What if Eric Johnson or Eddie Van Halen Played the "Stairway to Heaven" Solo?
Rick Beato enlisted Phil X, and Johnson himself, to get the answer.
We all know Jimmy Page's solo on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." In fact, if you find yourself reading this, chances are pretty good that you know it note-for-note.
Chances are also fairly high that you've heard plenty of other guitarists - in Guitar Center, or onstage at your local bar, restaurant, etc. - take their own stabs at the high-flying display of compositional virtuosity.
Have you ever wondered, though, what the solo would sound like through the lens of a different, instantly identifiable rock legend? Someone like Eddie Van Halen? Or Eric Johnson?
It's a question that recently consumed Rick Beato. So to answer it, Beato called up a couple of pals - Bon Jovi guitarist Phil X and Johnson himself - to lay down their own versions of the solo.
You can check out the fascinating results in the video below.
Phil X - who knows a thing or two about Eddie Van Halen's tone - offers his EVH-ified take on the solo with a Frankenstrat.
“My approach came from, I was thinking 1981, 1982, after Fair Warning," Phil said. "Less phaser, less gain. I didn’t want it to sound like a quilt of Eddie Van Halen licks. It had to have a flow and everything had to make sense.
However, he added, "If you listen closely you will recognize licks. You recognize, this is from 'Push Comes to Shove,' this is from 'Eruption,' this is from 'Beat It,’ stuff like that."
Beato himself also offers a Peter Frampton-esque interpretation of the solo, before allowing Johnson to close out the proceedings with an unsurprisingly gorgeous, unmistakably his, version.
Anyone else curious about what a "Johnson Plays Zeppelin" album would sound like now?
For more of Beato's videos, head on over to his YouTube channel (opens in new tab).
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.