Turn it Up!
Live Concert . . . keep your eyes open . . at about the 50 second mark, as the camera pans to the audience, you will see a young johnnyirishxm (yellow shirt/frizzy hair) whooping it up with his date:
Music with Lyrics:
Last edited by Sirius Roadkill; 03-23-2011 at 04:12 PM.
What's "Smoke on the Water" about?
There is indeed a story behind this, undoubtedly Deep Purple's most well known song.
The lyrics actually tell the story of the recording of Machine Head . Deep Purple were originally all set to record the album at the Casino in Montreux, Switzerland. They were just awaiting a Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention concert to be held before the recording could begin. But the Casino burnt down during the concert, after some stupid had fired a flare gun into the Casino's ceiling. (Purple were in the audience. The actual Zappa concert has turned up on one of the Beat the Boots discs, I think.)
They ended up at the Grand Hotel, closed for the winter season, where the recording eventually commenced during December 1971. They recorded the album with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, also mentioned in the lyrics.
Who's "Funky Claude" ?
Funky Claude in the lyrics is Claude Nobs, who helped them out. He's still involved in the Montreux Jazz Festival, and seems to be a very important man in the music business in the Swiss town.
As stated in the lyrics, he helped saving some kids during the fire at the Casino. He was also the man who found the Grand Hotel for them. There's a picture on him on the gatefold sleeve on the original LP release of the album.
"Break a leg , Frank!"
Actually, these were troubled times for Frank Zappa, who first lost all of his gear in the fire in Montreux. A couple of days later, when he played in London, a fan tore him off stage, and Zappa broke his leg as he fell into the orchestra pit.
This, again, led to Ian Gillan dropping the comment "Break a leg, Frank!" near the ending of Smoke on the Water at a March 1972 concert recorded for the BBC, available on the excellent EMI 2CD set Deep Purple in Concert.
The song itself was created more or less spontaneously; Roger Glover had the picture of the smoke spreading over the Lake Geneva in his head, and the line Smoke on the Water eventually stuck. He suggested to Ian Gillan that they should use it as a song title, but Ian shrugged it off, saying people would believe it was a drug song. Then Ritchie suddenly came up with the later hierostratically famous (and notorious!) riff, and things fell into place.
Here's the story about the lyrics and the title, in Roger Glover's own words:
"The only deviation to the story that IG has sometimes claimed is that it was written on a napkin as the fire burned. Actually it came to me in a sort of dream 1 or 2 mornings after the fire: I was alone in my bed (in the Eurotel, not the Eden Au Lac as IG insists although it's a better sounding name for the story) in that mystical time between deep sleep and awakening, when I heard my own voice say those words out loud. I woke up then and asked myself if I actually did say them out loud, and I came to the conclusion that I did. I pondered upon it and realised that it was a potential song title.
"This is how I characterized it later to IG but we both came to the conclusion that it sounded like a drug song and it was promptly filed away under "drug songs - not to be used." (what clean living boys we were!)
"Only later did it suggest itself as the vehicle by which we could tell the story of the fire. Even now, I've no idea where it came from but it's difficult not to start believing in some divine providence when one considers the subsequent history of the song.
"All I know is that I have always listened to my random thoughts ever since."
Roger Glover, Tue, 20 Aug 1996 21:35:12 -0400
Deep Purple themselves didn't seem to notice that the song had any potential, they hardly played it live early in 1972, and Never Before was chosen as the first single from the album. (An edited version of Lazy was chosen in the US.) It wasn't until 1973, when a single consisting of two edits of Smoke on the Water, studio version one side and Made in Japan version on the b-side, was released in the USA, that the song became the rock anthem that it later has become, and helped Deep Purple sail up as on of the world's biggest selling artists.
The events behind Smoke on the Water are also detailed in Ian Gillan's autobiography; "Child in Time : The Life of the Singer of Deep Purple".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_on_the_WaterThe lyrics of the song tell a true story: on 4 December 1971 Deep Purple had set up camp in Montreux, Switzerland to record an album using a mobile recording studio (rented from the Rolling Stones and known as the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio - referred to as the "Rolling truck Stones thing" and "the mobile" in the song lyrics) at the entertainment complex that was part of the Montreux Casino (referred to as "the gambling house" in the song lyric). On the eve of the recording session a Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention concert was held in the casino's theatre. In the middle of Don Preston's synthesizer solo on "King Kong", the place suddenly caught fire when somebody in the audience fired a flare gun into the rattan covered ceiling, as mentioned in the "some stupid with a flare gun" line.
http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyl...ude-nobs-0716/This was one of the concerts I was doing besides the festival in the summer. I had Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, and one time I had Frank Zappa. And at the end of the concert someone threw a flare gun at the ceiling and everything started to be on fire.
It was actually not that difficult because we had big bow windows in the concert hall overlooking the swimming pool. Frank Zappa took his guitar – a Gibson, a very strong one – and he smashed the big window down with his guitar. Then a lot of people could go out through there. The people went out through that exit, and within about five minutes, the 2,000 kids were out. And the people were watching the fire thinking, “Oh, you know, Frank Zappa is just doing an incredible ending to his show.”
Last edited by Sirius Roadkill; 03-24-2011 at 12:15 AM.
http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyl...ude-nobs-0716/Deep Purple were watching the whole fire from their hotel window, and they said, “Oh my God, look what happened. Poor Claude and there’s no casino anymore!” They were supposed to do a live gig [at the casino] and record the new album there. Finally I found a place in a little abandoned hotel next to my house and we made a temporary studio for them. One day they were coming up for dinner at my house and they said, “Claude we did a little surprise for you, but it’s not going to be on the album. It’s a tune called ‘Smoke On The Water.’” So I listened to it. I said, “You’re crazy. It’s going to be a huge thing.” Now there’s no guitar player in the world who doesn’t know [he hums the riff]. They said, “Oh if you believe so we’ll put it on the album.” It’s actually the very precise description of the fire in the casino, of Frank Zappa getting the kids out of the casino, and every detail in the song is true. It’s what really happened. In the middle of the song, it says “Funky Claude was getting people out of the building,” and actually when I meet a lot of rock musicians, they still say, “Oh here comes Funky Claude.”
http://www.deep-purple.net/features/...the-water.htmlThe group set up the Rolling Stones Mobile and began recording in another hall, and the first backing track they laid down was the Smoke On The Water riff, before police closed down the session after neighbours complained about the volume. Ritchie Blackmore had come to the sessions with a few ideas in his head, and the famous Smoke riff was the first one he suggested that they jam with.Finally Deep Purple hired the nearby empty Grand Hotel and recorded the rest of the album in a cordoned off area of the corridors with mattresses to deaden the noise. Ian Gillan who wrote the lyrics about their experiences over the Smoke On The water backing track.