Nobody believed them then, but Ringo Starr published a book with the photo of the youngsters and told the story behind it himself.
Reddit is a treasure trove for all weird, wonderful, obscure, things you might have forgotten about or haven’t been aware of. A perfect example is this thread that reminds us that Ringo Starr once photographed a group of high schoolers while the Beatles were touring the US in 1964. Their friends didn’t believe them then, but around 50 years later, the Beatles drummer himself would prove that it did happen!
When he wasn’t behind the drums, Ringo Starr was behind the lens. He shared over 250 rare and unseen photos from his personal archives in a book published in 2013. Titled Photograph, the book contains, in his own words, “a lot of shots of ‘the boys’ that only I could have taken,” as well as some mementos like letters, promotional posters, and newspaper clippings that his mother was able to save.
However, one photo in particular made rounds online; his snap of some eager teenagers squeezed in a Chevrolet Impala. When USA Today wrote that Starr was curious about who they are and what had become of them in 2013, the already sixty-somethings shortly started coming forward one after another.
And so, the mystery was solved. The USA Today followed up with a feature with some details about the young fans in the photo. All six teens (one is faintly visible in the background) were alumni of Fair Lawn High School in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and it turned out that they skipped class to see the Beatles. They were among the 4,000 fans and 200 journalists that flocked to welcome the band when they landed at the JFK Airport on February 7, 1964. The teens later encountered the limo carrying Starr, who rolled the window and snapped what would become an iconic photograph.
But wait, there’s more. The five surviving fans in the photos also reunited to recreate the shot on the Today Show, and were flown to Las Vegas by NBC to watch Starr in concert soon after. Telegraph also wrote a feature telling about where life took the five fans after the fateful encounter.
Starr later talked about the photo again, along with a bunch of his other snaps in the book in this interview with Conan O’Brien:
Screenshot image from the video by Team Coco