|photo by Henry Grossman|
Austrian Press Conference
By Nels Kridjen
Salzburg, Austria, the old world center of musical culture, the birthplace of Mozart, was rocked to its castle top rafters by the arrival of the foursome.
Crowds gathered on all four sides of the Oesterreicher Hof Hotel while the famed quartet held a conference with more 100 representatives of the international press. West German television, representing 22 million viewers covered the arrival and the conference. Hundreds of Salzburg police were assigned to control the crowds at the airport and the hotel. In some instances the Beatles answered the questions in German which they picked up during their engagement in Hamburg before world fame swept them off. Here ae some highlights from the conference.
Q: Do you ever go to a hairdresser?
John: No. They always come to us.
Q: Did you know that Salzburg is the home of Mozart?
Ringo: Oh, is he here too?
Q: How much income tax do you pay?
George: Too much.
Q: Whom did you vote for the last general election?
Q: Are the Beatles a threat to public safety?
Beatles: Rubbish! Rubbish! Rubbish!
Q: What is the difference between the Beatles reception in America and the reception in other countries.
Beatles: America is wilder because there are more people there.
Q: Now that you're successful will you cut your hair?
Paul: We had it like this before we became successful.
Q: How do you like girls to dress Ringo? And don't' say ha...ha...ha....
Ringo: Oh, I dunno--in dresses. I don't like 'em in pants.
Q: Do the Beatles like Austrian beer?
Beatles: No. We never do commercials.
Paul: We're good friends.
John: Anybody from the press here?
Q: Did John write the script of the new ;movie?
Q: Out of all the myths and rumors surrounding the Beatles in the fan magazines, which ones annoy you the most?
John: The ones about my wife having more children than I can account for.
Q: What do the Beatles think of topless bathing suits?
Paul: We've been wearing them for years.
Q: Do you think you can sway political power?
Beatles: Most of our fans are too young to vote.
Q: Why don't you wave to your fans outside the hotel?
Beatles: We were told not to appear at or look out of the windows.
Q: Which of the Beatles is married?
(Everybody in the room under 20 went "Jooooohn and Ringooooo as the two Beatles raised their hands.)
Q: Which ones of the Beatles are not married?
(Paul and George raised their hands. Some people in the room mostly the young girls, seemed to have doubts about Paul.)
Paul: I'm not married as Mr. Winchell says.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
Ringo: No plans. We'll just see what happens.
Q: Last night the police were concerned about some over sized roughnecks who tired to infiltrate the crowd...
Beatles: That was us!
Q: (From girl under ten) What does George think about marriage?
George: Yeah, well, if you propose it to me. It's a good thing if you like it.
Q: What do you plan to do with your leisure time in Austria?
Beatles: What leisure time?
Q: Was "Eight Arms to Hold you" improvised?
John: Some of the scenes started out spontaneous but by the time you do take Eleven it's not improvised any longer.
Q: A psychiatrist who saw one of your concerts said it was unhealthy and had an erotic effect on the audience.
Beatles: He was unhealthy.
Following the conference the Beatles took the snow-covered roads to Obertauern, one of the highest peaks in the Austrian Alps, where key scenes were filmed. During the two and one half hours drive, the lads passed through numerous small towns and were greeted by hordes of screaming and waving fans, who had been waiting in the village streets for hours.