Deep Purple - "Smoke On The Water" - New York 1973




Filmed during a US concert in New York City at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, in colour. It features the only known video recording of "Smoke on the Water", performed by the original Mark II lineup.


This song took inspiration from a fire in the Casino at Montreux, Switzerland on December 4, 1971. The band was going to start recording their Machine Head album there right after a Frank Zappa concert, but someone fired a flare gun at the ceiling during Zappa's show, which set the place on fire.


Deep Purple was in the audience for the show, and lead singer Ian Gillan recalls two flares being shot by someone sitting behind him that landed in the top corner of the building and quickly set it ablaze. Zappa stopped the show and helped ensure an orderly exit.


Deep Purple watched the blaze from a nearby restaurant, and when the fire died down, a layer of smoke had covered Lake Geneva, which the casino overlooked. This image gave bass player Roger Glover the idea for a song title: "Smoke On The Water," and Gillan wrote the lyric about their saga recording the Machine Head album.


The band was relocated to the Grand Hotel in Montreux, where they recorded the album using the Rolling Stones' mobile studio. They needed one more song, so they put together "Smoke On The Water" using Gillan's lyric and the riff guitarist Ritchie Blackmore came up with. The result was a song telling the story of these strange events just days after they happened - the recording sessions took place from December 6-21.






Lyrics



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 Smoke on the water

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 Smoke on the water

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 Smoke on the water




Songwriters: Ritchie Blackmore / Ian Gillan / Roger D Glover / Jon Lord / Ian Paice

Smoke On The Water lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC