Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Beatles monument in Austria - and an unknown concert

Before the unveiling
March 14, 2015, a Beatles monument was unveiled in front of the Edelweiss hotel in Obertauern, Austria. The monument was commissioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles filming scenes for their 1965 movie "Help!" at the ski resort in the Austrian alps.

The Beatles monument
A couple of installations were also displayed around the village.

Installation 1.

Installation 2.

The monument and installations were erected during the "Beatle Week" in Obertauern, which is still happening.

The Unknown Beatles Concert

Herbert Lurzer was Paul McCartneys ski teacher and stunt double in the film. He was just a local lad at the time with no real idea who his famous pupil was.

“ I had never heard of them before, it was incredible to be suddenly involved in the inner circle of madness for those weeks. I was teaching Paul to ski and playing his parts in the movie, it was an amazing time”

“I remember Paul falling the first time and shouting me to pick him up. I refused, I said you have to learn to fall before you ski, then you have to learn to get up! I don’t think he was used to people talking to him like that anymore. I remember we were on the top of a mountain and he forgot his cigarettes so he just clicked his finger for somebody to get them! Remember at this time they were so famous and so young, they were not used to it yet and everything was available to them instantly”

John gets a helping hand after a fall. Photo: © Christian Skrein (Salzburg Museum)

“Because we hadn’t really heard the songs before, they played all the ski teachers a concert.”

As it turns out, this is the only gig they ever played in Austria, and there was only a handful of people there!

“It was amazing, and they asked us - do you like this song, do you like that song? Imagine! Them asking me!”

"We hung out with them, drinking and smoking as they were always waiting around for something to happen, they were our friends for two weeks and they asked a lot of questions about Austria and about us, they were such great guys.”

Herbert now owns the hotel the Beatles had stayed in during the time they spent there. The Beatles stayed at the Edelweiss hotel in rooms 502, 504, 506 and 507, and these rooms, now modernised, are available to book. The rest of the film crew stayed at the Marietta hotel.

Another concert happened when John and Paul joined Hamburg mate Jacky during their stay in Austria, but we already blogged about that here.

The year after, Paul returned to Austria with his girlfriend Jane Asher for a holiday, as he wanted to learn to ski properly.

Source for Beatles monument
Source for Herbert Lurzer's story
Source for Beatles installation

1 comment:

reviloremeor said...

Last week (15/03/2015), a report/documentary about the Obertauern Beatles Week and celebrating 50 years since the filming of Help! in Obertauern was shown on the austrian TV station "Servus TV". The installations and the two still living stuntdoubles/ski teachers were shown in it as well as they shared memories about the private concert at the hotel and the ruining of the "Ticket To Ride" Bösendorfer Piano during the filming. The 50 minute documentation was quite fresh and entertainig. You can still find it on the Servus TV Website (for those of you who can understand German with a slightly austrian accent: http://www.servustv.com/de/Medien/Servus-Reportage49