How did Deep Purple come up with the famous Smoke on the Water riff? Ritchie Blackmore comes clean and confesses he stole the riff from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. He claims he loosely played Beethoven’s 5th backward. The rest is history as Funky Claude was running in and out pulling kids out of the ground, Deep Purple ran to the bank with their biggest hit ever. Poor Beethoven never saw a royalty check. Rock historians will point out that Smoke on the Water was based on Iggy Pop’s Stooges song “Loose” and borrows many melodic elements from the song released two years earlier. You have to have a keen sense of musical hearing for that one.