George V Hotel, Paris, January 1964
The Beatles were on tour in Paris, and Benson was covering the tour for the Express, photographing them at pavement cafés and souvenir shops and during their nightly performances at the Olympia. Benson quickly got to know the band. One evening they were having a drink after a performance at Olympia when Ringo Starr mentioned a pillow fight they had had the night before. Harry was intrigued but as there was a photographer from the Daily Mail sitting with them, kept quiet.
Two nights later he was invited back to their room for more after show drinks. Brian Epstein burst in with a telegram: ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ was number one in America. Harry suggested they celebrate with another pillow fight and took what became one of his most iconic photographs.
© Harry Benson
Listen to Mr Benson talking about this photo: