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The Rolling what?

Louder Sound reproduces another Classic Rock feature, this time on Claude Nobs. Funky Claude’s legacy includes not only being immortalized in that song about a gambling house burning down, but also being a prominent European promoter associated with many, many bands. To name a couple:

The Rolling Stones were already too big to play the festival when Nobs launched it in 1967, but they were his first significant promotion three years earlier when he persuaded the producers of top British TV pop show Ready Steady Go to broadcast the show from Montreux with the Stones and Petula Clark (back then Petula was a worthy coheadliner, particularly in Europe).

“I was giving away free tickets outside the Casino, and people were looking at them and going: ‘The Rolling what?’ says Nobs. “And then the producers didn’t want to have the Swiss crowd standing near the band because they looked so square; the boys had short hair and the girls had long dresses. I saw the band in Zurich on the latest tour a couple of weeks ago and we were laughing about it.”

In fact just about the only big British name Nobs was unable to promote during the 60s was The Beatles, and even that was not his fault. “In 1963 I was working at the tourist office, and I was looking for some acts to play at the Golden Rose Of Montreux TV show. I went to London and found The Beatles’ office, and by luck they were there. They were happy to do the show. So I went back and told Swiss TV, and they said they weren’t well known enough yet.”

Read more in Louder Sound.

6 Comments to “The Rolling what?”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Here’s a pic of Claude, well , not exactly “pulling kids out the ground”, but making himself useful with the fire hose at the disaster.


    There also seems to be a documentary about him.


    Found it! All six parts, but in German and English speakers lamentably overdubbed in part. The SOTW story starts in part 4 at 07:00 and carries into part 5. Polish your rusty Tshörmenn or, Himmel!, vee vill haff ze vays to make you speak öür längwich …







  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    What a wonderful legacy Claude Nobs has left to so many people & their different tastes in music. Also a lovely legacy for Montreux, enough said there. A passionate music aficionado if ever there was one. Cheers.

  3. 3
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    Oh my my, those were the days: “I went to London and found The Beatles’ office, and by luck they were there. They were happy to do the show.” The boys were hanging at the office, a random Swiss walks in and asks if they would want to come to Switzerland, the boys were happy to have this opportunity to visit a country they had never been to. The Beatles are one of the most wonderful stories told on Earth.

  4. 4
    Wiktor says:

    3 names will live on forever thanks to that song about a fire at the casino..Claude Nobs of course..but also Frank Zappa and the “bad boys”… yes..the Rolling stones!!!
    the lyrics on SOTW is actually as good as the riff itself.. its a history lesson in Rock history!! And its all MK II of course!! LOL!!

  5. 5
    BreisHeim says:

    You’re right Rajaseudun, The Beatles really are still the Toppermost.

  6. 6
    W says:

    Swiss TV turning down The Beatles is a grave error.
    Swedish TV makes millions on their filmed concert from 1963.

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