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Celebrating the Negative : Harry Benson by John Loengard


“One of the Beatles—George, I think—was on the phone to some fan. John hit him with a pillow. I said, ‘Do you do this often?’ and they said, ‘All the time,’ wrote Harry Benson, who was covering the new group’s tour in France for the London Daily Express.

“I waited until I had them alone with no other photographers around. I wanted to make sure their own photographer, Dezo Hoffman, was not there. I didn’t want to give him any ideas. I never even told my reporter. ‘The Beatles might have a pillow fight.’ I didn’t want it written about before I photographed it.”

A few days later, after a performance, the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, came to the group’s Paris hotel suite and announced that they’d make their first trip to the United States and perform on the Ed Sullivan Show.

“When Epstein left the room, I knew it was time. I said, ‘How about a pillow fight?’

John Loengard, Celebrating the Negative is available to museums as a touring exhibition from Curatorial Assistance.

Celebrating the Negative
by John Loengard
Release in 1994
Published by Arcade Publishing

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