Song is a tribute to U2’s devoted road crew, who often play the Led Zeppelin classic during soundchecks
U2 have spent the past few weeks focusing on the launch of their SiriusXM channel U2 X-Radio, but Bono and the Edge took a break to honor their long-time road crew with an acoustic rendition of “Stairway to Heaven,” which they posted on YouTube.(rolling Stone)
“There’s one annoying aspect of an Irish crew that has to be said,” Bono says. “Wherever you go in the world, whatever venue you’re playing — whether it’s the Olympia or 3 Arena or Madison Square Garden — you walk into the venue and it’s a big moment, and you’ll hear a song that we said, ‘We’ll never, ever play this.’ And that’s right, ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ These professionals believe they play this better than the band. And you know, it might be true.”
The video features a truncated rendition of the song — the first time they’ve performed it outside of tiny snippets during their live shows. Robert Plant hasn’t touched the song since Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion concert. He played numerous Zeppelin classics when he toured with Jimmy Page in the Nineties, but “Stairway to Heaven” never entered the set outside of a shortened rendition on Japanese television in 1994.