Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thirty years since “Last Christmas” by Wham

The 2014/15 winter season is full of anniversary celebrations in Saas-Fee. For starters, it marks 165 years since Father Imseng became Switzerland’s first skier, and 150 years since the country’s first official winter sports season.
In 1849, roughly 15 years before the dawn of winter sports in Switzerland, Father Johann Josef Imseng received an urgent plea to visit a dying parish member. To overcome the snowy descent from Saas-Fee to Saas-Grund he strapped two planks of wood to his shoes and thus went down in history as Switzerland’s first-ever skier. But his story doesn’t end there: he was also the courageous pioneer who first brought tourism to the Saas Valley. He organised the construction of the Saas Valley’s first-ever hotel in 1850, and in 1856 he was the first person to climb the Allalinhorn, along with Sir Edward Ames Lewis.


What’s more, it was 30 years ago that Wham! filmed the video for their much-loved hit "Last Christmas". The hit by pop duo Wham! is one of the most popular Christmas pop records of all time. The video, released in December 1984, was filmed in Saas-Fee and broke all viewing figures. Many locals still talk excitedly today about the visit of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, who appear in the video celebrating Christmas in one of the Saas-Fee chalets.
"Last Christmas" was written and produced by George Michael, and has been covered by many artists since its original release. The video shows George and partner Andrew Ridgeley accompanying girlfriends to see friends in Saas-Fee, Switzerland with the old Felskinn cableway playing a starring role in it.

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