Deep Purple: “Smoke on the Water”
ALBUM: Machine Head
WRITERS: Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice
Reached number-four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Deep Purple had hired the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio and were getting set to record an album at Montreux Casino in Switzerland after Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention did a concert there. But during that show, some fool shot a flare gun into the ceiling and set the place on fire. Singer Ian Gillan says that’s how the song was born. “The flames went up two, three hundred feet and the downdraft from the mountains started blowing the smoke all across Lake Geneva. And we sat and watched this and Roger [Glover] wrote down ‘smoke on the water’ on a napkin and that was it.”
Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice celebrates his 68th birthday today (June 29th).