Miami beach

Were you one of the Miami teens photographed by one of the Beatles back in 1964?

 

lyanez@MiamiHerald.com

If you were a Beatles fan who chased down the Fab Four when they visited Miami in February 1964, Ringo Starr wants to meet you.

Starr wants to know if you were one of the fresh-faced kids who piled into a convertible and pulled up next to the Beatles’ moving car, trying to get the attention of what was the world’s most famous band.

Starr snapped a photo of the teens — four males and two females; the sixth person is barely visible in the back seat of the car.

Starr recently told USA Today he would like to meet the teens who stared back at him with mixed expressions of surprise and excitement. They would be in their 60s now.

Starr, an avid photographer, says he snapped the picture in Miami, where the band spent more than a week during their first visit to the United States.

For 49 years, the drummer has kept the black-and-white snapshot and is including it among the 240 never-before-seen images in his new book, Photograph. A limited, leather-bound print edition will be published in November by Genesis Publications. An e-book was released earlier this year.

"I love pictures put together, showing different times of your life," Starr said on the publisher's website.

Since the Miami Herald posted the Starr photograph on its homepage, several readers have contacted the newsroom, saying they are in it or know someone who might be inside the convertible.

Joseph Pravda, of Central Florida, e-mailed the newsroom to say he remembered being part of a group of teens on a mission to track down The Beatles.

“I remember seeing Ringo while driving around with friends; I think I’m the barely visible one in the back seat,” said Pravda, who said he graduated from Miami Edison Senior High in 1964.

Scott Ross, of Miami-Dade, said he thought the teens may have been friends of his childhood friend Billy Pollak, whose family hosted The Beatles at their Miami Beach home. Fellow students from Nautilus Middle School drove by the home to try to get a glimpse of the band, he said.

“But those kids in the car are older, since they’re driving,” Ross said.

And Josef Szaday was so intrigued by the photograph and the search for the subjects that he volunteered to enhance the person in the back seat and sent it to the Herald.

“I thought I would help make the image of the person more recognizable. Hope it helps,” he said.

The Beatles arrived in Miami Beach on Feb.13, 1964. Three days later they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, which broadcast live from the Deauville Hotel. That was a week after the band’s historic first appearance on the variety show.

While in Miami Beach, The Beatles were captured in iconic poses. They joked with heavyweight contender Cassius Clay at the 5th Street Gym, horsed around in their hotel room and went for a swim on the beach with a throng of screaming girls around them. The band left Miami on Feb. 22.

Some who have seen Starr’s photograph say it’s unlikely he took it in Miami because the people in the car are all wearing winter coats. On that first trip, The Beatles also made stops in New York and Washington, D.C., and the photo could have been taken in those cities.

But it was cold in Miami that week: According to historical data from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, there was a cold snap that week, with the temperature dipping to 44 degrees on Feb. 21. The teens are also in a convertible, a car more likely to be used in warm climate.

If you recognize yourself or anyone else in this photograph, email Luisa Yanez at lyanez@MiamiHerald.com or call 305-376-4636.

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