Beat The Boots II: 5. Swiss Cheese / Fire!

June 16th 1992
Zappa Records
Intro
861
Peaches En Regalia
207
Tears Began To Fall/She Painted Up Her Face/Half-A-Dozen Provocative Squats
359
Call Any Vegetable
595
Anyway The Wind Blows
224
Magdalena/Dog Breath
589
Sofa
1086
A Pound For A Brown (On The Bus)
427
Wonderful Wino/Sharleena/Cruisin' For Burgers
757
King Kong
84
Fire!
115

From Beat The Boots II

Recorded at Casino, Montreaux, Switzerland - December 4, 1971
 
Players:
FZ: guitar, vocals 
Mark Volman: vocals 
Howard Kaylan: vocals 
Jim Pons: bass, vocals
Don Preston: keyboards
Ian Underwood: keyboards
Aynsley Dunbar: drums
 
"The 1971 European winter tour gets the award for being the most disasterous. On December 4, we were working at the Casino de Montreux in Geneva, Switzerland, right on the edge of the lake—just in front of Igor Stravinsky Street—a venue noted for its jazz festivals. In the middle of Don Preston's synthesizer solo on "King Kong," the place suddenly caught fire. Somebody in the audience had a bottle rocket or a Roman candle and had fired it into the ceiling, at which point the rattan covering started to burn (other versions of the story claim the blaze was the result of faulty wiring). There were between twenty-five hundred and three thousand kids packed into the room—well over capacity.
Since more kids were outside, trying to get in, the organizers had cleverly chained the doors shut. When the fire began, the audience was left with two ways out: through the front door, which was pretty small, or through a plate-glass window off to the side of the stage.  I made an announcement—something like: "Please be calm. We have to leave here. There is a fire and why don't we get out?"
You'd be surprised how well people who speak only French can understand you when its a matter of life and death. They began filing out through the front door. As the room was filling with smoke, one of our roadies took an equipment case and smashed the big window. The crew then began helping people to escape through it into some kind of garden place below. The band escaped through an underground tunnel that led from behind the stage through the parking garage. A few minutes later the heating system in the building exploded, and some people were blown through the window. Fortunately, nobody was killed and there were only a few minor injuries—however, the entire building, about thirteen million dollars' worth, burned to the ground, and we lost all our equipment."
—FZ, from The Real Frank Zappa Book