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Montreux Celebration

Montreux musical history in 1969


Super Pop 1969

For its first year, the "Super Pop Montreux", a new musical event, sees between 3,000 and 4,000 young fans from all over the world come to the Montreux Casino in the "Sablier" venue or the Pavilion (Petit Palais) to listen to fascinating bands.

Saturday, September 20, 1969

East of Eden

UK progressive Rock/Jazz outfit, East of Eden was formed in Bristol in 1967 by violinist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Arbus. Joining Arbus for the band's first album "Mercator Projected" released in 1969, are guitarist Geoff Nicholson, bassist Steve York, drummer Dave Dufort and sax player Ron Caines. The band is very innovative, with a heavy Eastern Rock influence mixing Blues with Jazz, ethno with classical and psychedelic styles.

The original incarnation of the band is never categorised in the general mainstream of progressive Rock, which invariably relies on guitar and keyboard pyrotechnics. Instead their front line of electric violin, played in an almost Hendrix-like mode, saxophone bordering on free form Jazz mixed with Bluesy guitar, gives it a unique identity. Its sound and style would sometimes get near to Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra or even Frank Zappa. In the same song the music will travel from one style to another. The Indian Blues-Rock song Centaur Woman slides into a Jazzy groove sound to reach an around 3 minute’s bass solo.

The band becomes very popular in London's underground pubs, and it did amaze the audience in Montreux.


(German for Crocodile) is a Swiss band that emerged in the late 60’s as a Blues-Rock band putting progressive touches into its music. It is constantly promoted by the labels they signed to as a KrautRock band, yet though it’s members have the spirit of KrautRock in their veins; the truth is that they are Swiss!

Well, Krokodil has Blues origins, it really knows how to rock-it and has a flair for the experimental, so it has the same sort of attitude as The Groundhogs. But, all that aside, Krokodil is an innovator in its own right, not at all copyist, except for maybe its John Mayall type roots. Like most Swiss bands, Krokodil is an unlikely combo, composed mostly of Swiss-Germans, with one Englishman: Terry Stevens.

Early on, the quoted Swiss Bob Dylan Hardy Hepp seems to be in control, his softer Folk and Blues mix, and Mojo Weideli's harmonica provides a more down-to-earth sound.

Saturday, September 27, 1969

Vanilla Fudge

An American psychedelic band formed in 1967. Members include organist Mark Stein, bassist Tim Bogert, lead guitarist Vince Martell, and drummer Carmine Appice.

The dawn of 1968 sees Vanilla Fudge headlining a bill at the Fillmore East with the Steve Miller Band. A week later they perform You Keep Me Hangin On at the Ed Sullivan television show. Trying to repeat their first success, the band attempts to take the concept of long, drawn out songs to a higher level on their second album, The Beat Goes On. The effort fails, as it lacks the originality of the first, and is received poorly, by fans and critics alike. The single from the album, an original called Where Is My Mind? never caught on. Despite its commercial failure, the band tours constantly across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. It also makes several other appearances on television in 1968 including the Beat Club and Wonderama TV shows. Starting on the 17th of August in Atlanta, Ga., Vanilla Fudge goes for a western tour as the opening act for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It is one of many attempts by the band to gain more exposure on the West Coast.

In the fall of 1968, the band opens several dates for Cream's farewell tour, as well as sharing the bill with The New Yardbirds that will soon change their name to Led Zeppelin. On September 25th, 1969, Vanilla Fudge releases its final LP, Rock & Roll and plays at the Montreux Pop Festival.

Saturday, October 4, 1969

Deep Purple

Initially, the band is formed in 1967 and is called Roundabout: so-called because the members get on and off the band, like a musical roundabout. They are the classically-trained Hammond organ player Jon Lord, session guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bass guitar, Nick Simper, singer Rod Evans and drummer Ian Paice. After a brief tour of Denmark in the spring of 1968, Blackmore suggests a new name: Deep Purple, which was his grandmother's favourite song. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered one of the pioneers of Heavy Metal and modern hard Rock, although the members of the band always refused to label themselves as Heavy Metal. The band also incorporates pop and progressive Rock elements.

On October 4, 1969 Deep Purple played at the Montreux Casino. "Live in Montreux 1969" a Deep Purple album released in 2006 will retrace this memorable concert.

More information about Deep Purple and its relation to Montreux can be found on the dedicated page.

Saturday, November 29, 1969


In a memorable concert on 29 November 1969 at the Casino de Montreux. The band has existed under the name Yes since June 1968, but Squire and Banks have been playing together in The Syn since 1966. In 1968, the two musicians were joined by Jon Anderson and the group became Mabel Greer's Toyshop. Bill Bruford claims that the first concert he gave with them was under that name, just before they changed it. In July 1969, a first single sweetness-something's coming (unpublished) was released, then in August, the first album (produced by Paul Clay) entitled Yes.

Yes has come very often to Montreux mostly for recording at the Mountain Studios. You can learn more about the band Yes by visiting their dedicated page.


In the first part of YES, the Montreux audience was able to applaud "Circus", a British band whose style is very similar to modern jazz. Composed of a saxophone, alternating with a flute that is definitely very popular in the Anglo-Saxon world, a guitar, a bass and a drums. Nothing strictly delusional, yes, but an excellent level.

Saturday, December 6, 1969

Chicago Transit Authority

Later be known as Chicago, is a Rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois by musicians Walter Parazaider, Terry Kath, Danny Seraphine, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Robert Lamm, and Peter Cetera - with one dream: to integrate all the musical diversity from their beloved city and weave a new sound, a Rock band with horns. The band begins with a politically charged, sometimes experimental Rock, and later moved to a softer sound, becoming famous for producing a number of hit ballads.

Brian Auger and The Trinity

British Jazz-Rock organist Brian Auger and his group The Trinity (Dave Ambrose on bass and Clive Thacker on drums), together with singer Julie Driscoll (aka Julie Tippett), score a Nr. 5 UK single hit in 1968, with a cover of Bob Dylan and Rick Danko's This Wheel's on Fire. Auger later has several albums and singles that chart both with and without Driscoll present. As Jazz pianist, bandleader, session musician and Hammond B3 player, Auger plays or tours with artists such as Rod Stewart, Tony Williams, Jimi Hendrix, Sonny Boy Williamson, Led Zeppelin, Eric Burdon and others. He incorporates Jazz, early British pop, R&B, soul music and Rock, and he’s been nominated for a Grammy.

Some other, less famous or known bands also perform in Montreux: Goldfinger, Tusk or Circus and as if the program is not copious enough, Montreux welcomes the Traditional Jazz Studio Prague, the Cannonball Adderley’s quintet and the Gospel singer Marion Williams.

Similar articles :

  • Montreux Music History 1971 History Deep Purple
  • Montreux Music History Artists & People Yes


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