Music/Popular Culture

Saturday Video Roundup: We're climbing a stairway to heaven

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed, now. It’s just a spring clean for Jeff Smith of the Colorado Art Rock Society, who turned us onto these rare gems. The old Australian show The Money or the Gun would always feature musical guests performing their own versions of the Led Zeppelin classic. So today we present a few of the more, well, you’ll see.

(By the way, if you’re one of those folks having a hard time seeing the embedded videos, the YouTube link is below each clip. Also, we’re working on what we hope is a fix for that problem and hope to have it implemented very soon.)

First, Meet the Beatles Beatnix!


Now, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear, we have a Doors cover act covering Zep. I’m confused. And appalled.


Hate rock & roll? No sweat – how about an opera version?


Finally, here’s Robyne Dunn, apparently attempting to prove that all stairways lead back to The Beatles.


Credits: a big tip of the hat to Scrogue Mike Sheehan for putting Jeff and SVR together.

17 replies »

  1. I loved Robyne Dunn’s version.

    The first and second I enjoyed too.

    …well I can finally click on the videos as they are there now (still with ghosts).

    Great post.

  2. This is proof of a couple of great truths about rock:

    1) For all this to work (and I liked all of them), it takes artists with epic vision (no matter how goofy) to create the enduring, original work. That allows these takes and yet “Stairway” is still “Stairway.” Kudos to Page and Plant….

    2) What most people wouldn’t think about here is something musicians realize early and think about all the time – chord structures are nothing – melodies are everything. (Could someone please tell The Matrix that so they’ll write a second melody? That is, if they can….)

  3. There are some good young bands out there these days, but those with Zep-like potential are hard to find. Who’s doing something that you can imagine still being relevant and important 30 years from now? Green Day. The Killers? Damon Albarn? Anybody else?

  4. Maybe Sufjan Stevens, Kula Shaker, Spiraling, and Mew to name a few. And then there’s Radiohead, but don’t you loathe them?

    Some other bands I dearly love, like Fishbone, King’s X, Queensryche, Dream Theater, Emperor and Fates Warning all had chances at greatness, but either blew them or dwindled into obscurity.

  5. You missed one of the strangest versions – Rolf Harris with his wobble board –

    I remeber at least one occasion in the mid-90s, when Australian ABC staff were on strike, and their youth oriented radio station Triple J had the Stairways to Heaven album on a repeating loop for the weekend.

  6. In the 80’s the ABC – Australian Broadcasting Corporation ran a series hosted by Andrew Denton, called “The Money or the Gun”. Andrew Denton hated Stairway to Heaven so each week he had an Australian band or artist do a version of the song. There are likely 25 or so versions – the ones on this page, the Rolf Harries version, a bluegrass version by Fargone Beauties. The version by the Etcetera Theatre Company is brilliant.

  7. For those of you that might not be aware of the parody version of this theme from the early ’80’s, by SCTV:

  8. Heath: Hehe, Rolf Harris. That one was too silly for me. Mike: Got a link to the Etcetera version? (Too lazy to track it down meself.) Phil: Brilliant. Love SCTV.

  9. Shenanigans!

    The Beatles last live performance was in 1969 at Shea stadium and by that time had long since shed the image show in that video.

    Stairway to Heaven was recorded in 1971 which was the time that the Beatles were recording the movie “Let it Be.”

    Jim Morrison died on July 3rd 1971 and the Zep album was released in November of that year.

    So what Im saying is welcome to Imposters LIVE! Playing at your local Indian casino soon.

  10. Rolf Harris is almost a national institution in Britain these days. In fact, I think he is. He is great. 🙂

    Hooray…no more ghosts.

  11. Fitz:

    The Beatles’ last live performance was in August 1966 at Candlestick Park in Sf, CA. You could look it up.

    The Beatles BROKE UP in early 1970 (officially). The “Let it Be” sessions took place in winter/spring of 1969 – concurrent with the “Abbey Road” sessions.

    You’re right about Morrison – although your point is…?

    So what I’m saying is know your rock history….