Robert Plant has performed a rare version of Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven at a charity show in Oxfordshire. Plant sang the song – with which he has a famously difficult relationship – at a show organised by Duran Duran's Andy Taylor to raise money for The Cancer Platform, an initiative launched by the Cancer Awareness Trust.
Taylor was diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer in 2018 and not expected to survive, but is now asymptomatic following revolutionary treatment with Lutetium-177, a radioactive substance that targets cancer cells.
Among the performers art the show, which took place at Soho Farmhouse, a members-only club and hotel near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, were Taylor, Pink Floyd bassist Guy Pratt, Goldray guitarist Kenwyn House, and Rod Stewart’s drummer David Palmer. There was also an auction, where works of art by the likes of Banksy, Pablo Picasso, Mr Doodle and others were up for grabs.
Plant's set can be viewed in full in the Facebook embed below – his appearance begins at the 43-minute mark – and includes renditions of Led Zeppelin's Thank You, Black Dog and Stairway To Heaven (Plant singing the song for the first time since 2007's Celebration Day show) plus Donovan's Season Of The Witch (including a passage from Zeppelin's Rock And Roll).
"Well that was fun!", Guy Pratt posted on Instagram. "So good to be reunited with my old rhythm partner David Palmer and play with Andy Taylor for the first time in 25 years.. And Robert Plant! Who was just amazing and such a lovely chap. I’ve now played Black Dog with Page and Plant. Box tick! And for an amazing cause."
"Amazing to play with Robert Plant and Andy Taylor last night!", posted Kenwyn House. "Still pinching myself. True legends and lovely people to boot. Apparently we rocked it! Plus raised a lot of money for a great cause."
“I’d break out in hives if I had to sing it [Stairway To Heaven] every show,” Plant told the Los Angeles Times in 1988. “I wrote those lyrics and found that song to be of some importance and consequence in 1971, but 17 years later, I don’t know. It’s just not for me. No more Stairway to Heaven for me."