a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing

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Music History Lessons

Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water (released in 1972) was directly inspired by the Montreux Casino fire on December 3, 1971. Deep Purple were in Montreux in hopes of recording their new album, Machine Head, at the Casino. The day before they were set to record, however, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention were playing, and fire broke out. While the original fire might not have been too bad, someone in the confusion fired a flare into the ceiling, causing the club to burn to the ground. Deep Purple then moved to the Grand Hotel to record.

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

Does anyone have any good stories of songs based in events (other than The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald)?
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