“Smoke in the water”(Smoke on the water), by Deep purple, is one of the emblematic songs of the 70s. Its riff, those four powerful notes that start it, is one of the most recognizable and interpreted by all lovers of hard rock. However, many do not know that behind the subject there is a dangerous event. That is why today it is interesting CruzArte a History and knowing the fire of Montreux from 1971.
Welcome to Switzerland and its festivals
Montreux is a city of the canton of Vaud at the foot of the Alps and on the shore of Lake Geneva, in Switzerland. It currently has 25 thousand inhabitants. Walking through the area is going through forests, going to castles, getting to know the museum of Freddie mercury or enjoy one of the festivals that take place there every year. It is not difficult to get there because there are several train lines that pass through the station in the city center, in addition to the fact that there are many international connections.
Regarding the festivals, the year begins in April, with the choral music, which has been performed since 1964. Later, jazz invades the region during July. In September is the classical music festival and the year ends in December with the humor festival.
The Jazz Festival of Montreux it began in 1967 and was limited to that genre. It was held in the halls of the Casino Barrière in Montreux and musicians such as Miles Davis, Weather Report, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald passed through its stages,
However, it eventually opened its doors to other genres, without neglecting jazz. So it was that Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep purple, Frank Zappa or Carlos Santana showed their talent. In the 1980s they expanded it further and Quincy Jones, the music producer, took over the festival. Over the years it was not strange to find blues musicians like BB King, Albert King or Buddy Guy on stage, go in another direction and listen to New Order or Ringo Starr. The headquarters moved from the casino to the Convention Center of Montreux in the 90’s.
During the presentations, several artists took the opportunity to record themselves, so there are more than 50 albums published related to Montreux. However, none of the festivals is as remembered as the 1971 one.
The flare and the smoke on the water
On December 4, 1971, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention they performed in the casino theater. It was the last concert of the festival and then the facility would be closed for pre-winter repairs. Don Preston’s keyboard solo began, in the song “King Kong” when, suddenly, one of those present took out a flare gun and fired it. His first fire fell on the palm tree roof, which began to catch fire.
Although there were no serious injuries, both the casino and the equipment Zappa and his gang were destroyed. The reconstruction took four years to complete.
A complicated recording
Meanwhile, members of Deep purple they were at his hotel. Roger Glover peeked into the sale and began to see the smoke and fire in the casino, so he yelled to the rest what was happening.
In the distance they observed how the place where they were going to record their next album caught fire: “Machine Head”. They had rented equipment from The Rolling Stones but had nowhere to settle. They originally rented a theater, The Pavilion, but complaints from neighbors about the noise prompted the police to remove them from the venue. They finally managed to rent a room at the Grand Hôtel de Territet where they recorded the entire album, except for the song that they eventually left on tape at the theater: Smoke on the water.
The lyrics tell of the experience of fire and subsequent events for the band. They never expected it to be a hit. In fact it was the third single from the album. However, it quickly climbed the charts and reached the top spots.
Today is one of the songs most recognizable in rock history. His riff is taught to beginners in the study of guitar and, although it is simple, it is still iconic. Even those not very adept at the musical genre can say that they once heard them, but few know that the smoke on the water was real.
Ideas or comments, you can write to email@example.com