Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stairway to Heaven deleted scene

Normally I do not consider content of deleted scenes in assessing a movie because their very deletion normally suggests that the content was not important.  But in this case it was an enforced deletion as Crowe could not get permission to include Stairway to Heaven, per:

"Cameron Crowe has said that if he knew this scene would not have been in the movie, he wouldn't have made it. They couldn't secure the rights to the song and so it was cut. It's available on the special edition DVD set but you still have to play your own copy of the song along with the video. I've merged the two together so you can enjoy the scene the way it was intended."

Here is the video:
Here are lyrics with my comments, and I will mention that Plant says up front at Madison Square Gardens rendition "I think this is a song of hope".

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven.

Scene 1 has Eve [Lady #1] from Dylan's Gates of Eden [or the Garden if you will], moved into the modern era, but especially after the glory and money of "catching a rockstar".  Crowe represents her by the GoldDigger Leslie who totally dominates the easy going Russell who, despite her feminist bullying, is unable to "fully quit her" to be with his soul-mate Penny Lane.  As seen Leslie has both paths covered, marriage or divorce and in fact juggles BOTH.  In "the real world" of Family Law Eve goes by the generic name Cupcake in America and Buttercup in Australia.

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

Scene 2 fades from her, still madly reading her Female Eunuch [or whatever] and attending "Empowerment Workshops" to be sure, to the Bloke who has "taken a stroll to clear his mind" back in nature by Beethoven's brook [Pastoral Symphony] and he is starting to gather some strength.

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

Bloke sees a smoky vision of Galadriel [Lady #2] and Elves in the West [to where she diminished in LOTR] and Bloke is feeling heaps better.

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

Robert Plant as the storyteller adopts the role of Pied Piper, for indeed [remember Paul McCartney, John Cleese or even worse Curt Cobain] he is in the same situation himself of losing the shirt off his back, so has a personal interest in all this.  In the Madison Square Gardens version Plant asks here "Does anybody remember laughter?" and in the movie the old [pre feminist] Band-Aid Sapphire yells out the same from the door, so this is a turning point in the "mission" for Bloke.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on.
And it makes me wonder.

Now Bloke is being given the contra deal of a Men's Workshop [but not funded so at grass roots level] and told of the tactics that will be used against him as he tries to Chill-Out in his hedgerow, ie Buttercup will be hovering with her Lizzy Bordon bustle.  In Feminist dogma "clean out the fridge" means shed your man, take his money and get a new one, hence the spring clean warning.  The Workshop goes on to explain Bloke also has two paths, ie be a soft-cock or a hard-cock, and there is time to stop being a pussy, as was case for Russell.

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

Bloke is given final briefing and it is explained that this will not be any easy mission but the Piper will try to help, and also that the advantage Lady #1 appears to have is in fact just piss an wind, which will evaporate IF bloke stands tall - like fat chance.  The song goes into a guitar rift while the stage is prepared for the battle.

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all is one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

All goes a bit Helter Skelter now and we can think of Frodo departing the Elf place and Galadriel giving him that Light of Erindell [or whatever] and showing him [via the mirror] that Buttercup is even now coverting the gold, but most of all to fail is not just Bloke fails but all of Blokedom goes down with him, ie he is fighting for "all is one and one is all".

But as the smoke clears the song says Bloke did cop out so Buttercup got the lot

And she's buying a stairway to heaven.

In the movie Russel has also given in once again to Leslie BUT Penny Lane [and with her hair and attitude one might well conclude she IS Galadriel] threatens an Amazon contest with Leslie [and I had my money on Penny] but once again the bumble-footed blokes all jump in and spoil the contest.  Russell does finally ditch the bitch but it is all too late as he has lost Penny Lane.  He regains his freedom but at what a price as Leslie will be getting her Stairway to Heaven via their house and crippling Spouse Maintenance [Alimony] that will make it hard for Russell to recover financially [which is a blessing in disguise as the women stay away in droves once you lose the shirt off your back].

In real life the victory was so decisive any bloke under 60 will not even know there ever WAS the sort of equality between genders we had pre 1970, and shown in Across the Universe.  Penny Lane was the last of her [Janis Joplin] type, so while Lester Bangs said Rock & Roll had died, his T-Shirt says it was American Woman that killed the whole gig.

So finally, back to the deleted scene, see how the lady heads for a glass of water for Elaine and Elaine NEEDS it once we get to the bustle in your hedgerow bit.  That is Crowe wanted to make Elaine admit she was a phony, but as he could not use this, he had to come in the backdoor and use the "America" bit, which was not as good.

Friday, January 11, 2013


This is yet another great FeelGood movie about "the Swinging Sixties and aftermath" as for Across the Universe [2007], which in part "talks back" to this movie.

The main character [do Americans call it the protagonist?] William has an older sister who grew up in the late 1960s at the same time as the characters in Across the Universe, and it is she that uses her record collection to instill a love of "rock and roll" into William.

So the events of this movie take place some 5 years after those in Across the Universe and the director Crowe makes it very clear that the absolute magic years of the late 1960s have passed and we have crossed over the line of 1970 when the feminist movement took over the world.

Crowe creates a character called Elaine who is a facsimile for Germain Greer as the pseudo-professional activist in the "I am woman hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore" in yer face Feminist Revolution that was to alter the whole fabric of society via attacking the so called Nuclear Family, with the results chronicled in the 1999 movie American Beauty.

Crowe spends some time showing, via Elaine, the methods used by the Feminist Movement and I will explain all that below.

As for Across the Universe [see my blog] the movie can be enjoyed on a superficial level by "young" folk [ie under 60] simply as a "feelgood, coming of age in a former great age" movie, or those who "were there" can delve into the deeper meanings.