B Rock Note: Origin of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’
The quintessential Led Zeppelin song "Stairway to Heaven" became the most requested song on FM radio in the 1970's - and wasn't even released as a single.
According to Wikipedia "The song originated in 1970 when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were spending time at Bron-Yr-Aur, a remote cottage in Wales, following Led Zeppelin's fifth American concert tour. According to Page, he wrote the music "over a long period, the first part coming at Bron-Yr-Aur one night". Page always kept a cassette recorder around, and the idea for "Stairway" came together from bits of taped music."
Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones talks about the first time he heard the classic song.
"Page and Plant would come back from the Welsh mountains with the guitar intro and verse. I literally heard it in front of a roaring fire in a country manor house," said Jones to author Chris Welch for the 1994 book Led Zeppelin. "I picked up a bass recorder and played a run-down riff which gave us an intro, then I moved into a piano for the next section, dubbing on the guitars."