Why John Lennon Didn’t Hold a ‘Give Peace a Chance’ Press Conference

"Give peace a chance" singer John Lennon with a hat


John Lennon’s atypical marketing choices did not prevent “Give Peace a Chance” from becoming a great success in the United States and the United Kingdom.


  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono promoted “Give Peace a Chance” to reporters without a conference.
  • The duo released the single in an incredibly minimalist way.
  • John’s unusual actions did not prevent “Give Peace a Chance” from becoming an international hit.

John Lennon announced “Give Peace a Chance” in an unorthodox way. John outraged some reporters with his actions. Despite this, he felt his message had reached the press.

John Lennon Didn’t Remember “Give Peace a Chance” Was the Plastic Ono Band’s First Single

In a 1980 interview from the book All We Say: The Last Big Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John talked about the Plastic Ono Band’s first single. “So there was this press opening for Plastic Ono’s first single, which was ‘Cold Turkey’ or ‘Give Peace a Chance,'” he said. For context, “Give Peace a Chance” was the Plastic Ono Band’s first single while “Cold Turkey” was their second single.

“There were these tape recorders in these plastic things,” John recalls. “We were in a car accident and in the hospital when the song’s press opening was set, so we couldn’t be there. was just those machines that played the records.

John Lennon explained the abstract concept behind the Plastic Ono Band

John discussed the reaction to the tapes. “The press took pictures and they all discussed the Plastic Ono Band,” he said. “There were the usual questions: ‘What does that mean?’ and above all, ‘How dare they?’ But it was still in the papers. He passed. And that’s the Plastic Ono Band. You are in. Everyone is inside. John felt that this attitude set the band apart from the Beatles.

In the same interview, John pointed out that he envisions the Plastic Ono Band as an impersonal enterprise. “I’m going to show you the original image of the Plastic Ono Band, which is actually four pieces of plastic,” he said. “The Plastic Ono Band is a concept band. There is no plastic Ono band. It’s just an idea. Notably, John went out of his way to include many different musicians in the Plastic Ono Band.

How ‘Give Peace a Chance’ Happened in the US and UK

“Give Peace a Chance” was a modest chart success in the United States. The song peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for nine weeks. The tune appeared on the compilation album Power to the People: The Hits. The record reached number 24 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 15 weeks.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Give Peace a Chance” was even more popular in the UK. In the UK, the song reached number two and lasted 18 weeks on the charts. The Official Charts Company says Power to the People: The Hits peaked at No. 15 in the UK and remained on the chart for five weeks.

John announced “Give Peace a Chance” in an unorthodox way and it still went huge.

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