Santana Live at Montreux

I didn’t fully appreciate Montreux, Switzerland in the ’70s, the site of an international music festival popularized in a song by the British band Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water. The lyrics begin:

We all came out to Montreux
On the lake Geneva shoreline
To make records with a mobile
We didn’t have much time
Frank Zappa and the Mothers
Were at the best place around
But some stupid with a flare gun
Burned the place to the ground
Smoke on the water, fire in the sky

That was 1971, when someone in the audience shot off a flare gun while Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were performing in the Montreux Casino. The following year, Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore came up with the song’s iconic riff based on an inversion of Beethoven’s Fifth.

Santana first played Montreux in 1970, the year after Woodstock, and returned a number of times to play at the idyllic site. Thankfully their live performance there in 2011 was recorded for posterity. Here, in no particular sequence, are my favorites:

And here’s a dawn surprise for you, a cover by Carlos and the Boys of Donovan’s Sunshine Of Your Love …

Carlos finished Live at Montreux 2011 with A Love Supreme, reminding the crowd of the importance of the vision of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, to co-exist in harmony. And unity. With understanding. Especially without fear. With love. In light. “So if you remember only one thing from this festival, please remember this: You are significant, and you are meaningful. And you can make a difference in the world. Make a conscious choice; make each day the best day of your life … and be kind to one another.

About Leonard J. Press, O.D., FAAO, FCOVD

Developmental Optometry is my passion as well as occupation. Blogging allows me to share thoughts in a unique visual style.
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3 Responses to Santana Live at Montreux

  1. doctuhdon says:

    Fantastic montage of video clips !

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