Why Can’t You Play Stairway to Heaven in Guitar Stores? – 2023

stairway to heaven

Music attracts everyone, especially their most liked instruments will take their attraction and make them feel good. Music is of many types with different instruments—likewise bands, guitars, piano, electric guitar, and saxophone.

People use different musical instruments according to their taste, but now will be talked explicitly about guitars.  An essential song, “Stairway to Heaven,” attracts many listeners. It is unmatched in taste and popular because of its music and unique lyrics.

Everyone who had a guitar will pick up the song and started singing to play Stairway and dream of the day. They will compose such an iconic piece of music.

So, if you are a newbie and want to play Stairway in the guitar store, you are not welcomed there anymore. People see you with eye-rolls and having questions in their minds. In this guide, we will let you know why can’t you play Stairway to heaven in guitar stores.

If you have ever looked into the rules of the guitar shop or ever heard from social media, you will come to known that Stairway to heaven is forbidden in a guitar store. Let’s figure out that why the Stairway to heaven is banned in the guitar store?

stairway to heaven play

The journey started in 1992 of its forbidden Riff. One of the first pop culture references to “No stairway” comes from sleeper hit Wayne’s world. An interesting fact about the stairways that Riff Myers plays in the role doesn’t match to stairways. And they don’t want to get the rights to that song.

So, Stairway Denied! It was one of the oldest jokes of the 70s and 80s. In ancient times you couldn’t go for even one single day without a customer coming and playing some rendition of the Stairway to heaven on guitar.

Many of the newbies came into the store and can’t even pull it off. It looks like you are going to a Halloween party, and people believe that your looks go for real.

Why Is Stairway to Heaven the Forbidden Riff?

Guitar stores worldwide have semi-jokingly banned the song’s angelic opening notes from being played while customers test guitars. Infamously, this trend has earned Stairway’s intro the nickname “the Forbidden Riff” over the past several decades.

This might sound strange to everyone reading the article, but this is true that the iconic song that everybody known is banned at the guitar store from around the world, also known as the forbidden Riff.

Because of the oldest joke, it becomes the forbidden Riff. It became so popular that people make fun of it, and rather than it becomes a joke or taboo for the surroundings and people used to scare to sing the songs.

Another interesting fact about the theory of Stairway to heaven is banned in some guitar stores that people got tired of hearing the same song for a long time. Although the musicians were very famous because of the song and had different popular songs, this might differ.

stairway heaven forbidden riff

It gains so much attention.

Anyone who has ever stepped out into a guitar store will agree that the amateur attempts at famous guitar riffs sound like nails on a chalkboard.

Most young artists used to play the song while practicing and feel it as a matter of pride and joy.  In fact, “Stairway became so famous that their artists led “Zeppelin, Robert got tired of hearing it. The song played at the radio stations pledged $10,000 KBOO so that they would be tired of play it again.

No doubt that the Singer has earned a massive amount by selling its copies of 37 million. Indeed it would be not easy to point out the exact reason for the song which makes it so famous among youngsters that even every young person wants to be the new jimmy of the town. The song has a great composition, the marvelous performance made by Robert Plant and the solo guitar by jimmy page.

It’s hard to think of a song that sounded anything like Stairway back when Led Zeppelin’s fourth album dropped in 1971.

What is Forbidden Riff?

Well, we are just talking about the song becomes Forbidden Riff. The first question that comes into our mind is, “What is a Forbidden riff?

Well, that’s very simple. When the song came out, It was played many times, and people get bored of hearing the song, and the intro to the Stairway to heaven is the forbidden Riff that guitar shop employees and long-time customers known never to play the song again.

what is forbidden riff

A very iconic song has just been banned because of its overuse. People used to like things which are used after and after but in this case things are different. Psychologically it can be true because humans want changes. They want change in their lives, tastes workings or also music.

Although they song enjoys much more than the other songs of that time. It makes the lead artist rich and sales of the massive amount of copies.

Is “Stairway To Heaven” Actually Banned At Guitar Stores? Is It A Forbidden Riff?

It was banned for some time, but now people are more educated and don’t consider it a taboo. Because of its forbidden Riff, the songs were criticized a lot. It took over 18 months to make a tone of the song while the Singer sings it during the height of his fame.

There has been much controversy about the song, and some artist has claimed that the song has been copied their song “Taurus” which has been released three years earlier than that.

It is seen that “Stairway to Heaven” is such an iconic song that changes many listeners’ minds.

stairway to heaven banned

An unmatchable tune with the perfection of pitch selection of the words. Whoever has picked up a guitar and just started playing it.

The rationale why Stairway to Heaven is banned in guitar stores would be referred to with different stories of like maybe a chicken or the egg. Because Wayne’s World writing staff was made from many hilarious former Saturday Night Live cast members and writers, there’s an opportunity that this joke was written a few real-life experiences one among them had. The day they will compose such an iconic piece of music would mean to it.

