Robert Plant has said in a new interview that he sees “Stairway To Heaven” like a relative of his.
Plant was interviewed recently on the show “Q” on CBC. Host Tom Power showed Plant a video of Heart and Jason Bonham performing “Stairway To Heaven” during the Kennedy Center Honours event in 2012.
Power asked Plant what his thoughts were when he was watching Heart play the song. “How much had been lost and how this great glorification was so far away from the initial intention of the song,” Plant said.
“And the way that time modifies and these are occasions which celebrate the connection between music and people and its effect, which is great, but I thought this environment was like so far out and so … It was just like ‘What am I doing here?’ and ‘What’s happened to the song?’ and ‘Isn’t it beautiful?’ But did I like it for the last previous 20 years? No.”
Power asked Plant if the performance was a rediscovery of Plant’s music. “No, no, it was just that all those different feelings coming at the same time.”
Plant appeared moved in the video, Power pointed out. “Absolutely, yeah,” Plant said. “I’m in floods. It’s a good job they didn’t play ‘The Lemon Song!'”
“But, you know, the thing is, it’s like what the hell has happened to everything? Plant said. “And how beautiful was that in its first … conceptually, to achieve a song, take it from start to finish in that sort of almost symphonic build, even with the fact it gets faster, it’s great. Intentional drama and all that, it’s super.”
“But it’s kind of … I’d gone so far away from the whole idea of bow ties and evening dress and celebrating Led Zep like that because we were the guys that weren’t allowed into bars because they didn’t like the look of us. And we were given the keys to the city of Memphis, Tennessee by the mayor at 7pm on stage and under house arrest at 10pm.”
Power said that the evening almost showed that Led Zeppelin had become part of the establishment.
“Well it doesn’t matter,” Plant said. “Establishment can be really good, look at Robert De Niro, he is doing a great job using the establishment as a clarion, you know. It’s twice I’ve said that today, I hadn’t thought about that word for years.”
“What’s your relationship with ‘Stairway’ now?” Power asked.
“I don’t know,” Plant said. “It’s like a relative of mine somewhere. He’s by the sea somewhere, got his hands behind his head and he’s lying back in the sand going ‘Love me!'”
Watch the full interview below: