Hangs out in: Carnegie (Livermore) and Hollister Off Road Parks as well as Stonyford and Upper Lake riding areas. Fishing happens on streams in Nor Cal and Clear Lake and Berryessa as well as the Delta and the Bay.
Likes: Everything outdoors. Mountain and road biking, fishing, boating, walking my dog, motorcycle riding on and off road. I compete in some off road racing, camping... well you get the idea.
Extras: Video game player and home BBQ pitmaster
Books: I almost always am reading some non-fiction. True Crime books are pretty fascinating.
Music: I like to rock, and I love live shows.
Smoke On The Water is a true story!
by Big Rick Machine Head Stuart,posted Dec 5 2012 11:07AM
I'll admit it wasn't until about 10 years ago that I learned a song I liked so much and knew so well was a true story.
Yep the next time you hear Deep Purple "Smooooooke On The Water" and are singing along know that it really happened!
The date was December 4th 1971.
Let's break it down. After Deep Purple In Rock and Fireball Deep Purple were on a roll. It was time to record a new album. Here's how Smoke On The Water opens.
We all came out to Montreux On the Lake Geneva shoreline To make records with a mobile We didn't have much time
Deep Purple headed to Switzerland to record a new album in December 1971. They planned to use the Rolling Stones mobile recording studio and set up at the Montreux Casino complex, not just one building but a concert hall, restaurants hotels etc. Each winter it closed for a few weeks and the band was going to use that time to record there.
They didn't have much time because the Casino complex was to reopen in a few weeks.
There was one concert left for the Casino in 1971. Frank Zappa and The Mothers.
Frank Zappa and the Mothers Were at the best place around
During the show a "stupid" with a flare gun really did shoot off a flare gun inside and the rattan ceiling caught fire.
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
It happened during a synthesizer solo and from a Zappa bootleg "Swiss Cheese / Fire" here at 1:20 in you can hear the band stop and Frank asking the crowd to please leave. "Go towards the exit ladies and gentlemen, calmly"
Deep Purple saw the fire from their hotel room and as the song famously continues it was
Smoke on the water
A fire in the sky
It could have been much worse.
Funky Claude was running in and out
He was pulling kids out the ground
While the Casino and Frank Zappa's equipment burned nobody died. The "Funky Claude" running in and out is referring to Claude Nobs, the director of the Montreux Jazz Festival who helped some of the audience escape the fire.
Now Deep Purple had to change their plans and find a new place to record the songs for Machine Head. As they say "Swiss time was running out." Clever line!
When it all was over
We had to find another place
Swiss time was running out
It seemed that we would lose the race
They went to the ironically named Grand Hotel. It was empty for the season and they arranged the bed mattresses on walls and set things up in various rooms to finally record.
Deep Purple guitar god Ritchie Blackmore says
We had the Rolling Stones' mobile recording unit sitting outside in the snow, but to get there we had to run cable through two doors in the corridor into a room, through a bathroom and into another room, from which it went across a bed and out the veranda window, then ran along the balcony for about 100 feet and came back in through another bedroom window.
It then went through that room's bathroom and into another corridor, then all the way down a marble staircase to the foyer reception area of the hotel, out the front door, across the courtyard and up the steps into the back of the mobile unit.
I think that setup led to capturing some spontaneity, because once we got to the truck for a playback, even if we didn’t think it was a perfect take, we’d go, 'Yeah, that’s good enough.' Because we just couldn’t stand going back again.
As the song ends all is well.
Few red lights and a few old beds
We made a place to sweat
No matter what we get out of this
I know, I know we'll never forget, now
Smoke on the water
A fire in the sky
The album Machine Head was released in March 1972 and reached number 1 in the United Kingdom and stayed in the top 40 for 20 weeks. It reached number 7 in the United States, remaining on the Billboard 200 for 118 weeks.
The song is honoured in Montreux by a sculpture along the lake shore (right next to the statue of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury) with the band's name, the song title, and the riff in musical notes.
One more thing. All those kids playing the Smoke On The Water riff in guitar shops all these years are probably playing it wrong! Ritchie and the band explain here.
I'm Swiss and knew a little bit of this story, but not all of it. Of course, Smoke on the water is on of the best rock songs ever. Thanks for this interesting story.
And I'm a great fan of KFOX! Was 1985 for half a year in San Francisco (at language school to improve my English) - wonderful city!!!
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