Keeping this in mind, guitar stores worldwide have just banned the song opening notes because of its excess usage. Customers who want to play the guitar at the guitar store will choose the song and sang with the guitar notes. And the trend becomes a habit of the people; thus, the song is banned and names as “Forbidden riff” over the past years.

Is Stairway to Heaven is Still a Popular Song?

Yes, No doubt it is the most popular song of the decade. And still playing at the radio stations with full eight minutes and no edits. Although many of the songs are edited and played in fewer minutes at the radio station, “Stairway to heaven has a special treatment” and is played with no edits.

Is “Stairway to Heaven is an Easy Song to Learn?

“Stairway to heaven must be not an easy song to learn. If you are going to learn the song playing with guitars, this song must not be your first one. Jimmy has a good command of playing guitar, especially at live concerts.

As a beginner, it is not a good idea to start with these songs. It might start with another one and then play the songs of Stairway to heaven on your guitar to enjoy the most fantastic song of all time. 

“No, Stairway! Denied!”

Social media and meme culture have made it order that everyone knows about this taboo song by now. It’s something that guitar players have embraced, and lots of people find themselves going into stores to play it intentionally to be funny.

The reemergence of the song can also be a contributor to the joke lasting numerous years. The writers of the Stairway to heaven were sued about the copyright. The foremost iconic Riff from the start of the song was claimed to possess been plagiarized – a fact which got the guitar community talking.

Let’s listen to the song with written lyrics to get the meaning of the song.

This is my reasonably dark interpretation of the song. If you accept it as its intended meaning, you’ll wish you hadn’t heard it. You have been warned.

My Interpretation:

In the first verse, the woman represents the naive soul of an individual, believing that everything will compute, believing that she will invite something and receive it, and within the end, she will reach heaven for being good.

The second verse says that it is a symbol of a wall. This represents the very fact that we do not know needless to say what to believe, but there’s a spiritual authority that provides us a typical answer. However, the Lady looks deeper because there could also be quite a straightforward meaning.

“In a tree by the brook” (using more natural and mystical language than the “sign”), songbird hints that our entire perception about the planet around us could also be wrong. I think the songbird represents the wondering of our minds.

Then, “Ooh, it makes me wonder.”

Third Verse

Here it begins to urge a touch bit dark. Something is pulling at my soul to look for something else and leave what I do know behind. In her thoughts, she sees some rings of the smoke through the trees, therefore, the voices of these who stand looking.”


The trees represent the “forest” of the mind, and rings of smoke have to mean that something inside the mind is trying to speak something, which is quite spooky. The voice of it just became smoke of the rings in his thoughts.

“Ooh, it makes me wonder.”

Fourth Verse

And it’s whispered that soon if we all call the tune

Then the Piper will lead us to reason.

And a replacement day will dawn for those that stand long

And the forests will echo with laughter.

If we all call the tune and follow the whisperings of our mind, “the Piper” will lead us to ascertain things differently. The result is that we’ll leave the way we knew behind and sleep in a replacement way of splendor and freedom.

The drums start, as does this new vision of existence.

Fifth Verse

“If there is a bustle in your hedgerow, do not be alarmed now.

It’s just a spring clean for the May queen.”

A hedgerow may be a bush; this is often imagery depicting a bush shaking from the within but refers to wary feelings within the mind. The “May Queen” is a peaceful reference. It says that while you’ll be alarmed initially, she is just cleaning out your old ways of thought.

“Yes, there are two paths you’ll pass, but within the end of the day

There’s still time to vary the road you’re on.”

It’s not too late. You continue to go down either path if you would like, but this occultist enlightenment will always be at arms’ length within the end of the day.

Sixth Verse

“Your head is humming, and it won’t go, just in case you do not know,

The Piper’s calling you to hitch him.”

You’re wary and anxious about it, but you will not go unless you opt to surrender yourself to it; meanwhile, “The Piper” is looking you on.

“Dear Lady, are you able to hear the wind blow, and did you recognize,

Your Stairway lies on the whispering wind.”

my interpretation

The Lady is that the pure soul. He asks, don’t you hear the whisperings of your mind, and does one know that the thanks to your paradise are thru following those deepest thoughts and wants?

Then, a sudden strange, and abrupt change in music. The solo seems to speak its particular message without words. This transition seems to represent the crossover from innocence and falling into the rich, mournful truth.


And as we wind on down the road

Our Shadows taller than our soul (Our desires overcoming our potential for goodness)

There walks a woman we all know of (We are all conversant in the intimacy of our souls)

Who shines bright light and needs to point out (She is figuratively radiant from the new knowledge)

How everything still turns to gold

(In this new vision, things address gold, as against the naive optimism earlier of believing all glittering things were gold)

And if you listen very hard (Listen!)

