Robert Plant Agreed To Sing “Stairway To Heaven” After A Huge Donation For Cancer Fundraising
via Barbarella Pictures / Youtube
Robert Plant made a remarkable return to the stage with a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s iconic track “Stairway to Heaven” after a gap of 16 years, all thanks to a significant donation for charity, according to the guitarist who shared the stage with him.
The surprising performance occurred at a cancer charity event in England that was put up by Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, according to Kenwyn House, previously of Reef and presently with Goldray. This was Plant’s first performance of “Stairway” live since his brief 2007 reunion with Led Zeppelin.
In a recent interview with Led Zeppelin News, House shared his excitement and the whirlwind experience leading up to the performance. He had been working on his band’s upcoming album when Taylor’s guitar technician contacted him because Taylor had injured his hand.
The guitarist recalled, “It was a combination between uber excitement and terrifying. I literally only had four days to learn everything.” It wasn’t until a rehearsal before the show that House was informed about the inclusion of “Stairway.” He described the surreal moment when he had to play the legendary song with Robert Plant in a small rehearsal room as one of the most intense professional situations he had ever encountered.
“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.”
A Charitable Act with Positive Impact
House clarified that the idea to have Robert Plant sing “Stairway” did not come from Andy Taylor but rather from a generous donor contributing to the charity event. House explained:
“Someone bid a huge amount of money for him to sing this song. There is a good circle of karma around it. That raised a six figure sum for the charity, that one song.”
Reflecting on the enduring significance of “Stairway to Heaven,” House acknowledged the weight of expectations and associations tied to the song, which might have made Robert Plant somewhat uneasy. He commented:
“I think all the baggage that’s been attached to it has made Robert uneasy. It’s made such an impact and people have so many ideas about it, and expectations; it’s a bit of a millstone around his neck – or has been. I can really understand that, and Andy Taylor and everyone in the room worked really hard not to make him feel that.”