Monday, February 27, 2012

What ever happened to: Debbie Fyall?

Debbie Fyall might be one of the most well-known girls in Beatles photos and I bet none of you knew her name. Debbie is the little girl who John is holding in the New York city photos from when the Beatles came to America in 1964. If you recall, it is only Ringo, Paul and John in the photos because George was back in the hotel with strep throat. We all have a lot of photos of the three Beatles with Debbie, and if you are like me you may have wondered, "who is that little girl and how did she get so lucky to get picked up by John?" Well I found an article about her in the Daily News from 2004. Here is what it says:

The little 5-year-old hoisted above three of the Beatles was downright petrified.
With a quivering lip, Debbie Fyall scanned the crowd of photographers in Central Park for her daddy.
"I was a little scared because I couldn't see my parents," said Debbie, as she recalled that moment 40 years ago when she met John, Paul and Ringo during the Beatles' maiden trip to America (George Harrison was at the hotel with the flu).
"I saw the sea of camera lenses in front of me. Then I looked over and saw my father, who said, 'It's okay, I'm here.' "
Debbie, now 45, was tracked down this week by the Daily News when Capitol Records and Apple Corps Ltd. announced a search for her and other New Yorkers pictured during the Beatles' first U.S. visit, in 1964.
Harry Benson, the photographer who lifted her to John Lennon's shoulder, confirmed Debbie Fyall, now Debbie Waugh, was indeed that little girl.
A framed photo that captured what Debbie calls her "10 seconds of fame" hangs prominently in the kitchen of the home she shares with her husband and 8-year-old daughter in Alexandria, Va.
For Waugh, meeting the Beatles was a matter of knowing the right person. Her father, Andrew Fyall, was a London Daily Express reporter following the Beatles.
"I remember my parents in the morning saying, 'Get dressed. We're going to see the Beatles.' And I didn't really know what that meant," said Waugh, now a part-time teacher at a horticulture center.
"I remember John Lennon asking me my name and how old I was. He hoisted me up onto his shoulders. I was the only kid around at that point."
Waugh, who'll miss the gala tomorrow because of a travel conflict, said she became "a great fan" of the Beatles.
"It's always been a big part of my life. It's been a great conversation piece," she said of the picture. "People often do a double-take when they see it and say, 'Is that really you?'"


  1. Kills me to see the Dakota Building right behind them in the 2nd picture.

  2. Way creepy to see pix of the guys with the Dakota in the background.

  3. Very lucky little girl indeed