Led Zeppelin has had countless standout masterpieces from Whole Lotta Love to Immigrant Song. But, the iconic track Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin is one of the best classic rock songs of all time.
So, why is it that if Stairway to Heaven is played in a guitar store you will be met with teeth-gritting and eye rolls from disgruntled staff members?
Why is Stairway to Heaven ‘banned’ in guitar stores?
Stairway to Heaven has one of the most iconic guitar riffs ever written and as a result, is one of the most popular riffs learnt by aspiring guitar players.
Therefore, the track quickly became overplayed to the point where you could not walk into a guitar store without hearing someone playing it while they were testing out a new guitar.
Now, whenever someone hears aspiring guitar players play the introduction to the track they are not impressed at all and often make jokes at them for being ‘that guy.’
“No Stairway! Denied!”
Interestingly, the idea of Stairway to Heaven being banned from guitar stores originated from the movie Wayne’s World in 1992. It was a big-screen spinoff of a Saturday Night Live skit.
In one particular scene, the main character played by Mike Myers started to play the introduction to Stairway to Heaven in a guitar store and was then stopped by the manager who stated that the song was banned. Thus, the famous line “No Stairway! Denied!” first made its way into the guitar community.
Is the track actually forbidden in guitar stores?
No, the track is not actually banned from guitar stores. It is highly doubtful that any guitar store owner would kick customers out simply for playing the introduction to Stairway to Heaven.
It is simply a running joke in the guitar community! Stairway to Heaven is ‘banned’ in guitar stores because people have embraced the forbidden riff joke.