Among the most well-known rock songs ever, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” was recorded in 1970 and released in November 1971. In reality, “Stairway to Heaven” is widely regarded as one of the finest and most popular songs of all time, with many major magazines (and certainly your dad’s friends) taking this position.
Rolling Stone ranked “Stairway” at number 31 on their list of the 100 Greatest Songs. Therefore, it’s obvious that “Stairway to Heaven” is a significant song that touches the hearts of many people.
It has left an indelible mark on the world of music, inspiring countless aspiring guitarists and songwriters to pick up a guitar and practice Stairway to heaven.
Because of this, the ethereal opening notes of the song have been unofficially banned from being played at guitar shops while customers try them out. Over the course of several decades, this pattern has come to be known as “the Forbidden Riff,” which was originally applied to the introduction to Stairway to Heaven.
A lot of folks are baffled as to why guitar shops won’t stock Stairway to Heaven. Here, we go into the legends and history of the tune and everything it’s become.
Why Is the Song “Stairway to Heaven” Off-Limits at Music Stores?
Stairway to Heaven is one of the most recognizable guitar riffs in rock music, making it a staple in the repertoires of aspiring guitarists everywhere.
As a result, the song was played so frequently that you could even hear it being performed in guitar stores by customers trying out different models.
It’s reached the point that people aren’t impressed when budding guitarists play the song’s start and instead make jokes about them being “that guy.”
“No Elevator! Denied!”
Interestingly, Wayne’s World (1992), which featured a similar ban on Stairway to Heaven, was the inspiration for the practice. It was based on a sketch from SNL and adapted for the big screen.
In one scene, Mike Myers’s character begins playing the opening riff to “Stairway to Heaven” in a guitar shop, but the manager stops him, saying that they can’t play that song there. This is how the now-iconic phrase “No Stairway! Denied!” spread throughout the guitar world.
Is It True that The Song Is Banned from Guitar Shops?
There is no actual prohibition on the song at guitar shops. It’s unlikely that the owner of a guitar shop would ask a customer to leave because they were playing the first few notes of “Stairway to Heaven.”
In the world of guitar, this is just a joke. People have accepted the forbidden riff joke about Stairway to Heaven, therefore the song is supposedly banned from guitar shops.
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