Sunday, July 1, 2012

THE BEATLES ON THE ROAD 1964-1966 by Harry Benson - book signing

reporter: Miguel Dominguez

Photographer Harry Benson about to add another
feather to the cap of his illustrious career

Taschen Books had good cause to celebrate on June 6th, when legendary Harry Benson was present in their New York store to promote and sign a luxury, limited edition of The Beatles On The Road 1964-1966, along with limited edition signed photos featured in the book.

70s Cover Girl Model/Actress/Publicist Debbie Dickinson displays a double spread foldout of John, George, Ringo and Paul portraits

In early 1964, Harry Benson was getting on a plane for a foreign assignment in Africa, when he got a call from the photo editor of London newspaper The Daily Express. He was assigned to go with The Beatles to Paris to document French Beatlemania and what followed was the biggest "ticket to ride" of his life.

Harry signing one of the Collector's Edition of signed 1,764 copies, also available in two Art Editions of 100 copies each,
which include a silver gelatin print

Benson was welcomed into The Beatles’ inner sanctum, allowing him to shoot some of the most intimate photographs ever taken of the band, then on the cusp of world domination. In Paris, he took the famous photograph of the Fab Four having a pillow fight at the George V Hotel; he shot their first visit to the United States, the full impact of New York hysteria, their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan show; as well as on the set of A Hard Day’s Night. The relationship continued in 1966, including George’s honeymoon in Barbados and their notorious US tour, under the shadow cast by Lennon’s comment that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus Christ.”

Harry with wife Gigi, who does all his printing

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Harry Benson has photographed every US President since Eisenhower, the Civil Rights movement, and was next to Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated. As well as The Beatles, he has shot some of the biggest personalities of the last 50 years, including Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Her Majesty The Queen. In 2009, he was made Commander of the British Empire (CBE).

Etheleen Staley of Staley-Wise Gallery, which does a great deal of fashion photography exhibits
and print sales including Harry's, was present to congratulate him on such a jubilant occasion

Chums Barbara Camp, Barry Weinbaum and Priscilla Fried

Harry showing off some of his limited edition, signed prints being sold at TASCHEN Books

What makes The Beatles compositions so timeless, even Classic, is the fact that when played by traditional orchestral
instruments, as with the Tribute String Quartet here, their music comes across as Chamber rather than Kitsch.
The atmosphere throughout the event was noticeably elegant

Assistant Editor at Taschen Books Eric Schwartau (at right) helps browsers peruse the beautiful book

Benson’s black and white photos show The Beatles composing, performing, encountering their fans, relaxing, and engaging with each other, while trying to cope with their ever more isolating fame. In addition to hundreds of photographs, many previously unseen, the book also includes an introductory essay by Benson as well as quotes and newspaper clippings from the period.

Debbie, Photographer Mark Bugzester and Barry

What could go better with Limited Editions and Chamber Music, than Sparkling Wine?
To see more photos of this event, click here
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