I’m having a moment. As I often do when there is mention of Led Zeppelin. I’m not your normal (seldom one of my adjectives) Led Zeppelin fan. I’ve been a completely obsessed maniac fan since I was 10 years old. Their multi layered, bluesy-rock, heavy with guitar, music, and Robert Plant’s powerful drop-your-panties voice, hooked me hard. It was the first time music had ever brought me to tears. And it still does these many years later.
Led Zeppelin’s catalogue of music is the background to 90 percent of my writing. Inspiring, soothing, honest, spiritual, heart-pounding, suggestive, loving, fantasy-evoking, profound, thoughtful – and more, so much more – are the sounds that erupt from my headphones. Flowing into my ears and through my body, taking me to a place no other music ever has. It’s a religious experience. Orgasmic. A crazy soul connection that evades sense. Hardcore obsessiveness. Defying an acceptable explanation, I offer none. For this – this thing, that happens to me when Led Zeppelin is playing. My deepest gratitude and appreciation is all I have to give.
I was lucky to see them in concert a few times before their heart breaking break-up in 1980, and I’ve seen them perform separately several times since. When they received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2012, I watched – of course. I was excited to know that Ann and Nancy Wilson were scheduled to perform my favorite song “Stairway to Heaven” and waited with a judgmental ear. It’s not an easy song to cover, and many have fucked it up royally over the years. Thankfully (if you listen very hard – you can hear the sigh of relief from the collective Zep fans) they did it justice. One of the best ever (IMHO) covers, of that amazing song, even with her weird accent on some of the words.
In full disclosure, I had to rewind and watch the performance a second time to be a fair critic of Heart’s performance. I was too distracted watching it the first time. I couldn’t stop looking at the reactions on the faces of my favorite band as they watched my favorite song – their song, being performed for them, in tribute. It was obvious, they were profoundly moved. It touched me deeply to not only witness this moment, but to cry along with Robert Plant, knowing without a doubt, that he – they, are as affected by this song as I am. The Stairway to Heaven moves us all to a better place…
“Your head is humming and it won’t go – in case you don´t know
The piper’s calling you to join him
Dear lady can you hear the wind blow and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind”