“We all came out to Montreux / On the Lake Geneva shoreline / To make records with a mobile / We didn’t have much time / Frank Zappa and the Mothers/ Were at the best place around / But someone stupid with a flare gun / Burned the place to the ground”.
Watch the fascinating story about the actual fire at a Zappa concert in Switzerland that inspired Deep Purple’s 1972 classic, Smoke On The Water.
Have ever wondered what inspired Deep Purple’s 1972 rock ‘n’ roll opus, Smoke on the Water?
As the story goes, in December 1971, Deep Purple were in Montreux, Switzerland, where they were making their next record in a mobile recording studio (rented from the Stones), which was parked at the Montreux Casino.
On the night of one of the sessions, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention were playing at the casino’s theatre for what was to be its final show before it shut its doors for winter (thus allowing Deep Purple to record there).
During the show, someone in the audience fired a flare gun toward the palm-covered ceiling, setting fire to the casino. Although there were no major injuries, the blaze destroyed the entire complex, along with all the Mothers’ equipment.
And thus the seeds were planted for one of the most iconic rock ‘n’ roll tracks of all time.
Below is an excellent animated video featuring Deep Purple bassists Richard Glover (who is credited with coming up with the Smoke On The Water title) talking about what happened on the night and how it inspired the song.
Watch it below or check it out on Great Big Story.[via Great Big Story – check out their Vimeo channel, there’s heaps of great stuff like this on there]