The lyrics tell a true story, now, see the Frank Zappa interview that took place following the Montreaux Casino fire December 3, 1971.

As Smoke on the Water states:

We all came out to Montereax,
On the Lake Geneva shoreline.
To make records with a mobile,
We didn't have much time.
But Frank Zappa and the Mothers,
Were at the best place around,
But some stupid with a flare gun,
Burned the place to the ground.

Here's the Frank Zappa interview that followed the fire: