The Led Zeppelin Song That Robert Plant Stopped Playing Live: “That Bloody Wedding Song”

“Stairway To Heaven” is by far Led Zeppelin’s most well-known song to date. The 1971 track was one of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s best works, and it’s widely considered to be one of the greatest rock songs of all time. 

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That being said, the iconic song hasn’t been played much in recent years. In fact, it only got a little bit of attention on the band’s setlist during brief shows in the late 1980s and 2007. Led Zeppelin has been disbanded for some time, and Robert Plant has refused to play the song at his live shows. What’s the deal?

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According to Plant, it comes down to the fact that it just wouldn’t sound as good without Page involved; and, frankly, he’s just sick of “that bloody wedding song.”

Shelving Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” Was Inevitable

During an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock Nights, Plant said that he has respect for the song and how big it made Led Zeppelin, while he still has a healthy aversion to the song.

“I look at it and I tip my hat to it,” said Plant. “And I think there are parts of it that are incredible. The way that Jimmy [Page] took the music through, and the way that the drums reached almost climaxed and then continued… it’s a very beautiful piece. But lyrically, now, and even vocally, I go, ‘I’m not sure about that.’”

Plant has never been afraid of criticizing Led Zeppelin, as any good band member would. He’s referred to his vocals as “horrific” in reference to the band’s older works from the 1960s. But still, criticizing “Stairway To Heaven” and refusing to play it has been quite a bummer for fans.

It’s worth noting that this just kind of happens. Any major singer/songwriter with a Top 10 hit will experience the oversaturation of their biggest song. Sometimes to the point that they can’t visit a grocery store without hearing it. Kurt Cobain hated “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Bruce Springsteen hates “Born To Run”. It’s inevitable and pretty understandable. 

At least we still have recorded and live versions of “Stairway To Heaven” online.

Photo by Jeffrey Mayer

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