The truth will come to you eventually (Promising the thing everybody is searching for)

When all is one, and one is all

(The belief that everything is for you and your purpose. Everything is you, and you’re everything. The central ideal in satanism. Robert Plant has yelled, “That’s what HE is!” quickly after this line together.)

To be a rock and do not roll. (To be the unmoveable center of your universe)

In summation, I think it’s satanic, and that I find it rather disturbing, but that is what Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were into, and that I think that this very on the brink of the ever-elusive intended meaning behind the song.

What is the Meaning of the Song?

The songwriter once claimed that even he also doesn’t know the song’s meaning, yet he made the lyrics and even didn’t imagine it would be a great hit. 

meaning of the song

In the gist of things, “Stairway to Heaven” talks about a few women who are delusional about the planet’s ways. The road “And she’s buying a stairway to heaven” sums up the thought behind the song, which is an absurdity in its essence. You can’t ‘buy’ your thanks to heaven. You’ve got to ‘give’ your thanks to heaven.

The song has also been associated with religious themes. From God to Mother Mary to Satan himself, different lyrics are perceived differently by fans and critics worldwide. Because, even as the song says, “you sometimes know words have two meanings.”

Maybe this is often not a song to be understood. Maybe this is often a song to be felt deep within us.

Why is Stairway to Heaven Banned from Guitar Stores?

Well, technically, “Stairway to Heaven” isn’t banned in most guitar stores, and albeit they are doing have a symbol saying this, it’s almost certainly a joke and not an actual policy.

However, the legend of exactly why it’s banned in guitar stores goes much deeper than the comfortable combines of an area music shop. The opening notes of Stairway to Heaven are known in another circle because of the “forbidden riff” or the “forbidden song.”

banned from guitar stores

Much like “He-who-must-not-be-named,” from Harry Potter, the Opening Riff of Stairway to Heaven is taken into account forbidden among people that are so against the song that they can’t even bear to listen to it played. The rationale for this popular nickname could come from a variety of sources.

Frequently Asked Questions:

In this section, we will answer a few FAQs to clear your mind further. 

Is Stairway to Heaven About Drugs?

NO, indeed it was considered about the messages of satan. Probably only two of the drug’s names were used in it. It will not make it as a drug song. The most controversial song of the decade ever. It was claimed that the songs’ messages seem to give a message to the Dark Lord or satan.

The song has been associated with religious themes also. From God to Mother Mary to Satan himself, different lyrics are perceived differently by fans and critics worldwide. Because, even as the song says, “you sometimes know words have two meanings.”

Maybe this is often not a song to be understood. Maybe this is often a song to be felt deep within us.

Why is the Stairway to Heaven Hike Illegal?

Yes, The Stairway to heaven song hikes illegal because of its lyrics used in the song. It was sung many times, making it dull, and people used to hate it and even considered it a forbidden Riff.

And also the name of drugs used in it, with the sentiments of having two meanings in the song.  As the song associated with a religious theme also.

Is Stairway to Heaven an Evil Song?

Yes, it’s true. Many of us claim that if you play “Stairway to Heaven” backward, the audio produces satanic messages intended to appease the Dark King of the Underworld. Notably, many suspicious God-fearing people claim to listen to the words, “Here’s to my sweet Satan,” “Master Satan,” and “there’s no escaping it.”

The lyrics and the tune of the song make an emotional feeling of the listener into heaven believes that the song was either created by the Devil himself.

stairway heaven evil song

These back-masked messages were popularized mainly by Christian radio host Michael Mills within the early 1980s. However, this wasn’t the last time the song was wont to please the Dark Lord. That is why it is considered an evil song.

In 2002, the band Tenacious D released the song “Tribute,” which tells the story of band-members Jack Black and Kyle Gass encountering Satan himself while “hitchhikin’ down an extended and lonesome road.” The story elucidates that Tenacious D played “the greatest song within the world” for the demon, but they can’t remember how it goes.

Although the band has used a battle with the Devil during a few different releases, this clip from Tenacious D’s television program illustrates the precise moment when rock ‘n’ roll is employed to tame a member of the underworld. Skip to around 1:10 if you’re in a hurry, but unmistakably, you’ll hear Kyle Gass play the Forbidden Riff to appease the Devil.

With all of this supernatural mumbo-jumbo in mind, some true believers are convinced that “Stairway to Heaven” is sacrilegious and will be banned in guitar stores and radio waves throughout the planet.

Final Words of Why Can’t You Play Stairway to Heaven in Guitar Stores

There you’ve got it. The most reason why can’t you play Stairway to heaven in guitar Store is a movie released years ago. The truth is that the song isn’t forbidden to play; it’s just very overplayed by people trying out guitars. You’re not getting to get kicked out of any guitar stores if you start playing this iconic song.

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