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New Book Offers a Look at Vintage Beatles Tour Photos

Hulton Archives / Getty Images

The Beatles have been the subject of countless books and films, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen everything there is to see about the Fab Four. Case in point: ‘The Beatles: On the Road 1964-1966,’ a lavish new collection of photos taken by legendary photographer Harry Benson during the band’s early years.

While some of Benson’s photos have acquired legends of their own — including his famous snapshot of the band in the middle of a hotel room pillow fight — there’s something to be said for collecting them all in one place; he was there to capture some of the most indelible moments from an incredibly chaotic (but still, by all accounts, mostly enjoyable) period in their history.

As with so many important moments in life, Benson’s association with the Beatles came down to chance; in fact, he was on his way to cover an assignment in Africa when his editor at Britain’s Daily Express changed his mind at the last minute and sent him to Paris, where Beatlemania was in full bloom. The rest is — well, you know the rest.

Of course, you get what you pay for, and this is one release that will be off limits to all but the most ardent Beatles fan — the book is currently available for pre-order at Amazon, where it’ll set you back more than $600. For most of us, that’ll mean gazing longingly from afar at the photos published in the Atlantic’s article on the book, and nodding along with Benson, who writes in his introductory essay that the Beatles “were without a doubt the greatest band of the 20th century, and that’s why these photographs are so important.”

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