The Beatles are Back in Paris

  • 'A large bag of fan mail was delivered to their suite in the George V each day and the Beatles would actually sit down and read the letters and look at the photographs the girls had enclosed,' recalls Benson.

    'A large bag of fan mail was delivered to their suite in the George V each day and the Beatles would actually sit down and read the letters and look at the photographs the girls had enclosed,' recalls Benson.

  • Benson recounts that what would begin as playful jamming in the band's piano-equipped suite would quickly evolve into serious composing sessions.

    Benson recounts that what would begin as playful jamming in the band's piano-equipped suite would quickly evolve into serious composing sessions.

  • His 1964 photographs of The Beatles are some of the most recognizable photos in   the portfolio of Harry Benson, whose work has been featured in magazines from Life to The New Yorker and includes photos of every president since Eisenhower.

    His 1964 photographs of The Beatles are some of the most recognizable photos in the portfolio of Harry Benson, whose work has been featured in magazines from Life to The New Yorker and includes photos of every president since Eisenhower.

  • After receiving word that 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' had reached the top of the U.S. music charts, John Lennon surprised Paul McCartney by whacking him with a pillow, and a 15-minute pillow fight ensued.

    After receiving word that 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' had reached the top of the U.S. music charts, John Lennon surprised Paul McCartney by whacking him with a pillow, and a 15-minute pillow fight ensued.

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In 1964, the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris served as home to The Beatles while they performed an 18-day series of concerts at l’Olympia, one of the city’s most famous music venues founded by the creator of the Moulin Rouge. Now, 50 years later, the four mop-topped heartthrobs are back in residence, this time in the form of an exclusive photography exhibition showcased in the hotel’s lobby and in front of its opulent drink den, Le Bar. Curated by the hotel’s in-house artistic director Jeff Leatham, the exhibition features photographs taken by the legendary photographer Harry Benson, who was assigned to travel with and cover the band during their world tour that year. Some of the most iconic photos of the tour were taken at the George V, captioned by anecdotes quintessential of the boys’ laid-back, brotherly demeanor despite their being a phenomenon. One photo captures John Lennon and Paul McCartney sitting at a piano installed in their suite, where they composed their chart-topping hit “I Feel Fine”; another, a 15-minute pillow fight following the announcement that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” had reached number one on U.S. charts.

Steps away from the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, the George V has stood as one of Paris’s most luxurious old-guard hotels since it opened in 1928, with one of its biggest points of pride being its exceptional service. Despite being in the midst of The Beatles’s fame, Benson recalled that he and the band were able to sleep peacefully in their suites, not bothered by the crowds of fans: “After my stay in Paris, the George V was the yardstick I measured every other hotel by, because the hotel handled the tidal wave of Beatlemania with such ease and aplomb.” Guests and visitors alike can view the exhibit, which is free and open to the public until June 30.

For more information, visit the Four Seasons Hotel George V.

Photos courtesy of Harry Benson.

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