Deleted Scene from Almost Famous: Mom, “Stairway to Heaven” is Based on the Literature of Tolkien

If you came of age dur­ing the 1980s, you might asso­ciate Led Zep­pelin’s “Stair­way to Heav­en” with junior high school dances — an awk­ward phase of life you’d just as soon for­get. For me, it’s hard to think of “Stair­way to Heav­en” and not cringe. But if you first heard the song in 1971 (when it was released) or soon there­after, per­haps you have bet­ter asso­ci­a­tions. That’s what film­mak­er Cameron Crowe was part­ly try­ing to get across in this delet­ed scene from his 2000 film Almost Famous. In the clip, a high-school boy tries to coax his moth­er (played by the great Frances McDor­mand) into let­ting him write for Rolling Stone. Cen­tral to his pitch is the idea that rock music is intel­lec­tu­al, that “Stair­way to Heav­en” is based on the lit­er­a­ture of Tolkien — some­thing that has been debat­ed by crit­ics and schol­ars. As for why the scene did­n’t make it into the movie, you’d think that it’s because of the song’s length. 8 min­utes is a long time for a film to go with­out any dia­logue. But appar­ent­ly it came down to per­mis­sions. Crowe told Com­ing Soon.Net : “Led Zep­pelin had already giv­en us four songs at a nice price but they said, ‘Stair­way to Heav­en’ we’re not going to give to any­body, and we had already shot a scene that was to ‘Stair­way to Heav­en’ so what was great was we end­ed up putting the scene on the DVD and say­ing ‘Put your record on NOW and score it your­self.’ ” You can try that at home and see if it changes your thoughts on “Stair­way to Heav­en,” for bet­ter or for worse.

via Metafil­ter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Dutch­man Mas­ters the Art of Singing Led Zeppelin’s “Stair­way to Heav­en” Back­wards

‘Stair­way to Heav­en’: Watch a Mov­ing Trib­ute to Led Zep­pelin at The Kennedy Cen­ter

Led Zep­pelin Plays One of Its Ear­li­est Con­certs (Dan­ish TV, 1969)

Hear Led Zeppelin’s Mind-Blow­ing First Record­ed Con­cert Ever (1968)

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