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 Dora 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 at Key West, Florida, 10 September 1964

The Beatles’ stay in Key West was later obliquely referenced in ‘Here Today’, Paul McCartney’s 1982 tribute to John Lennon: “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. 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
Last updated: 29 August 2018
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