I can't believe I never knew about this deleted scene from Cameron Crowe's 2000 semi-autobiographical film, Almost Famous. In it, main character William, loosely based on Crowe, tries to convince his over-bearing mother to let him write an article for Rolling Stone by playing her Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," based on "the literature of Tolkien," to prove to her that rock n' roll isn't just about sex and drugs.
The scene had to be cut from the film when the members of the band refused to let Crowe use the song. This was obviously a critically important scene as Cameron has allegedly said that he wouldn't have even bothered to make the film if he'd known this scene wasn't going to be in it.
Watching this, I have to admit that I got a massive nostalgia hit that almost knocked me off of my Aeron chair. From the moment that tone arm goes down on that final fat cut of side one of Led Zeppelin IV, with that iconic green and orange Atlantic Records label. And that lyric sleeve. Tears may have been shed.
I was that kid! I lived on the surface of that lyric sleeve. I poured over every minute detail of it and the rest of the record. Just like Cameron/William, I had similar desires of being an "almost famous" writer. And the same dreams of misty mountains, May Queens, and "music's mystical attempts to elevate humanity," as William puts it. We had the same haircut.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film, Brian Hiatt and James Andrew Miller of the Origins podcast spoke with Cameron Crowe and castmembers Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, and Patrick Fugit.
H/t Laurie Fox