Nightly News   |  October 25, 2013

Beatles fan ‘had no idea’ Ringo took her picture

Ringo Starr’s search for the six mystery fans he photographed nearly 50 years ago has now yielded some answers --  and it turns out the kids pictured were from New Jersey. NBC’s Ann Thompson reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, you may recall a few days back, ringo -- as in the ringo -- asked for our help in finding the kids in a photograph he took during the beatles ' first visit to the u.s. he thought it might have been in miami. he admitted his memory from back in the day is fuzzy. long story short, we now know who the kids are. some of us are kicking ourselves because we thought they looked like jersey kids and we were right. our report tonight on the mystery solved from nbc's anne thompson .

>> reporter: 49 years later this snapshot is proof of a day in the life of gary van dorsen few believed.

>> we cut school, went out there, saw the beatles , talked to ringo .

>> reporter: nobody believed you when you told them the story?

>> nobody. it was ridiculously unbelievable.

>> reporter: until this week when the photographer, ringo starr himself, kicked off a search for the six mystery fans. the picture is in a book of stars' photographs he talked about this summer.

>> how great is this? this is a crowded car. how great that i thought, oh, i'm going to shoot that?

>> reporter: it was taken after the beatles sped away from kennedy airport on february 7 after a frenzied arrival, marking the beginning of music's british invasion .

>> what do you think your music does for these people?

>> uh, hmm --

>> pleases them, i think.

>> reporter: not much older than their fans the beatles at times acted like tourists on their first trip to the u.s. ringo was the unofficial photographer capturing a memory for van dorsen and his friends is.

>> sue, arlene.

>> reporter: you look like you can't believe what you're seeing.

>> i think we couldn't believe we were talking to him.

>> reporter: memories of the day are hazy. van dorsen just recalls ringo . arlene says all four beatles were in the car.

>> one of them said, hello, love, where are you from? we said, you know, fairlawn new jersey. i had no idea ringo took a picture.

>> reporter: neither did van dorsen. "life" magazine said van dorsen almost lost control of the car.

>> i never lost control of the car.

>> reporter: now retired in connecticut he said he'd love to meet ringo for coffee and talk.

>> i remember that but to find out ringo remembers that is even more amazing.

>> reporter: suddenly yesterday doesn't seem so far away . anne thompson , nbc news, essex, connecticut.