The story goes back to 1990: American rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers were in the Netherlands. Photographer William Rutten went out with them to take pictures. “We went to shoot in the clog store.” Only, it did not go smoothly, because all the time a cheerful girl appeared, dressed in an all-pink suit.
Rotten laughs, “The band didn’t know who they were, but they thought it was a little funny. I found it really annoying.” “They wanted to talk to the girl the whole time while I had to take pictures. I only took a few pictures of them together.”
Social media call
This resulted in private photos that Rutten ultimately didn’t look at until he looked in the archives seven years ago. Look at the pictures and think, “How special is it to know who a girl is?”
Post an appeal on social media. The rock band also shared the message.
The picture spread quickly. It elicited thousands of responses from people who claimed to be the girl. “People from all over the world claimed it, but they couldn’t prove it. When I asked if they could send a photo from the past, no one bothered,” Rutten says.
I gave up searching. However, the message was spreading every year. “Then he reappeared somewhere, but to be honest I lost hope.”
I found the girl
But then: a Dutch woman sent Rotten a message a few weeks ago: I got to know the girl. “My son was playing with her, but the family moved to Australia. Her parents were Australian expats, and they lived in the Netherlands for three years,” she wrote.
Then things went quickly: the girl’s family learned through the Dutch woman about the existence of the picture. The girl called Rutten. Her name: Sonia. “She immediately sent a picture of herself, of what she was like that day. Then she knew for sure: It was her!”
Sonya, now in her early thirties, responded happily. “It’s so surreal and weird. My boyfriend is a huge fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He just went crazy.”
Routine is pleased that the girl has been found. “Imagine you’re in the picture with the Beatles, it’s cool. It’s a fairy tale.” He hasn’t told the rock band himself yet. “They’ll like it anyway.”
Rotten doesn’t know exactly what will happen. “Maybe they meet again, that would be great.”
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