When it comes to the elusive world of entertainment, the idea of ‘making it’ is all relative to perspective. Whether the benchmark is swimming in fat royalty cheques or selling out arena-sized stadiums, it all comes down to that moment of realisation that reality has by all accounts, outsold your wildest dreams.
In the case of 70s rock icons Heart, their defining moment surpassed fame and fortune (and likely the wildest dreams of most mere mortals) when their performance of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” at the 2012 Kennedy Centre Honours reduced Robert Plant to tears, with bandmates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones on either side of them, grinning with the sort of pride father’s reserve for witnessing their firstborn achieve something they never thought possible.
Led Zeppelin, in attendance that evening as one of the winners of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor, were uniformly transfixed as Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson took the stage, the deep timbre of Ann’s instantly commanding voice supported by the flawless swagger of Nancy’s acoustic guitar. Jason Bonham takes the place of his late father and original Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham, surrounded by a chorus backing singers that are revealed in stages though performance as it builds and builds and builds… The footage you’re about to see is so epic that it actually went viral shortly after its original online debut, amassing several million hits within days!
The overwhelming talent and vision of Heart’s show-stopping performance is overshadowed by only one thing. The emotional response of Robert Plant, reduced to tears as he watches this dazzling celebration of his band’s greatest masterpiece, four decades after it began as an idea between friends. Even President Obama appears to brush aside a tear, and we challenge you not to do the same!
Here’s Heart’s “Stairway To Heaven” in all its magical glory:
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