As we reported last week, Atlanta progressive sludge-metal outfit Mastodon released a touching tribute to their late manager Nick John in the form of a Led Zeppelin cover, "Stairway to Heaven" for a Record Store Day exclusive. That track is now available for listening in full above.
Faithful to the original but harboring the same impassioned fervor familiar to fans of the nearly 20-year-old band, Mastodon's rendition of the classic rockers' most iconic and sprawling track is a moving remembrance for their fallen friend, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in September 2018. Drummer Brann Dailor provided vocals on the tune, never quite hitting the eardrum-piercing falsetto of Robert Plant's youthful wailing but instead giving a serenely heartfelt and soothing take on the original's massive arena-filling atmosphere.
Dailor told Revolver of performing the song at Nick John's funeral at the request his wife, "I just didn't know where I was going to be at, mentally, at the funeral; it was just such a heavy, heavy situation. But of course you have to do it." Though difficult, the experience proved rewarding and important for the group and their healing process. Dailor continues, "As sad as everybody was, I wanted to be a part of it with the guys. He loved us so much, and we loved him so much, and we wanted to be able to quote-unquote send him off right."