Why I ❤️ Led Zeppelin IV and Stairway To Heaven, by Goldray guitarist Kenwyn House

The cover of Led Zeppelin IV with Kenwyn House
(Image credit: Kenwyn House: Akashic Records)

Call it Four Symbols. Call it Zoso. Call it 'the one with the old man carrying the sticks on the front’ (newsflash: the old man been identified). But while the name might be up for debate, one thing is undeniable: few albums have changed rock’s landscape quite like Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. And few musicians are as qualified to talk about Led Zeppelin IV than Goldray guitarist Kenwyn House, who was recently called up to back Robert Plant when he performed Stairway To Heaven for the first time in 16 years, becoming the first musician to play the lead guitar part with Plant apart from Jimmy Page himself. 

Below, Kenwyn talks about the first album he ever bought.


I was the youngest of three children, and when I was about eight or nine years old my elder sister got a boyfriend who was into rock, and he brought Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath into the house, and it changed my world completely really. 

My brother and sister started accumulating vinyl, so I had access to this amazing music… Something hit me; I just knew I was going to have something to do with it. 

When I was eleven, I’d saved up pocket money and I bought my first album, which was Led Zeppelin IV, and I just played it to death. The next album I got was Back In Black by AC/DC, and then Free At Last, then the first Black Sabbath album… But Led Zep IV? Jesus, man what a fantastic record. 

Black Dog and When The Levee Breaks are incredible. It’s all so ballsy and live-sounding, but also for its time very high-fidelity. 

I didn’t start playing guitar properly until I was about twelve, but all this music I was listening to at this time was just fuelling my desire to play. My favourite one to play? Stairway

Everyone yawns as soon as you mention Stairway To Heaven, but if you can separate yourself from that and imagine yourself back in 1971 and give yourself that fresh listen, you’d be blown away.

Kenwyn was speaking with Polly Glass. This interview originally appeared in Classic Rock 278, in July 2020.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.

With contributions from