For whatever reason, both St. Vincent and U2 posted covers of Led Zeppelin’s so-iconic-it’s-cliché “Stairway To Heaven” yesterday. It’s like the inverse of that scene from Wayne’s World where Mike Meyers is forbidden from playing the song’s intro riff in a guitar shop — just an abundance of “Stairway,” more “Stairway” than anyone needs.
Annie Clark might have had that scene in mind when she recorded herself plucking out those opening notes. On Instagram, she writes, “Since guitar stores have been closed, I thought you might have missed the sound of someone fumbling through ‘stairway to heaven.’ (Not pictured but honorable mention, ‘smoke on the water’ ‘sweet home Alabama’ ‘black dog’ ‘where ever I may roam’). Love to all my guitar players out there. I know. I miss it too.” Don’t forget “Enter Sandman,” Annie!
Meanwhile, Bono and the Edge got together to perform a slightly longer but also-stripped-down take on “Stairway” in tribute to their road crew. As Bono tells it, U2’s roadies like to soundcheck by playing “Stairway,” and they believe they play it better than Led Zeppelin: “Wherever you go in the world, whatever venue you’re playing — whether it’s the Olympia or 3 Arena or Madison Square Garden — you walk into the venue and it’s a big moment, and you’ll hear a song that we said, ‘We’ll never, ever play this.’ And that’s right, ‘Stairway To Heaven.’ These professionals believe they play this better than the band. And you know, it might be true.”
Check out both renditions of “Stairway” below, where you can really get into that music-shop vibe by viewing the classic Wayne’s World scene.