Montreux jazz festival co-founder dies after ski accident

11th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Claude Nobs, the 76-year-old founder and manager of the famous Montreux Jazz Festival, died Thursday following a skiing accident over the holidays, the media and festival's website said.

The Swiss media said he died in a hospital in Lausanne. Nobs had been in a coma since the Christmas holidays after falling while practising cross-country skiing.

Nobs, who co-founded the festival in 1967 with the support of then president of Atlantic Records Nesuhi Erteguen, has been credited with drawing numerous big-ticket names to the small Swiss town. Miles Davis, Ray Charles, David Bowie and Prince have all played there.

He even earned himself a mention in Deep Purple's iconic "Smoke on the Water" song about a fire that took place during a Frank Zappa concert at the Montreux Casino in 1971.

Nobs, who saved a number of people from the flames, was immortalised as "Funky Claude" in the song.

© 2013 AFP

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