December 4, 1971

On this day in 1971, During a Frank Zappa concert, the Montreaux Casino in Switzerland catches fire when someone fires a flare gun, inspiring Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water.”

Deep Purple planned to record their album Machine Head the following day using the Rolling Stones’ mobile Studio that was a part of the entertainment complex connected to the casino, but ended up using the Grand Hotel and included the track at the last minute.

Bassist Roger Glover awoke from a dream a few days later with the title in his head, referring 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.


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