Mastodon released a cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway to Heaven” as part of Record Store Day over the weekend, and the recording has now made its way to YouTube.
The metal band didn’t veer too far from the original, but it goes without saying that the cover is absolutely beautiful. Only 1500 pressings were created for Record Store Day (RSD), with the proceeds going to the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research in honor of the band’s late manager, Nick John, who passed away from Pancreatic Cancer in September 2018.
When the RSD release was first announced, Mastodon released this poignant statement about the recording and John:
“In early September 2018, we lost one of our closest friends and our biggest fan, our manager Nick John. He was essentially the band’s Dad. From our highest highs to our lowest lows he was always there. Every single move we made went through him first as our trust in him was marrow deep. His favorite band besides us and Gojira, was Led Zeppelin. We were asked to perform “Stairway to Heaven” at his funeral. Afterward, finding out that someone had recorded it, we figured we should record a studio version and release it on Record Store Day as a tribute to Nick with all the proceeds to be donated to pancreatic cancer research. We would not be the band we are today without the help of Nick John. We miss him dearly and think of him always. We love you buddy.”
Mastodon’s version of “Stairway to Heaven” was labeled an “RSD First,” meaning the title would receive another release in the future. So far, the band has yet to announce any further release details.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger. The first man she ever loved was Jack Daniel. (True story.)