This story slipped under the radar this week, but it’s just emerged that Robert Plant performed Led Zeppelin’s classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’ over the weekend, for the first time in 16 years.
The performance occurred after an anonymous bidder donated a six-figure-sum to The Cancer Awareness Trust, and requested that Plant performed the iconic Led Zep tune, to which Plant agreed. It marks his first time performing the song in 16 years.
The event, which happened at Soho Farmhouse, was organised by former Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, who is currently battling stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer, with all proceeds going to The Cancer Awareness Trust.
Robert Plant and Andy Taylor were joined by Whitesnake’s Dino Jelusick, Rod Stewart’s drummer David Palmer, Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets bassist Guy Pratt, former Reef guitarist Kenwyn House, singer Anne Rani, and Andy Taylor’s son Andrew.
In an exclusive interview with Led Zep News, guitarist Kenwyn House says the idea came together less than a week before the performance.
"It was a combination between uber excitement and terrifying,” he said about the prospect of performing with Robert Plant. “I literally only had four days to learn everything.”
Speaking about his first rehearsal with Plant, House said,
“When he came to the first rehearsal, when he picks up a microphone and makes the first Robert Plant noise down the microphone, that’s the sound you’ve only ever heard come through your stereo, or TV or big speakers somewhere.
“But it was actually in the room with you. I talked about this with everyone, it was such a strange, wonderful magical experience.”
He continued: “When Robert Plant walked into the room and I had to play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ with him for the first time in a small enclosed environment, that was probably the most pressured professional situation I have ever, ever come across.
“I’m in a small room with my hero playing the most famous of his songs.”
Plant is 75 years old now, and although he may not sound like he did in the ‘70s, he’s still got it. Have a watch of the performance up top.