’d have lots of time to think about it afterwards. So I decided, why start grieving now? Already I knew how much I was going to miss the Lennons. I just vowed to enjoy every minute. When I got to the suite, I asked Derek when they’d be leaving. I had heard that they’d be going to Ottawa next, for a peace rally at the university. Derek looked surprised and gently pulled me to
one side. “Shh! Not in front of the press – it’s supposed to be a secret!” I told him I’d just heard it on the television news, and he sighed. It was getting harder and harder to contain everything that was happening all around. The Bed-In had a life all of its own. During a break, Derek gave me some money and asked me to buy an extra suitcase from the shop in the lobby. The Lennons had been given so many gifts, they’d definitely need another case. As I was leaving the room, I heard a strange
we’d turned away for a second to talk, she had opened the door, curious to see what all the excitement was about – and now, before we could stop her, she dashed out into the corridor. Horrified, we saw her race towards the noise. Faster even than John, I raced out and got to Kyoko first. I snatched her up, holding her tightly as I tried to turn back. The next moment, I felt John putting his arms round us both. He pulled us both back inside the suite, calling, “Come on!” He yanked us into a