Deep Purple's Ian Gillan Remembers Claude 'Smoke On The Water' Nobs

(Classic Rock) Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan has paid tribute to 'Funky' Claude Nobs, who died last week after a skiing accident.

The co-founder and organiser of the Montreux Jazz Festival was immortalized in Purple's 1973 song Smoke On The Water and Gillan also regarded him as a close friend.

The singer recalls a recent meeting with Nobs: "I had just checked in to The Palace Hotel in Montreux prior to our appearance at the festival. The elevator doors opened and out whooshed Claude on a scooter; had it been anyone else I would have been surprised. Flying by, he waved over his shoulder and called out 'Hi, Ian, see you later!' then he was gone.

"No doubt on his way to move things along in the right direction, because the Montreux Jazz Festival was his baby. He mothered it from infancy to what it has grown into: internationally, the most highly respected and enjoyable annual event of its kind."

The pair first met after the casino fire in 1971 that inspired Purple's classic track "Smoke On The Water." Read about that here.

Classic Rock Magazine is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Classic Rock Magazine- Excerpted here with permission.

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