Saturday, March 8, 2014

George V and all that

The other week I had a couple of hours to spare in London and so I settled down for a beer or three at one of my favourite pubs (just a few doors up from the Beatle Shop in Baker street - so predictable)  and through the marvels of modern telephony I trawled the information superhighway in search of any Beatle happenings in the vicinity. Having been within a few hundred yards of Macca and his impromptu Covent Garden gig last year and only a tube stop away from the Abbey-Road-Recreation-Thing not so long back yet missing them both, I thought I'd get myself fully connected through the Twittersphere and ! Quick move it ! A Harry Benson exhibition at the Mallet Gallery in Mayfair but closing in one hour. 

Hot footing it to the heart of Mayfair, I was initially a little apprehensive as the building looked more like a dammed fine sumptuous town house and not entirely welcoming. However, I ventured in and got chatting with a very pleasant American lady at the desk. She informed me that Harry Benson had been hanging around the exhibition all week but had just left for a flight to Texas ten minutes earlier...and that he had been chatting with visitors and regaling them with stories from his Beatles past ! What ?! Just missed it by ten minutes. Ho hum ho hum ho hum. 

The exhibition was really impressive. The most iconic shot, of course, is the pillow fight in the George V hotel in Paris (iconic for Beatle freaks that is; the wider non-care-in-the-community types might argue that the assassinated Bobby Kennedy shot is somehow more important).

But look at this picture of ol' Johnny Boy. Knackered and depressed after nearly messing it up with his Jesus comment.

I was most impressed with the Mallet Gallery. I love it that such places exist in the heart of London and that they are there to be discovered on a wet afternoon.

Now, as it happens, I was at the George V earlier this week......when I say 'at' the hotel  I guess I had better clarify. I was not exactly 'at' as in 'staying/sleeping/eating/nicking the towels'. I really mean I was standing outside its sumptuous entrance snapping away to the point where I was clearly raising the interest of the not-so-friendly-looking gendarme. I moved on. 

<ALLONS-Y !> - nothing to see here as the good doctor (no. 10) has been heard to remark. (Mon Dieu ! Beatles and Dr Who - pass me my anorak kids ! What do you mean which one ?!.....its the blue one with the Yellow Submarine badge of course ..)


  1. Very interesting post, as always. I envy your ability to get around London to see these things. LeftyBass