The Beatles’ Epic Pillow Fight Fights Back
Ah, the epic Pillow Fight. Historically a male fantasy about those just 17 girls in their nighties at a sleepover party, the dream took a turn to turn on countless women across the world when The Beatles started thwacking each other around with the goose downs out of sheer joy. 48 years ago in a hotel room in Paris, The Fab Four found out that “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” soared to number 1 in the United States. How else would four young men celebrate world domination?Photographer Harry Benson, had heard whispers of their raucous pillow fight a few nights prior and suggested they fight again for the camera. “They all said, ‘Yes’, but then John [Lennon] said, ‘No’ because they didn’t want to look ridiculous, and they all agreed.
But then John slips away and, while Paul [McCartney] is drinking a brandy, John comes up with a pillow and smacks him in the back of the head with it, and from then on it went from room to room and all the rooms were messed up. The worst was George [Harrison]’s.”
A photo of Benson holding this photo will be featured in the new book Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends by Tim Mantoani for which each photographer has chosen a picture that means something to them. Benson was originally assigned to photograph The Beatles in Paris against his request to be sent to Africa to cover the independence movements, but looks like all things worked out as they should. Benson recalls, “It was a good time. I was close to the Beatles. The reason they were so successful was because they spoke to everybody, there was no public relations person stopping everyone from doing their job.”
See the outtakes from the Beatles’ epic pillow fight ahead.