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Picture book review: The Beatles - On the Road, 1964-1966, By Harry Benson


In 1964, Harry Benson was boarding a plane for an assignment in Africa when he received a phonecall from his editor at The Daily Express. He was now to embark on a magical mystery tour with the Fab Four to document Beatlemania abroad.

The intimate black and white photographs – many of which are previously unseen – show the Beatles writing, performing, encountering their fans, and relaxing as they attempt to cope with their rise to world domination, and their increasingly isolating fame.

In Paris, Benson snapped the young Beatles engaged in a pillow fight at the George V Hotel, and in New York he captured the full impact of the hysteria they generated on their first visit to the US.

"These photos convey a really happy period for them and for me," Benson explains in his introcuction. "They were without a doubt the greatest band of the 20th century, and that's why these photographs are so important."