After the adventures in France recording The Rolling Stones tracks for Exile on Main Street, the mobile set off to Montereux in Switzerland for it's next adventure and to get itself written into the rock history books through a mishap in a casino.
Smoke On the Water" was written about the events that took place in December 1971 before the recording of 'Machine Head. Deep Purple had planned to record the album at the Casino in Montreux, a complex that contained a casino, a resturant and a concert hall that was used by many top bands on tour.
Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple : Machine Head
They had hired the Rolling Stones Mobile and the Casino with the idea of capturing a live sound but all didn't go to plan. The "gambling house" did actually catch fire and did burn to the ground, during a concert by Frank Zappa. And it was "some stupid with a flare gun" that was to blame for the fire. The song's title came from bassist Roger Glover, who witnessed the smoke from the fire spreading over Lake Geneva. The mobile was parked up on a piece of waste ground next to the Casino and as the fire spread was in danger of going up as well. Nobody could be found with a key to the truck to move it so they eventually had to smash one of the windows to gain access.
Truck rescued, they now needed a new place to record the album.They came across the old Victorian Grand Hotel on the edge of town that was shutdown for the season. They set up the gear in a small space off of the main lobby and that was where Machine Head would be recorded – in just 3 weeks.