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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A list of famous beds:

1 In the late 1980s, soul singer Alexander O'Neal would perform some of his songs on a lavish bed which was part of his stage set. Ladeeez from the audience could join him for some singing-related hot fun.

2 Van Gogh's crooked bed is the main feature of one of his most celebrated paintings 'The Bedroom at Arles'.

3 Most countries have a host of apocryphal beds in which X has slept. In Scotland, it is Mary Queen of Scots, in the US, George Washington. If all the beds in which Washington slept were laid end to end and divided by nine, he would still have to have lived to a hundred and fifty three.

4 In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie's four grandparents spend their lives in one communal bed, two at each end.

5 Better known for her book The Borrowers, Mary Norton also wrote the two children's books on which the Disney film Bedknobs and Broomsticks was based. These stories tell of the adventures – based around a magic, flying bed - of three children and their aunt's trainee witch neighbour Miss Price.

6 Artist Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' exhibit of 1998 is one of the most notorious artworks of recent years. It is a representation of, erm, her bed, complete with stains and rumples, and the detritus to be found around it (vodka bottles, condoms etc).

7 The Great Bed of Ware is a huge four-poster bed found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. According to legend, covered beds were necessary to stop sleepers being bothered by creatures (cats, creepy crawlies) falling out of the thatched roof-space above them.

8 In Suite 1742 of the Fairmont Hotel, in Montreal, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their most famous bed-in, spending eight days in bed, during which they wrote and recorded 'Give Peace a Chance' with the help of Petula Clark and Timothy Leary. World peace, naturally, was achieved just moments later.

9 In the mid 1950s, the artist Robert Rauschenberg created 'Bed', an artwork consisting of a bed hung on a wall like a painting.

10 18th century charlatan James Graham built a 'Temple of Health' in London, designed to part the rich and their money. The main attraction was the 50-pounds-per-night 'Celestial Bed', supposed to cure impotence or infertility. The mattress was stuffed in part with stallions' tales and an electrical current ran through the headboard and supposedly filled the air with magnetic charges which were beneficial to sexual health.

11 In Hans Christian Andersen's tale, 'The Princess and the Pea', the girl proves herself a princess by remaining sleepless due to feeling the pea even through twenty mattresses.

12 John Denver sang of 'Grandma's Feather Bed' which was 'nine feet high and six feet wide, soft as a downy chick / It was made from the feathers of forty eleven geese, took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick / It’d hold eight kids an' four hound dogs and a piggy we stole from the shed / We didn’t get much sleep but we had a lot of fun on grandma’s feather bed'. These days, of course, it's illegal.

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