BAG PIECE – John & Yoko’s Viennese Waltz
By Madeline Bocaro ©
March 31, 1969 was the last day of John and Yoko’s honeymoon. They had been camped out at the Amsterdam Hilton where they staged their first Bed-In. The newlyweds flew to Vienna in the morning to continue their campaign for peace. The worldwide press was again invited to their hotel room, excited to see the Beatle and his new bride. But they confoundedly found the couple enveloped in a white bag. This was Yoko’s concept of ‘total communication’ with no visual obstacles, judgments or preconceptions.
They could not be coaxed out of the bag, not even for chocolate cake!
Reporter: Would you come out if we gave you a Sacher-Torte [the hotel’s well-known chocolate cake]?
Lennon: We’re not coming out for the conference, no. But we’ll be out for chocolate cake later.
From inside the bag, Yoko hummed a Japanese song. The Viennese waltz that John was hilariously humming from inside the bag is ‘The Blue Danube’ by Strauss!
Here’s the transcript of the interview from Bag Piece in Vienna!
“…It was a very strange scene because they’d never seen us before, or heard – Vienna is a pretty square place. A few people were saying, ‘C’mon, get out of the bags.’ And we wouldn’t let ’em see us. They all stood back saying, ‘Is it really John and Yoko?’ and ‘What are you wearing and why are you doing this?’ We said, ‘This is total communication with no prejudice.’ It was just great. They asked us to sing and we sang a few numbers. Yoko was singing a Japanese folk song, very nicely, just very straight we did it. And they never did see us.”
– John Lennon, 1970
Lennon Remembers, to Jann Wenner
John immortalized the events in his song.
The Ballad of John & Yoko
Made a lightning trip to Vienna
Eating chocolate cake in a bag
The newspapers said, she’s gone to his head
They look just like two gurus in drag…
The Lennons were also in Vienna to promote Yoko’s new film ‘Rape’, shown on Austrian TV in which cameraman (Nic Knowland) relentlessly pursues a woman (Eva Majlata) through the London streets with increasingly disturbing results.
After forming an institution for animals in her native Hungary, Eva had a hard time finding film work.
She was brutally murdered in 2008:
The Telegraph – 2009: