Harry Benson “The Beatles” book signing –
Taschen Store Beverly Hills, 6/13/2012
Text and photos by Lee Joseph
“These photos convey a really happy period for them and for me. 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.” – Harry Benson, 2012
Photographic heavy-hitter and now CBE (Commander of the British Empire), Harry Benson has photographed the likes of every US President since Eisenhower and the Civil Rights movement. He was standing next to Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated at The Ambassador in May of 1968. Look him up.
In early 1964, Benson was boarding a plane for Africa when he received a call from the photo editor of a London newspaper who assigned Benson to a last minute Paris trip with The Beatles to photo document the then rise of Beatlemaina.
The fabs luved Benson. He was invited to become a part of their “inner sanctum” (so sez their press release) and so he went on several of their tours and captured brilliant stills of the world’s best known rock ‘n’ roll combo during their worldwide rise from ’64 to ’66… The Ed Sullivan Show, the set of “A Hard Days Night” and their final US tour, snapping the boys in private and in public.
The Taschen book contains many well known photos (the pillow fight, The Sullivan stills, the meeting with Muhammid Ali) as well as a slew of never before seen images, and is limited to 1764 numbered copies, all signed by Benson. We’re talking $700 a pop. It is a beautiful Hardcover in a clam-shell box, 12.3 x 17.3 in., with 272 eye-popping pages. As much as I luv the Fab Four, I could only look at the ginormous book and wonder where on earth it would fit in my house it if I could afford one…
Benson’s spoke with and posed for photos with numerous Beatles fans in attendance and several books were purchased. Beatles music played and champagne flowed. A splendid time was guaranteed for, and had by all!