Benson’s latest book, titled Paul (out now from Taschen), focuses on his iconic images of Paul McCartney. The Scottish photographer first stepped into Macca’s world in 1964, when he was a photojournalist working on London’s Fleet Street. He was about to depart for Africa on assignment when his editor called with a change of plans: he’d fly to Paris instead to capture the Beatles, and he wasn’t too happy about it.
“You think of yourself as a foreign correspondent, a big shot,” he says. “I didn’t want to do a new rock group.” But his perception of the band drastically changed when he watched them perform (he even ended up traveling with them on their famous trip to America that same year). “They were terrific,” he says. “I said to myself, ‘I was on the right story.’ ”