Day off in Key West, Florida

The Beatles were to have had a rest day in Jacksonville, Florida, but stayed in Key West until Hurricane Isabel passed.

Much of the day was spent drinking, but The Beatles also jammed at their hotel with New Orleans rhythm and blues singer Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, plus members of their tour support acts The Bill Black Combo and The Exciters.

The Key Wester Motel, where The Beatles stayed, was later demolished and replaced with the Hyatt Windward Pointe. An open-air structure named the Beatles Hut commemorates the place where the group stayed.

The Beatles’ stay in Key West was later obliquely referenced in Here Today, Paul McCartney‘s 1982 tribute to John Lennon.

We were in Key West in 1964. We were due to fly into Jacksonville, in Florida, and do a concert there, but we’d been diverted because of a hurricane. We stayed there for a couple of days, not knowing what to do except, like, drink. I remember drinking way too much, and having one of those talking-to-the-toilet bowl evenings. It was during that night, when we’d all stayed up way too late, and we got so pissed that we ended up crying – about, you know, how wonderful we were, and how much we loved each other, even though we’d never said anything. It was a good one: you never say anything like that. Especially if you’re a Northern Man.
Paul McCartney, June 2004
The Guardian
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6 responses on “Day off in Key West, Florida

  1. Gally_L

    - The Guardian, Friday 11 June 2004

    Two lines from the song have always intrigued me: “What about the night we cried/ Because there wasn’t any reason left to keep it all inside.”

    “We were in Key West in 1964,” he says. “We were due to fly into Jacksonville, in Florida, and do a concert there, but we’d been diverted because of a hurricane. We stayed there for a couple of days, not knowing what to do except, like, drink. I remember drinking way too much, and having one of those talking-to-the-toilet bowl evenings. It was during that night, when we’d all stayed up way too late, and we got so pissed that we ended up crying – about, you know, how wonderful we were, and how much we loved each other, even though we’d never said anything. It was a good one: you never say anything like that. Especially if you’re a Northern Man.”

  2. Linda Erb

    I was almost 9 years old when the Beatles stayed at the Key Wester. Some friends and I snuck as close to the hotel as we could and tried to see the Beatles. I remember one of them (from the distance we thought it was Paul) played peek-a-boo from behind a palm tree with us! The thrill of our lifetimes! Thanks for the memories!

  3. Robert Good

    I WAS STATIONED AT KEY WEST FLEET SONAR SCHOOL 1964. I do not recall a hurricane Dora or Donna but I do remember a hurricane Isbell in 1964, I think the Beattles were supposed to stay at a hotel on Roosevelt Blvd called Seven Seas or the Villa but they left the island. That was almost 50 years ago…….ohhh to be young again. Robert Good Johnstown, Pa

  4. Bill Lowe

    Robert is right. Isabel crossed over the Keys and into the west coast of Florida in 1964. Dora slammed into Jax that same year. But they are different storms.

  5. Al

    Al I was stationed at Boca Chica in 1964; when we got word that the Beatles were coming to Key West, my wife and I waited by the curved driveway of the KeyWester. As the Beatles were leaving; Paul gave my wife a wave. She will never forget that morning, 49 years ago.

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