Claude Nobs

Claude Nobs died on January 10th 2013. He had been in a coma in hospital following a fall during a skiing holiday on Christmas Eve.

While the media are rightly concentrating on his amazing work for the town of Montreux over the last fifty years, not least the founding and running of the town’s famous Jazz Festival, within the world of Deep Purple, he will forever be ‘Funky Claude’, immortalised by Ian Gillan in the lyrics of their best known recording Smoke On The Water. Without Claude’s expertise and local knowledge, Deep Purple would probably have had to abandon their December 1971 recording session, which produced the Machine Head album. Having organised time in the Montreux Casino, following the fire which destroyed the building, Claude (snapped helping man the fire hoses during the inferno) put aside his own immediate worries to help them make alternative arrangements within the Grand Hotel. Smoke On The Water was penned by Gillan to document the whole experience. In recent years Deep Purple have been regular performers at the festival, which grew to encompass all genre’s of popular music. Claude reminisced about his experiences during the Machine Head period in the Classic Rock Machine Head special recently.

February 4, 1936 – January 10, 2013

SR. Thanks also to Tim Summers and Martin Ashberry. Photo courtesy of the official history of the Jazz festival.

claude nobs during montreux casino fire


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5 Responses to “Claude Nobs”

  1. Dave Stoddard Says:

    Part of the family – RIP

  2. Lars Says:

    Claude Nobs; the 6th member of Deep Purple in December 1971! RIP.

  3. Pete Houghton Says:

    Immortalised forever in ” Smoke ” ; rest in peace Claude and endless thanks for being such a huge part in the life of Deep Purple.

  4. Jack. Says:

    Funky Claude: You’ll be dearly remembered. Rock in Peace forever!

  5. Tony S. Says:

    Rest in peace Funky Claude.

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