April 27, 2006

Deep Purple back to Montreux, more Smoke on the Water

GENEVA (Reuters) - Deep Purple, whose 1970s hit "Smoke on
the Water" describes a concert fire raging in Montreux, is
returning to the Swiss lakeside resort to close the 40th annual
jazz festival, organizers announced on Thursday.

Some 100 groups are performing at the June 30-July 15
event, whose line-up includes Santana, Sting, Black Eyed Peas,
Diana Krall and BB King on his last European tour.

The two-week festival, which draws about 250,000 people
each summer to the shores of Lake Geneva, is celebrating its
40th anniversary and the 70th birthday of its founder Claude

Deep Purple wrote the song, whose opening four-note riff
became one of the most famous in hard rock history after
watching a December 1971 fire at the Montreux Casino where they
were to record their album "Machine Head" the next day.

The fire, which broke out during a concert by Frank Zappa
and The Mothers of Invention after a fan shot a flare gun to
the ceiling, destroyed the complex as members of Deep Purple
watched from their hotel. Nobs helped some in the audience to

The song's world famous refrain is: "Smoke on the Water --
A Fire in the Sky."

The Deep Purple concert, on the night of July 15, is billed
as "We all came down to Montreux," the song's opening line.