Beat The Boots II: Swiss Cheese / Fire!

Release Information

Swiss Cheese / Fire!

FOO-EEE Records R2 71021, 1992

Date: Dec 4, 1971
Location: The Casino, Montreaux, Switzerland
Length: ~90 min
Sound quality: Soundboard B/B+

 

Notes & Comments

This is the infamous concert where the Casino caught fire and burned down (the very fire mentioned in "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple) so most of the Mothers' equipment was destroyed.

Fire At The Casino

FZ & Peter Occhiogrosso, The Real Frank Zappa Book, 1989

The 1971 European winter tour gets the award for being hte 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 Preson'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.

"Smoke On The Water"

FrankZappy

In the April, 1999 issue of Guitar magazine there is an interview with former
Deep Purple guitarist (and my idol for many years) Ritchie Blackmore. In the
article Ritchie mentions Zappa two separate times. In the first instance while
discussing the abuse Blackmore had to handle from the record company he says:
"As Frank Zappa would say, "I smell a rat""

The next quote follows:
Q: Can you elaborate on the story told in "Smoke on the Water"?

A. We were sitting there watching Frank Zappa play and suddenly someone had
one of those flare guns and decided to let it off. It set the roof on fire.
Frank turned around and said, "Now everybody clam down." He then threw down
his guitar and jumped out the window. It was quite funny. He wanted to be the
first one out. We then had about 15 minutes before the place was gutted, which
was frightening.

If memory serves when Frank told the story he was more like a traffic cop and
made sure all the kids got out first. Ritchie never took drugs, but did tend
to drink so maybe his recollection of Zappa leaping out a window is blurred, so
the question is: what really happened? Did Zappa throw down his guitar (SG?)
and leap out the window while Blackmore sat calmly and observed as the place
burned down or is this like the Kurosawa film Rashamon, where everyone
remembers things somewhat differently?

Arthur Brown And His "Fire"

Ttrocc7007

Arthur Brown was kind of an English version of Screamin' Jay Hawkins (but
without the soul) in the late '60's. In America he had one single from an
LP produced by (of all people) Peter Townsend. The single was called
"FIRE". So....when some poor Swiss dude sees that he's about to become
toast and starts screaming "Fire," Kaylan believing it's a joke goes into
his line "Live right here on stage, Arthur Brown ladies and Gentelmen."

In a weird side-bar to all this, Arthur Brown moved to Austin Texas in the
'80's, and was in a band with Jimmy Carl Black!

Nik Lowenberg

Another thing you might want to add to the Arthur Brown reference (another
crappy sidebar) on Swiss Cheese/Fire! is that Arthur Brown used to set
himself on fire and go out onstage...early shock-rock.

Give Me Some Floor Covering, Under This Fat Floating Sofa

The Joined International Transcribing Effort Of
Vladimir Sovetov
Johannes Labisch
Gordon.Keeble[at]f113.n267.z1.fidonet.org (Gordon Keeble)

If the 8-bit transmission is incorrect:

letter Name spelling

B "Esszett" sz
ae a-Umlaut ae
Ae A-Umlaut Ae
ue u-Umlaut ue
Ue U-Umlaut Ue
oe o-Umlaut oe
Oe O-Umlaut Oe

This is a piece for those of you in the audience who happen to speak
German. And if you do happen to speak German after this piece you'll
probably regret it . . .

One—two—three.

FZ: Once upon a time, way back a long time ago. When the universe
consisted of nothing more elaborate than Mark Maroon.

Oh, thank you Frank.

Hiya, friends!
What a life?
I can't begin to tell you
I mean.. today as I was walking here
Just like every place else I go
People walk up to me and they go:
Mark, Mark, Mark
Bark, bark bark

I hear a little dog

Mark,
Are you kidding?
And all I can say back to them is friends,
Friends, I am not kidding
I feel great.
I mean I'm portly
And I'm maroon

What else could you ask for?

Can anybody here in this audience
In our vast audience back there
Even you in the cheap seats
Can you guess what I am?

No, we can't guess what you are
we can't guess

Well then, I'll give each and every one of you some clues
Clue number one
(and I've already given this away)
I'm portly Clue number one.
I'm portly I am clue number one.

I still don't know who you are

OK,
Then I'll give you clue number two
And this is very important to the girls in the audience
I'm double knit

Ohhhhh

I stretch

And clue number three

Oh no,no, Still don't know who you are, though..

