Growing up in Scotland, Harry Benson dreamed of being a soccer goalkeeper. Instead, he ended up doing freelance photography covering everything from crime scenes to weddings. In 1964, the night before he was leaving on an assignment for Africa, he got a call from The Daily Express, where George Harrison was writing a column, to accompany the The Beatles to Paris for a few weeks. At first he says he "wasn't happy about it," but soon after, he knew he had been given the job of a lifetime.
Benson recalls he wasn't pushing to be the band's best friend, so they ended up hitting it off naturally and developing a trusting relationship. The result was some of the most intimate, relaxed images of The Beatles ever captured including their famous hotel pillow fight and the "Beatlemania" that ensued during their first visit to the United States. These images and more, some of which have never been published, all with Benson's recollections, are included in a collector's limited edition volume by Taschen available May 30, 2012.
By Sarah B. Weir, Shine staff writer