What band sings smoke on the water
Deep Purple: Smoke On The Water
That was what the casino in Montreux could offer. At the beginning of December 1971, the group with families and friends, the technicians, the equipment and the rolling studio arrived in Montreux. The truck with the mobile studio was already parked directly at the casino, but construction could not yet begin because Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention first gave a concert in the building, which the musicians from Deep Purple attended. There was a fire alarm during this concert and the casino had to be evacuated.
A fire really did break out, the cause of which is not agreed. Deep Purple write in their lyrics of some idiot with a flare gun, but an electrical defect does not seem to be ruled out either. The fact is, the casino - with all of Frank Zappa's equipment valued at $ 48,000 (2) - burned to the ground.
Claude Nobs, director of the tourist office in Montreux and later founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival, was the one who organized Deep Purple's stay in Montreux and the casino as a reception facility. He also organized the evacuation of the building and tried to save what could be saved. "Funky Claude" is immortalized in the lyrics and his picture can be seen on the album cover of Machine Head.
At the last moment, the Rolling Stones Mobile Unit could also be driven away so that the recordings could still be made. You just had to look around for a new suitable place. Not an easy task, but they finally found the Grand Hotel, which was empty in winter, as the group's keyboardist, Jon Lord, reports. Here Deep Purple found not only a place where they could rehearse and record undisturbed and without having to think about studio time, but where they also found the reverberant sound in the spacious rooms that they had actually expected from the casino.
After three weeks of intensive work, in December 1971, Deep Purple finished their recordings and left. Has stayed with Smoke On The Water one of the most legendary rock songs with one of the most memorable and famous guitar riffs in rock music.
See also Smoke On The Water (reef).
(1) Glover, Roger. The Making of "Machine Head": http://www.thehighwaystar.com/interviews/glover/rg_mh.html. Accessed on December 30, 2019.
(2) Bloom, Harold. DEEP PURPLE + 1 FIRE + 12 MATTRESSES = "MACHINE HEAD" https://www.thehighwaystar.com/rosas/mh25/circus.html. Retrieved on December 30, 2019.
© 2020 by Jochen Scheytt
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