Well, I was gonna to give ya the clue anyway

Does it matter with response like that?

Clue number three
And these are for the people standing
right in front the vocal PA-mike
Ich bin maroon

Ahhhh, Why didn't you say so

Once upon a time
Way back a long time ago
Way back when the universe consisted
Of nothing more elaborate
than Mark Maroon

Thank you, Frank
Hiya Friends

Trying to convince
each and every members of this audience here tonight
that he was nothing more, nothing less
Than a fat maroon sofa
Suspended in the midst of a vast emptiness
A light shineth down from Heaven

And who should appeare but the Good Lord himself
And his faithful Saint Bernard, Wendell

Down Wendell, down!

And he was feeling fine that day
And if there was one thing that he could use
It would be a nice sofa for him and Wendell

And he looked at the sofa
And he said unto himself : This sofa is all right
Except what it needs is a floor
And so in order to attain the floor
He consulted with the celestial corps of engineers
And addressed them formaly
With the little song in Deutsch
Because that is the way he talks whenever it's heavy business

Take it away God

Gib zu mir
Etwas FuBbodenbelag
Unter diesem fetten, flieBenden Sofa

Gib zu mir
Etwas Fussbodenbelag
Unter diesem fetten, fliessenden Sofa

And of course that means
Give unto to me a bit of flooring
Underneath of this fat floating sofa
And sure enough boards of oak appeared throughout the emptiness
As far as vision permits
Stretching all the way from Fondue Central up on top of the hill
Right down to the front door of the Excelsior Hotel

And the Lord proceeded
To deliver unto the sofa
A brief lecture
That will set forth in specific language
the sum total of all
their future relationships, including options
With an electric clarinet

Ich bin der Himmel
(This goes out to [?Irving Porter] in the box)
Ich bin das Wasser
Ich bin der Dreck unter deinen Walzen
Ich bin dein geheimer Schmutz
Und verlorenes Metallgeld
Ich bin deine Ritze
Ich bin deine Ritze und Schlitze

Ich bin Wolken
Ich bin bestickt

Ich bin der Autor aller Felgen und Damask Paspeln
Ich bin der chrome dinette
Ich bin der chrome dinette
Ich bin Eier aller Arten

Ich bin alle Tage und Naechte
Ich bin alle Tage und Naechte

Ich bin hier
Und du bist mein Sofa
Ich bin hier
Und du bist mein Sofa
Ich bin hier
Und du bist mein Sofa

I'm here and you are my sofa

Eddie, are you kidding me ?
Eddie, are you kidding me ?
Eddie, are you kidding me ?
(translation):
Ein Licht scheint vom Himmel herab (A light shines down from
Heaven.
Kometen und alle rasenden Truemmer Comets and all rushing wreckages
Dunkle Gase und tiefgefrorene ?????? Dark gas and deep-frozen ???
Zittern bei der Ankunft des Herren Are trembling at the arrival
of the Lord )

A light shines down from Heaven
A dense ecumenical patina
At the right hand of God's big sofa
And the Lord put aside his huge cigar

And concidered it was time now
to entertain himself
On the Heavenly afternoon
With the sofa, Wendell, his girlfriend
Who was a little bit short
And her assistant Squat, the magic pig
And he did it like this

Bring her zu mir (Means: Bring on to me
Das kurze Maedchen the short girl

Bring on to me the short girl

Und Squat, das magische Schwein and Squat, the magic pig)

And Squat the magic pig
And big light
Because we gonna make a home movie

Fick mich, du miserabler Hurensohn
Fick mich, du miserabler hurensohn
Streck aus deinen heiBen gelockten
Streck aus deinen heissen gelockten
Streck aus deinen heissen gelockten
Schwanz
Ah-ee-ahee-ahhhhh!
( ?????? guys )
Fick mich, du miserabler Hurensohn
Fick mich, du miserabler hurensohn
Streck aus deinen heissen gelockten
Streck aus deinen heissen gelockten
Streck aus deinen heissen gelockten
schwanz
Ah-ee-ahee-ahhhhh!

