On tour with The Beatles: Harry Benson, the man who captured Beatlemania
Back in 1964, when photographer Harry Benson was getting on a plane for a foreign assignment in Africa, he received a phone call that would change his career in an instant.
That call, from the photo editor of London newspaper The Daily Express, changed his assignment and travel plans. Benson, it would seem, was not heading to Africa at all. Instead, he was now joining up with Liverpool rock group The Beatles to follow them to Paris in a bid to document French Beatlemania.
Introduced into the band’s inner circle, Benson was given the opportunity to shoot some of the most intimate photographs ever captured from the early years of The Beatles’ expanding fame. With the band on the very edge of world domination, Benson ended up capturing them having a pillow fight at the George V Hotel, their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, a manic tour of the United States, their meeting with the great Cassius Clay and plenty more.
“These photos convey a really happy period for them and for me,” Benson said of the images. “It all comes down to music‚ they were without a doubt the greatest band of the 20th century‚ and that’s why these photographs are so important.”
Hundreds of Benson’s luminous black-and-white, many of which are previously unseen, have been collected into one hugely collectable limited edition book which has been published by Taschen.