Robert Plant is recalling some challenges performing “Stairway To Heaven” with Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s in a new interview with Australian current affairs TV program The Project.
In the country for a tour with The Sensational Space Shifters in support of his latest album, “Carry Fire”, Plant sat down with presenter Ryan Fitzgerald to discuss a variety of topics, including early performances of the iconic song following its 1971 release on “Led Zeppelin IV.”
“I know it’s a long song, and I also know that I had a little bit of trouble remembering lyrics, back in ’72, ’73,” explains Plant. “Our manager [Peter Grant], who was quite a formidable personality … he’d come to the front of the stage in the middle of it all and he’d have the lyrics, like that Bob Dylan thing [in his video for ’Subterranean Homesick Blues’]. Anyway, it was very funny. “I can’t remember what verse goes where. I know there’s something about ‘bustle in the hedgerow’ and then all that stuff.
“The conjecture around that song is hysterical. Because it was a little bit abstract …”
While “Stairway To Heaven” went on to become one of the most famous rock songs of all time, Plant remains surprised at the tune’s legacy and longevity, saying “I didn’t think anything was going to be that big.”
“Led Zeppelin IV” remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, with more than 37 million copies sold worldwide.
The group, who disbanded in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham, will mark their 50th anniversary this fall.
Ahead of the planned celebrations, Led Zeppelin have just released a reissue of their 2003 live set, “How The West Was Won.”
Remastered by producer/guitarist Jimmy Page, the collection presents highlights from the group’s 1972 concerts at the Los Angeles Forum and Long Beach Arena, with the two nights sequenced to replicate a single concert from beginning to end.