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Harry Benson's Photos of The Beatles to (Briefly) Return to The George V Hotel in Paris

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  Site Where: 31 Avenue George V, Paris, France, 75008
June 3, 2014 at 9:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

We've long known that the Four Seasons, George V Hotel in Paris has hosted many distinguished celebrities over the years (and some reality stars too) but did you know about their Beatles connection?

It turns out, The Beatles made the George V their home base when they were in Paris in 1964. A piano was actually installed in one of the suites and this is where John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote, "I Feel Fine." (This story we knew, the hotel we did not.) That moment was captured by photographer Harry Benson.

Benson also encouraged the lads to have a pillow fight in the room and his pictures of the Fab Four in 1964 are now iconic shots of the boys in their Beatlemania days. Another fun fact? The negatives of these photos were developed in the hotel's bathtub.

Now, the George V is planning to host a brief exhibit of Benson's Beatles photos in their lobby and in front of Le Bar from June 15-June 30. The exhibit will be run by hotel's in-house artistic director, Jeff Leatham.

And (very) lucky for us, Harry Benson himself has answered a few of our questions about his time at the hotel with The Beatles. (Excuse us, while we scream like a teenage girl again and again and again.)

HotelChatter: Developing negatives in a hotel bathtub: how did you manage this? Did it make a mess? And did the hotel ever say anything when they found out?

Harry Benson: I had a machine I brought with me on assignments that contained everything needed to set up a temporary dark room. I used it all over the world to transmit photographs to make the morning edition of the newspaper. I don't think the hotels ever knew about it.

HC: The George V has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has remained the same since you and the Beatles were there?

HB: My memories of my first visit to the George V with the Beatles in January 1964 have remained the same. It was a great time full of expectation. It was a turning point in their careers and it was a huge turning point in mine.

HC: Do you stay at the George V when you visit Paris these days?

HB: I usually stay with friends when I am in Paris but I always walk past the George V and I always smile.

HC: Any tips for taking a good photo in hotel room? Pillow fight is a good start but any other ideas?

HB: To me a good photograph has movement and energy, not just someone standing smiling at the camera. So letting people relax and feel at ease is important. Anyone can take a good photograph now with digital cameras and mobile phones. It is incredible. Everyone is a photographer and a good one at that.

Room rates for the hotel during Benson's exhibit are astronomical as always, at 1,350 Euros a night. So it's probably best to just pop in and peep the photos rather than stay the night. We hope Mr. Benson himself gets at least a discounted rate for one night.

[Photo: HarryBenson.com]

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