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My First Love: Heart's Ann Wilson on Led Zeppelin IV

In December 2012, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones sat in the audience at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C, having been honoured earlier in the evening at the White House.

Onstage, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson were joined by Jason Bonham to perform an emotional, devastating version of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven. So perhaps it’s not much of a surprise when you ask Ann about the album that changed everything for her. 

“I think it’d be Zeppelin IV. I would listen to the Beatles and listen to the Stones and Elton John and the other groups that I was listening to in my teens, but that album really hit me where I lived. 

“I knew from the first that I have to reproduce that. This is a teaching album, I said to myself. 

“I know it had a lot to do with Plant’s lyrics. I mean that’s my favourite part of the gig is getting to sing those words, our words, Zeppelin’s words, whoever, is just getting to recreate the poetry in song.

“And that’s the album when he really started to write in a more masterly way.”

Jaan Uhelszki
Jaan Uhelszki

One of the first women to work in rock journalism, Jaan Uhelszki got her start alongside Lester Bangs, Ben Edmonds and Dave Marsh — considered the “dream team” of rock writing at Creem Magazine in the mid-1970s. Currently an Editor at Large at Relix, Uhelszki has published articles in NME, Mojo, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Classic Rock, Uncut and the San Francisco Chronicle. Her awards include Online Journalist of the Year and the National Feature Writer Award from the Music Journalist’s Association, and three Deems Taylor Awards. She is listed in Flavorwire’s 33 Women Music Critics You Need to Read and holds the dubious honour of being the only rock journalist who has ever performed in full costume and makeup with Kiss.