Australian author and journalist Ritchie Yorke, Canada’s first counter culture journalist, was recently in Toronto after many years’ absence to launch his first person account of John and Yoko’s Canadian Peace Campaign of 1969 and 1970. The Montreal Bed In. The Toronto Varsity Rock Concert. John and Pierre. Traveling the World For Peace. This is the real story, the real truth.
The eBook was published on October 9, which would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday. Yorke produced his book with the assistance and co-operation of Yoko Ono who has written the foreword.
“I assisted in bringing the Lennons back to Canada in December 1969 to unveil their historic War Is Over If You Want It peace campaign, and to meet with communications prophet Marshall McLuhan and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.” writes the Australian journalist. “During John and Yoko’s Canadian stay, I was given an ultimatum by my employer. I was instructed to either quit my Globe and Mail columnist job to join the War Is Over If You Want It peace campaign, or get back to toiling at the Globe. Some choice!”
The editor told him that he couldn’t work for John Lennon and the Globe at the same time and that he had to make a choice between them. It took him about a sixth of a second to decide!
In the early 1970s Yorke found himself stuck in the middle of a world in change. He was passionately caught up in the Peace cause. He travelled around the planet selling the gospel of peace on the Lennons’ behalf (he and travel buddy, rockabilly legend Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins thundered through 15 countries and 52,000 miles in five weeks). They were all over the front pages of Hong Kong tabloids – seizing headlines when he and the Hawk risked their lives illegally crossing into Red China to present the War Is Over message to the Communist Chinese at Lok-ma-Chau.
The War Is Over battle exploits are detailed in more substantial terms in the new CHRIST YOU KNOW IT AIN’T EASY: JOHN AND YOKO’S BATTLE FOR PEACE, published in Kobo, Amazon and by Burnstown Publishing House.
While in Toronto, Yorke and his wife Minnie Cherry also rereleased his books about Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison and the early Canadian Rock and Roll scene. All titles are available on Ritchie Yorke’s website http://ritchieyorke.com
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