Watch: ROBERT PLANT Sings LED ZEPPELIN's 'Stairway To Heaven' For First Time In 16 Years

October 22, 2023

Robert Plant was among the special guest performers at a special charity concert Saturday night (October 21) for The Cancer Platform, an initiative launched by the Cancer Awareness Trust, organized by founding DURAN DURAN guitarist Andy Taylor.

Dubbed "An Evening With Andy Taylor And Special Guests", the event was held at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, England and featured additional guest appearances by PINK FLOYD bassist Guy Pratt, WHAM! star Andrew Ridgeley, drummer to the stars David Palmer (Rod Stewart, ABC, PET SHOP BOYS, Sting, Bryan Adams, Tom Jones, THE THE, YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA),Brit- and Ivor Novello-nominated singer Ella Henderson, the inimitable Katherine Ryan, broadcaster Nina Nannar and many more.

Plant's set, which can be viewed in full in the Facebook embed below beginning at the 43-minute mark, included renditions of LED ZEPPELIN's "Thank You", "Black Dog" and "Stairway To Heaven".

Robert's rendition of "Stairway To Heaven" marked his first time singing LED ZEPPELIN's 1971 masterpiece in public since the band's 2007 performance at the O2 Arena in London, which was later released as the "Celebration Day" concert film.

Back in 2019, Plant said that he could no longer "relate" to "Stairway To Heaven". During an appearance on the "Ultimate Classic Rock Nights" radio show, Plant spoke candidly about his feelings regarding the "Led Zeppelin IV" classic. "Of course, it was a good song," he said. "The construction of the song, the actual musical construction is very, very good. It's one of those moments that really can stand without a vocal — and, in fact, it will stand again without a vocal, I'm sure, because it's a fine, fine piece of music."

Plant went on to say: "Lyrically, now, I can't relate to it, because it was so long ago. I would have no intention ever to write along those abstract lines anymore. I look at it and I tip my hat to it, and I think there are parts of it that are incredible. The way that Jimmy [Page] took the music through, and the way that the drums reached almost climaxed and then continued... It's a very beautiful piece. But lyrically, now, and even vocally, I go, 'I'm not sure about that.'"

Several years ago, LED ZEPPELIN had to defend itself against a copyright lawsuit alleging "Stairway To Heaven" was stolen from an obscure 1960s instrumental. Jurors in the 2016 trial, which included testimony from Plant and Page, decided that "Stairway" did not infringe on "Taurus", written by the late Randy Wolfe and performed by his band SPIRIT.

During the trial, Plant recalled how he and Page had worked on "Stairway To Heaven" at Headley Grange, a former poorhouse in Hampshire, England. He said: "One evening, Jimmy Page and I sat by the fire, going over bits and pieces." He recalled leaving the rest of the band to work on the song while he went to his bedroom to write the song's lyrics, which he told the court were based on Celtic mythology and "the pastoral areas of Britain I love."

Andy Taylor & Special guests - Cancer Awareness Trust Concert

Posted by DuranDuran Argentina on Saturday, October 21, 2023

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