For Record Store Day 2019, Mastodon released a cover of the Led Zeppelin classic "Stairway to Heaven." The band titled the release "Stairway to Nick John" to honor their late manager who passed away in September from pancreatic cancer.
1,500 copies of the song were pressed to vinyl, with all of the proceeds benefitting the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
Mastodon released this statement:
"In early September 2018 we lost one of our closest friends and our biggest fan, our manager Nick John. He was essentially the band’s Dad. From our highest highs to our lowest lows he was always there. Every single move we made went through him first as our trust in him was marrow deep. His favorite band besides us and Gojira, was Led Zeppelin. We were asked to perform 'Stairway to Heaven' at his funeral.
"Afterwards, finding out that someone had recorded it, we figured we should record a studio version and release it on RSD as a tribute to Nick with all the proceeds to be donated to pancreatic cancer research. We would not be the band we are today without the help of Nick John. We miss him dearly and think of him always. We love you buddy!”