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Heart Plays A Flawless And Emotional Rendition Of Stairway To Heaven

Sujan Tamang 

This has to be the most emotional performance of Stairway To Heaven, anyone’s ever seen. The only thing odd about it? It isn’t by Led Zeppelin but by the members of Heart. Looking back in the 70s, both were successful bands in their prime.

Led Zeppelin participated in the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors class, which is when the cover was made. Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham, played drums during the concert, which was led by Ann and Nancy Wilson.

Led Zeppelin’s contributions were honored by then-U.S. President Barack Obama, who awarded them the Kennedy Center Honors. This award is only given to people who have made a significant contribution to American culture. They have been one of the most influential rock bands inspiring other successful bands like Metallica, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Beastie Boys, and also Madonna.

Back in the 70s, Heart was only widely known as an all-female fronted rock band with some hits inside their pockets like Alone, All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You, and so on. At this point, Heart had played the song a lot of times, but still to perform it in front of the band must have been stressful, along with them there was the presence of the President and a host of other celebrities.

But there was no need for worry of any kind. The performance was incredible, full of emotions, and must have been the most emotional performance. Robert Plant could be seen with tears in his eyes and the other members of the band could be seen smiling throughout the performance. One touching moment we can all talk about is the gospel choir that happens in honor of John Bonham, who tragically passed away in 1980. Jason can be seen with tears in his eyes but never misses a beat throughout the performance.

Ann and Nancy while talking about the performance, admitted that they were scared. Robert Plant has always stayed away from the song in recent years because he believes he can no longer relate to that person. Nancy explained, “I usually hate it when people try to cover ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ But I like your version.” Page also told her, “You played that so well.”

Robert has also talked about this performance. In a recent interview with Vulture, he said, “It was just something that I’d never, ever thought I would look at from this gallery. I didn’t ever see myself as smarting around seeing an artist’s impression of it. I knew it was coming — the Kennedy Center told us to expect something — but I didn’t know how it was going to be. It was a spectacular performance. I’m now a voyeur.”

“I’m not responsible for it anymore. I’m not in guitar shops being told not to do it. I’m not going down the aisle at a wedding playing it with a flute. I love the song. It came upon me and stripped away all the years of being a part of all that. It just rubbed it right back to the bone. Because maybe it was all over for us a long time before it was all over. It was definitely all over without John. I mean that. We’re talking here about one song from 50-plus years ago. It’s just a magnificent performance to watch and it kills me every time. It kills me in two or three different ways. It’s just like, ‘Oh my God.'”


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