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So recently, Led Zeppelin were inducted in the Kennedy Center Honours – an honour given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture.
Anyway, as part of the induction, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart took to the stage [with about 10,000 other musicians] to perform Led Zepp’s iconic ‘Stairway To Heaven’.
Now I know some people on here will regard that song as the sort of hairy, ancient rock that should be killed off … but fuck them … it’s a timeless piece of music majesty.
Anyway, while watching it, you couldn’t help notice how moved Robert Plant was during the performance and it got me wondering what was going on in his head …
Was it the sheer power of the performance?
The amazement that a song they wrote in early ’70, was still being played – and loved by people of all generations?
The shock that a song they wrote in early ’70, could still have so much energy?
The wonder that a song they wrote back in early ’70, was being played for the President of the United States?
The emotion of knowing it literally couldn’t get ‘bigger than this’.
Or was it just the simple realisation his impact on World history was assured?
Imagine that … doing something that stands the test of time. That lives forever. That others want to perform, protect and nurture.
It’s not like in adland – where many look at the flaws of other people’s work and then hack shamelessly away at it to suit their own purposes – it’s almost like this piece of music is revered, where people want to perform it while staying true to its overall spirit and essence.
Like an act of love.
An act of respect.
It must be one of the most amazing – and humbling – feelings on earth.
PS: I also find it fascinating that when the camera pans to the remaining members of Led Zeppelin – apart from seeing how old they are – they always appear to show their reactions almost in a chain reaction style, never in parallel. At first it appears they’re all quite independent from each other, but the other way of looking at it is that each one has some sort of invisible ignition that sets the others off.
The best way to explain what I mean is at 4 minutes 24″.
Even though they are all sat in a similar location, watching the same event unfold in front of their eyes … first John Paul Jones reacts … then Robert Plant & finally Jimmy Page. I know this might sound like I’m talking hippy nonsense, but I still find it interesting.
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