Stairway to Heaven is one of the most famous rock songs of all time. Made by hard rock legends Led Zeppelin back in 1971, it’s often regarded as one of the greatest songs ever written. But why is Stairway to Heaven banned in guitar stores?
If you wish to learn the secret to this phenomenon, then keep on reading below.
Stairway To Heaven – The Greatest Rock Song Of All Time?
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin is regarded as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. Alongside Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, these two are regarded as some of the best songs ever written by humanity.
The song was released in 1971 as part of Led Zeppelin’s fourth untitled album. This album is often regarded as Led Zeppelin IV, judging by the names of previous albums – Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, and Led Zeppelin III. Most fans and critics consider this album to be their magnum opus, with Stairway to Heaven their most popular song.
This song is regarded as the greatest song of all time because of its meaningful lyrics and top-notch composition. When it comes to the song’s instrumentation, it follows a mix of progressive rock and hard rock song structures. The song starts off slow, showcasing guitarist Jimmy Page’s acoustic fingerstyle technique and Plant’s husky vocals.
The song then picks up pace in the midsection of the song, where Page finally showcases why he’s an electrifying guitar god. This is also the section where John Paul’s bass lines enter, along with drummer John Bonham’s grooving patterns.
However, the part of the song that made this song reach its heights in popularity is Jimmy Page’s electrifying guitar solo. Highly regarded as the greatest guitar solo of all time, this guitar solo is a pretty long one, lasting an entire minute. Filled with dazzling chords that showcase Page’s guitar skills – this solo is a work of art that adds another page to the history book of rock music – if it exists, that is!
The song finally ends with a power-packed and upbeat heavy section that shows why Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. Packed with crunchy riffs that make the song feel more like an anthem – it’s the perfect ending the song deserves. However, the song scales back its grandiosity in favor of more quiet and heartfelt final lines sung by Plant – “And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”
Wayne’s World And The Dreaded “Forbidden Riff”
Okay, enough talk about the epicness of Stairway to Heaven. We all know it’s a legendary song, and I need to stop fanboying over it now. Getting back to business – why is Stairway to Heaven banned in guitar stores?
The reason why people say this song is banned in guitar stores is because of the iconic (and severely underrated) comedy movie.Reviewed By : Wayne’s World
Released in 1992 and directed by Penelope Spheeris, this movie starred my favorite bumbling duo – Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey). The movie shows these two inseparable fans of hard rock and heavy metal music host their own talk show – the titular Wayne’s World. The movie itself is an adaptation of the short comedy skit played by this duo on an episode of Saturday Night Life (SNL) previously.
This movie is known for its comedic portrayal of hard rock and heavy metal fans, along with its satire of the fanbase itself. Critics noted it for its intelligent comedy, the smart portrayal of characters, and its memorable and catchy dialogues and jokes. Its originality was praised by critics and fans alike, which made this movie a sleeper hit upon release, and it is regarded as a cult classic even today.
In this movie, there’s a scene that depicts this duo entering a guitar shop that has Wayne’s favorite guitar on display – the Fender Stratocaster. However, when he enters the shop to check out the guitar, he starts doing so by playing the intro of Stairway to Heaven. However, he is stopped by the store manager, who points to a signboard that says, “No Stairway To Heaven.”
Heartbroken upon seeing this sign, Wayne looks at the camera and says the iconic line, “Stairway? Denied!” This was an iconic moment for the rock and roll community, who have come to reverb this joke and make it prevalent as a running gag.
Why Is Stairway To Heaven Banned In Guitar Stores?
In all honesty, Stairway to Heaven is not banned in guitar stores. Chances are you can play the intro riff of this song and get away without warning. But why do people say it’s banned in guitar stores?
There can be many reasons for this. Firstly, the scene that I explained above from Wayne’s World is one of the reasons. Secondly, considering how popular this song is, many new guitar learners often try picking up this song as soon as possible.
However, they all comically fail at doing so since the riffs are penned by Jimmy page, after all. Upon listening to the song, it might appear easy to play, but in reality, it’s not. Since many people play this song on the first chance they get after picking up a guitar in stores, it’s comically not accepted now.
However, no one in guitar stores will actually come up and say, “you can’t play this song here.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Guitar fans, rock music enthusiasts, and metalheads have some things in common – like their love for the genre and lots of questions in mind. As a member of this so-called community myself, I have answered some frequently asked questions below:
Stairway to Heaven is controversial because the band Spirit made a copyright lawsuit against this song. They claim that it copies the riff from their song Taurus, which was released two years prior. However, this claim is disputed even today.
This song is a critique of the emerging materialism in society as a means to measure one’s fame and success. However, all this won’t matter when you die and climb the stairway to heaven after death.
Is Stairway To Heaven Banned In Guitar Stores?
The answer is no, it’s not. This is a running gag in the hard rock and heavy metal community, made famous by the cult-classic comedy movie Wayne’s World. In reality, the over-popularity of the song and the nature of new guitarists playing this song in guitar stores made this joke even more relevant.
Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.