Monday, October 27, 2014

Rocktober 27, 2014 Deep Purple


I cant let the month of Rocktober slip by without mentioning one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in the history of music.

"Smoke On The Water" is a song written and performed by the English rock band, Deep Purple

The lyrics of the song tell a true story: on 4 December 1971 Deep Purple were in Montreux, Switzerland, where they had set up camp 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 "a 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. The resulting fire destroyed the entire casino complex, along with all the Mothers' equipment. The "smoke on the water" that became the title of the song (credited to bass guitarist Roger Glover, who related how the title occurred to him when he suddenly woke from a dream a few days later) referred to the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva from the burning casino as the members of Deep Purple watched the fire from their hotel. 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.

Left with an expensive mobile recording unit and no place to record, the band was forced to scout the town for another place to set up. One promising venue (found by Nobs) was a local theatre called The Pavilion, but soon after the band had loaded in and started working/recording, the nearby neighbours took offence at the noise, and the band was only able to lay down backing tracks for one song (based on Blackmore's riff and temporarily named "Title n°1"), before the local police shut them down.

Finally, after about a week of searching, the band rented the nearly-empty Montreux Grand Hotel and converted its hallways and stairwells into a makeshift recording studio, where they laid down most of the tracks for what would become their most commercially successful album, Machine Head (which is dedicated to Claude Nobs).

     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 some stupid with a flare gun
    Burned the place to the ground
    Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
    They burned down the gambling house
    It died with an awful sound
    Funky Claude was running in and out
    Pulling kids out the ground
    When it all was over
    We had to find another place
    But Swiss time was running out
    It seemed that we would lose the race
    Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
    We ended up at the Grand Hotel
    It was empty cold and bare
    But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside
    Making our music there
    With a few red lights and a few old beds
    We make a place to sweat
    No matter what we get out of this
    I know we'll never forget
    Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

http://youtu.be/F7ZF2xaNhyw