Jimmy Page on fans reaction to 'Stairway to Heaven' live before release

News 25/08/2020

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has shared a post on social media, reminiscing the time when the band performed the iconic 'Stairway to Heaven' live before the supposed release in November 1971 as part of Led Zeppelin IV.

"Led Zeppelin began their North American tour in Vancouver, Canada on 19th August 1971 but started in the US at the LA Forum on this day - this being the first of two nights," Page wrote. "I remember a standing ovation from a good percentage of the audience after 'Stairway to Heaven' - this was quite remarkable as we were touring this material from an album not to be released until three months later."

Page had previously told BBC in a video that singer Robert Plant came up with a fair share of the lyrics spontaneously.

Robert comes up and starts to pitch in and sing, and I tell you, 90% of the lyrics were already done.

"Robert was magnificent with his input of lyrics to the music of Led Zeppelin, anyway. This was during a period where we were at Headley Grange, that the thing was put together," he said. "It was slightly complicated to be doing this whole thing without a vocal because, at the time, there weren't any lyrics, and this was the backbone of what the song was intended to be, and the whole of the running order from the beginning till the end was sort of mapped up."

"It was a tricky thing to do because there's a lot of music and changes in it. I remember during that period, Robert, he was sort of sitting down, leaning against the wall, and he was just sort of, writing. I'll never forget that image of him doing that. We did a run through from beginning to end with the guitar riff, as we all know. And then Robert comes up and starts to pitch in and sing, and I tell you, 90% of the lyrics were already done."

Watch the interview below.