Stairway to Heaven – a moving rendition

You just have to love YouTube. I was searching for the legendary song by Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven. I wanted to show my 15yo son an epic song from an era different to his. I came across this amazing tribute recorded in December 2012 at the 35th Annual Kennedy Centre Honours, held in Washington DC. The surviving members of Led Zeppelin (and other artists) were at a function held to honour their musical contribution to music.

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin chat with Barack Obama.

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin chat with Barack Obama.

It doesn’t matter your generation, or what genre of music appeals – this clip is INCREDIBLY moving. There is the powerful voice of Heart’s Ann Wilson; her sister Nancy’s wizardry on guitar; the orchestra; the ensemble choir wearing bowler hats as their tribute to the late and legendary Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham. But most of all it is the presence of Jason Bonham – the son of John Bonham – whose drumming, took the emotional intensity of this tribute to a completely different level.  Watch it – and if you are not moved ……….


It was the accidental death at age 32 in September 1980, of BONZO John Bonham, which brought about the demise of the band Led Zeppelin. It is testament to their songs, that 40 years later, their music continues to be performed still moving so many – across generations!

Led Zeppelin in their hey day.

Led Zeppelin in their hey day.

Much has been said about this particular version of the song, despite its recording almost two years ago:

Just incredibly moving. In fact, I have not felt this moved in a long long time… At least all three of the surviving members can still sit side by side, smiling as well as tearing up, and take in this memorable performance of one of the greatest songs in the history of music.” Fritha 71

Just an AWESOME performance of one of the greatest songs of all time !!!” sault rockcity

And then there is the debate around Robert Plant’s tears – “No doubt, he is moved beyond words. It’s a bit heartbreaking to wonder what is going through his head in those moments. Of a life as the part of the greatest rock band of all time, a father who has lost so much, friends who have died, and all the accomplishments they have all had together. And mostly, probably, getting old, and knowing you have left an indelible mark that will be here long after they are all gone. Truly touching.

On Stage Magazine‘s Chris Le Drew wrote an article on the tears debate: The real reason behind Robert Plant’s tears

Personally, I like to think Plant’s tears were because he was moved by the incredibly majestic performance from everyone involved, but especially by the Ladies of Rock – Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson and the son of one of his good mates. A mate with whom he can no longer have a chat or share a beer with.  We can all relate to that in some way.

Rock Legends from the 1970's - Led Zeppelin.

Rock Legends from the 1970’s – Led Zeppelin.

What do you think were the reason behind Robert Plant’s tears?

Has Led Zeppelin influenced your musical choices?

Did you feel anything when you played this YouTube clip? Please comment below.



%d bloggers like this: