Obertauern Ski town


Did the Beatles ski?

Did you know that from the famous British pop group The Beatles, only John Lennon was a skier and he was a beginner at that?

The four members of the band travelled to the ski resort of Obertauern, located in the Austrian Alps, to film the music video for their hit “Help!”; it was then where they gave skiing a try. 

Even though their arrival at the airport of Salzburg was accompanied by the screams of their fans, not many locals knew exactly who John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star were. But that didn’t stop them from making it an important visit to the ski area, which allowed many to see the stars skiing – or at least trying to – and turned into an unforgettable moment for many. 

“They never carry their skis on their shoulders but always fasten to their feet”

Obertauern is a ski resort located in the federal state of Salzburg, Austria. It is well known as the “Snow Bowl” with ski slopes, on the south-facing and north-facing sides alike. Snow is always guaranteed and the views are spectacular. Local people have a saying “they never carry their skis on their shoulders but always fasten to their feet”. These elements create a perfect atmosphere to attract celebrities who ski.

Obertauern Ski Area
The beatles visit Obertauern

Have you already visited this Austrian ski resort? If the answer is yes, you can rate it on Ratoong and help other travellers find their ideal place for a ski vacation. 

Have you already visited Obertauern in Austria?

Also, if you have been there or you plan to do it in the future, you probably know about the three main statues: two at the top of the slopes and the other one in the city center.

If you haven’t you may be wondering: What is that all about?

Keep reading to find out!

Why did The Beatles ski?

The story goes back to 1965, in Obertauern when skiing became THE activity. People were considering the resort as the perfect destination for the winter and summer holidays. With enough snow always guaranteed, the place became a favorite destination worldwide, even for celebrities like the  British pop band, The Beatles.

More than 50 years ago, they went to Obertauern to film the video for the famous song “Help!”.

A wonderful moment in the history of the resort.

The Beatles arrive in Obertauern

Exactly at 14:10 on March 13th in 1965, the crowd of 5000 biggest fans welcomed their idols at the airport in Salzburg. The fans were hysterically yelling: »Yeah, yeah, yeah!«, from the first Beatles film »A hard day’s night«. The euphoria was at its peak and all the airport workers were prepared to hold the buckets of water in case the young girls would have fainted as they saw their beloved singers.

They say the most devoted fans were even kissing the snowy slopes where The Beatles skied

Did The Beatles learn to ski?

A fun fact about The Beatles, is that they couldn’t ski, except for John Lennon, so they had to have body doubles to make it seem like they could on the film. Two of them were ski instructors and they were chosen by the director of Skischool Obertauern, also because they spoke English.

The beatles statue in Obertauern
Tribute to The beatles in Obertauern after their ski visit in Austria.

Hebert Lürzer, Paul McCartney’s body double, said they were not very talented, but The Beatles were fun to ski with. They wanted to enjoy themselves and have a good time while skiing.

One of The Beatle’s body double used his appearance with humor when he put the wig on his head, came into the bar, and then fast disappeared. It was meant to be a joke from the beginning, but people talked for a long time after that. They were thinking they saw one of the Beatles in a local bar.

Book The Beatles rooms

The Beatles loved Obertauern and even performed a secret concert in one of the hotels. That was the only concert The Beatles had in Austria.

The audience was so excited that some of the hotel guests came down to the reception in their pyjamas and complained about the noise. The rumor says that the next day the hotel owner demanded compensation for broken drums, tattered strings, and damaged loudspeakers.

Otherwise, the members of the group mostly stayed in their hotel rooms that nowadays you can book under the name of “The Beatle rooms”. 

beatles piano on top of a snowy mountain

The Beatles statues

The Beatles made a big boom of skiing in Obertauern again and the resort bloomed even more due to its exceptional location. Everyone wanted to ski in Obertauern

During your visit, you can see plenty of places that honor the memory of these legends from Merseyside.

There are three Beatles statues: two at the top of the slopes and one in the city center. You can also find the “Beatles bar” full of signed photographs, jukeboxes, and even the skis worn by Paul, John, George, and Ringo.

You can also try one of the cocktails on the list of Beatles-themed drinks.  

Interesting right?

Are you a fan of The Beatles?

Let us know in the comments! 

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