The Professor and Mary Ann and… Led Zeppelin???
We love Gilligan’s Island. In fact, we even interviewed the President of the Gilligan’s Island fan club on episode 45 for the podcast. But even we didn’t know about this piece of Gilligan lore…
In 1977, the San Francisco-based punk band Little Roger and the Goosebumps were looking for a song to help elongate their set list for when they played live. For reasons lost to the sands of time, they thought combining the majesty of the mighty Zep with the SS Minnow was the way to go and, frankly, they weren’t wrong.
The song is exactly what it claims to be, a fascinating mash-up of the Gilligan’s Island lyrics with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” They titled it, “Gilligan’s Island (Stairway).”
The group recorded the song and released it on their own Splash Records in May of 1978. That’s when lawyers for Zeppelin heard it. And they weren’t thrilled. They threatened legal action and the band withdrew all copies of the record.
The popularity of the song kept it around, being discussed in hushed whispers and doubts of credulity. In 2002, the band re-released the song on an album titled, Laguna Tunes. And its popularity has only grown from there. In 2004, the Golden God himself, Robert Plant told NPR that “Gilligan’s Island (Stairway)” was his favorite Zeppelin cover EVER.
Listening to it now only makes us want to go back to the island, if only for a few days. If anyone could come up with a quick and easy way to beat a bustle in our hedgerow, it’d be the professor.