Stairway at St. Paul’s

Stairway at St. Paul's

Stairway at St. Paul’s is probably the coolest music video that I’ve seen in a long long time. Jeroen Offerman spent three months learning to sing Stairway to Heaven backwards and recorded his performance on the steps of St. Paul for confused spectators.

This film comes via the first issue of Wholphin, a new DVD magazine by the folks at McSweeney’s. With a level of pretension that we’ve grown to expect, Jeroen’s contributions to the magazine are used as dvd menu items. It’ll come on eventually if you leave the DVD menu playing, it happened to Tavis and I while we were playing some Mario Kart DS. It was a weird experience.

Watch the Video

30 sec clip: via Jeroen’s site
MPG4/AAC: (19.6mb)

Watch the clip via Jeroen’s site or grab the first issue of Wholphin. He’s looking into broader distribution.

The Story

Jeroen Offerman describes his upbringing in the Wholphin insert:

My parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses and so I had a very strict Christian upbringing. There was a suspicion of rock and pop music, and some music, Led Zeppelin in particular, was branded downright evil. The rumor was that if you played “Stairway to Heaven” in reverse you could hear messages that would urge you to follow the devil’s path.

He further explains his motives:

We thought the song and the lyrics were so utterly beautiful and yet we couldn’t listen to it out of fear of what could happen to us if we did. That’s the tension I felt by listening to this record: a teenage attraction to something dangerously beautiful. I am still intrigued how those myths are created and the effect they can have.

The backwards music stuff never really made sense to me, Paul is dead.

Legal Stuff

Technically I don’t own the copyright to the video, so it may disappear. On the other hand, the back of Wolphin says, “For Promotional Use Only”. If this isn’t me promoting the magazine and it’s contents, I don’t what is — we’ll call it viral marketing. So, go buy McSweeney’s 18 with Wholphin #1 and check out Jeroen’s work.

Personally, I think there’s a market for this stuff and McSweeney’s should look into selling the shorts via the iTunes store (although that might be like Mr. Vuitton selling his handbags at Wal-Mart). In the event of cease and desist letters from obscure foreign legal departments, the video will be replaced by haiku and photographs of cats.

Update: The full video has been removed at Jeroen’s request. I still recommend watching the clip via his site and/or seeking out a copy of Wolphin #1.

Haiku and Photographs of Cats

As per my legal statements, you will now be presented with Haiku and a photograph of cats. Please note that I’m reneging on the multiple photographs of cats, in lieu of one photograph with multiple cats.

Picture of Cats

Copyright is meant
to help protect the artist
not corporations

It's their own damn fault
for supporting a failing
business model

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