Mach es sehr schnell
Rein und raus
Mach es sehr schnell
Rein und raus
Mach es sehr schnell
Rein und raus
Magisches Schwein
Mach es sehr schnell
Rein und raus
Magisches Schwein
Bis er spritzt, spritzt, spritzt, spritzt
Bis es spritzt (?) (Both, es and er, is possible)
Feuer!
Bis er spritzt, spritzt, spritzt, spritzt
Feuer!
Bis er spritzt, spritzt, spritzt, spritzt
Feuer!
Bis er spritzt, spritzt, spritzt, spritzt
Feuer!
Aber beklecker nicht das Sofa, Sofa!
Aber beklecker nicht das Sofa, Sofa!
Aber beklecker nicht das Sofa, Sofa!
Aber beklecker nicht das Sofa, Sofa!

Armed Forces Radio, Radio Free Europe

Fuck me, you ugly son of a bitch
You ugly son of a bitch
Fuck me, you ugly son of a bitch
Stick it out
Stick out yer hot curly weenie
Stick it out
Stick out yer hot curly weenie
Stick it out
Stick out yer hot curly weenie
Weenie... weenie, weenie, weenie!
Make it go fast!
In and out,
Magical Pig
Make it go real fast!
In and out,
Magical Pig
Till it squirts, squirts, squirts, squirts
Fire
Till it squirts, squirts, squirts, squirts
Fire
Don't get no jizz upon that sofa, sofa
Don't get no jizz upon that sofa, sofa
Don't get no jizz upon that sofa, sofa
Don't get no jizz upon that sofa, sofa

(Please me
I'm not a groupie!
I'm not a groupie!
I'm not a groupie!
I'm not a groupie!
I'm not a groupie!
I hear and obey, [? ?].)

Sheets of fire, ladies and gentelmen

Lachen von Feuer

Sheets of real fire

Lachen von Feuer

Sheets of dried water
which is a new form of fondue

Lachen von getrocknetem Wasser

And the Lord causeth the short girl to kneel
And make mysterious gestures
Near the reproductive orifice of Squat the magic pig
And proceeded to broadcast her pure sweet voice
Throughout his greatest new PA system
all over the Alps and everything (Yodle)

Fick mich, Schwein, bis meine ???? dunkles Gas blaest,
Funken schieBem heraus, sich Nebel blasen(?) hat(?)

And for our boys in uniform
That means: Fuck me swine
Until my orchestra blows dark gas
sparks shoot out
and nebulas are revealed
Along with sheets of fire

Lachen von Feuer

Sheets of dried water

Lachen von getrocknetem Wasser

Lachen von Feuer

Sheets of dried water

Lachen von getrocknetem Wasser

Sheets of large deprived rumba

Lachen von riesigen, tiefgefrorenen Rumba

A light shines down from Heaven
A dense ecumenical bandana
At the right hand of God's big rumba(?)

And his voice pronounceth out
in sheets of plywood
and bales of old sportshirts

(Vot dooz he say?)

Ballen von alten Sporthemden (????)

And he says in the middle
of his delirious stupor

Beklecker nicht
Beklecker nicht
(...)
Beklecker nicht mein Sofa!

Obviuosly meaning
Don't get no jizz on the sofa
It is now time for
the bales of imported unmiti-con..
unmitigated zircon fondue

Ballen von Zecken Fondu
und alten Sporthemden Fondu

Lachen von Feuer Fundo
Lachen von ????? Fondu
Lachen von Traenen Fondu
Lachen von ??? kleister??? Spitzen Fondu

Cheese Or Sheaves?

Chris West (December, 2010)

I think Flo & Eddie are singing 'bringing in the cheese' at the start of Wino on Swiss Cheese/Fire!

I think the first singer (sorry I never know which is Flo and which is Eddie) sings 'shreaves' then the harmony singer joins in singing 'cheese'. By the third time, the first singer is too busy going 'Yow' to sing the word at all, and the second singer sounds like he is singing 'cheese' fairly clearly to my ears.

Charles Ulrich (December, 2010)

I too have long wondered whether they were singing "cheese" or "sheaves" at the swiss cheese show.

I just listened to it several times on headphones. I don't hear the v. It does sound like they're singing it with an r (i.e. as if it were "shreaves"). Since they grew up in Los Angeles (at least after Howard moved) and not on a farm and not attending protestant churches where this hymn was sung, they may not really have known this word.

As to ch vs. sh, it's really hard to say. But I notice that the first occurrence of the phrase on Playground Psychotics (from 12/10/71 London, where "cheese" was not a secret word) sounds just as much like "cheese".

So I'm not convinced that they're singing "cheese" in Montreux.

 

 

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