Harry Benson’s era-defining Beatles portfolio, capturing the Liverpudlian quartet on the road, performing, and coming to terms with skyrocketing fame. From a pillow fight in Paris to their first U.S. tour, shot in luminous black and white, Benson’s pictures show intimate glimpses of George, John, Paul, and Ringo composing, relaxing, and engaging with euphoric fans.

In early 1964, photographer Harry Benson received a call from the photo editor of London’s Daily Express, who asked him to cover the Beatles’ trip to Paris. It was the beginning of a career-defining relationship, which would both make Benson’s name and produce some of the most intimate photographs ever taken of the Beatles.

In Paris, Benson captured the Fab Four in the midst of a pillow fight at the George V Hotel, a spontaneous moment which came to epitomize the spirit of the band—Benson himself has called it the best shot of his career. Later that year, he followed the group on the road for their debut U.S. tour, documenting their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, their surprising encounter with Cassius Clay, and the hysteria of New York Beatlemania. Benson also photographed George Harrison’s honeymoon in Barbados, documented the Beatles on the set of their debut movie A Hard Day’s Night, and was present on the now infamous 1966 tour when John Lennon said that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.”

Harry Benson. The Beatles published by Taschen Books