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The Beatles in Key West–A Short quiz

Thanks to all of you who clicked through from the mailing.

For those who just happened to come across this post while perusing the website—thanks for that!—a recap is in order.

John, Paul, George, and Ringo sign autographs in Key West

So here’s the quiz. Answers below.

  1. On what date in what year did the Fab Four visit Key West?
  2. What unforeseen circumstance brought them there?
  3. Where did they stay? What’s there now?
  4. At what Key West venue were they scheduled to perform?
  5. Did they meet Bert the Shirt while they were in town?





  1. The Beatles landed in Key West on September 10, 1964 and left on 9/11.


2. Hurricane Dora. The band had been scheduled to play a concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, but the approaching storm forced the re-routing of their private flight. Key West was far enough  south to be out of the path.


3. The Key Wester motel, across from Smathers Beach. The place was demolished in 1999. The site is now occupied by the Hyatt Windward Pointe. (That’s not a paid plug, just a bit of information!)


  1. Okay, this is a trick question. They weren’t scheduled to perform at all, but ended up doing an impromptu gig in the Key Wester’s bar. It went on until four a.m. and is the stuff of legend.


  1. Why not? Anything can happen in a novel…



15 Responses

  1. Mardy Grothe

    I think it’s only appropriate that a future Bert the Shirt novel begin something like this: “It was a dark and stormy night in the autumn of 1964 when I stumbled into the Key Wester Bar in Key West, Florida.”

    • Laurence Shames

      Thanks, Mardy. Has a nice ring to it! Hmm, but maybe I’ve seen it quoted somewhere before…


    Thanks for the trivia! My adopted state (10+ years) gets more interesting daily.

  3. Dawn Johnson

    I’m too young to know any of these answers! Seriously, This was a great bit of trivia and I would love to meet Bert the Shirt!!!! D

  4. AnnnKemske

    Loved all the trivia, even though I only knew one of the answers!
    Is this some kind of a teaser for your next book?

    • Laurence Shames

      Absolutely! Thanks!

  5. John Meyer

    Huge Beatles — and Larry Shames — fan. This is a most tantalizing bit of Fab 4 trivia of which I’d had no idea. Thanks for sharing this, Larry. My understanding is that the little girl on the right in the above pic was a neighbor of Bert the Shirt’s. Not sure if that’s anything you can confirm….

  6. Holly Roberts

    Love the connection between Key West and the Beatles! Can’t wait to read how Bert the Shirt fits into this legendary story!


    • Laurence Shames

      Can’t wait to figure it out! Thanks.

  7. Amy

    Thanks for staying in touch with your readers. Always waiting eagerly for that next book . . . And regarding your trivia, the Beatles would have been lucky to have met Bert the Shirt – one of my favorite characters. I’d love to meet him; or, at least, read about him again. 😉

    • Laurence Shames

      And I certainly hope you will! Thanks.

  8. Lee Hamre

    I need to read this book now please.

    • Laurence Shames

      Chippin’ away at it day by day. Please stay tuned. Thanks!

  9. Jim Peyton

    As always Larry…thanks.

    Bert would have been in his “active” days in Our Thing in 1964. He and Joey’s dad (Vincente) may have also been rerouted on their way to Miami. Who knows, maybe the future Don had Joey’s Mom in tow…possibilities are endless…

    In packing up my house to move I found the large typeface printout of Key West Luck you so graciously allowed me to have so my late Mom could read the novel by herself. I will never forget this kind gesture. As Mom was living out her last days she had me read Florida Straits to her…she had a thing for Bert

    All the best to you Larry

    • Laurence Shames

      Great to hear from you, Jim.

      Yes, Bert was still “active” in ’64. And maybe frequenting the pay phone in the Key Wester’s lobby while a certain rock band was marooned there. Just sayin’…