A cutthroat legal battle over ‘Stairway to Heaven’ could have liberating implications for Wayne’s World.
Back in the early 1990s, a pivotal scene involving Mike Myers in ‘Wayne’s World’ was dramatically altered, thanks to a copyright claim by Led Zeppelin. It’s the ‘No Stairway, Denied!’ scene: basically, Myers walks into a guitar shop, and starts playing the opening lick to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ before a clerk abruptly stops him.
After pointing to a ‘NO Stairway to Heaven’ sign, Myers utters the famous phrase, ‘No Stairway, Denied!’ And a reference for an entire generation was created.
The only problem is that the use of the actual song was actually denied by Led Zeppelin, specifically after the theatrical release, which led to this watered-down alteration:
Fast-forward to this week, when it was discovered that the famous ‘Stairway to Heaven’ guitar melody is actually in the public domain, which means that Zeppelin had absolutely no right to prevent it from being in Wayne’s World (or any other movie). That’s because the melody already existed as early as the 1630 (yes, the year 1630), when it was written by Italian composer Giovanni Battista Granata.
Here, check it out around the 0:32 mark.
Which means, one of the most famous scenes can now be restored to its full glory. And the village rejoiced.
Huge thanks to Brandon Draper for pointing that out to DMN. And another shout to Brian Dengler for pointing out the 1600s lick.