The Led Zeppelin Member Who Paid $10k To A Radio To Not Play Stairway To Heaven
As you may all agree, Led Zeppelin is one of the most prominent bands in the rock music scene. Considered the biggest band of the ’70s, they have highly influenced many musicians since their formation. The band has sold over 200 million records worldwide and produced several albums, later classified as rock classics.
Although many of their songs have reached worldwide success, Led Zeppelin’s most famous song is probably ‘Stairway To Heaven.’ The iconic track was featured in Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, ‘Led Zeppelin IV,’ which they released in 1971. The album itself was a huge success and sold 37 million copies.
Following the release, the band achieved considerable success, and the song ‘Stairway To Heaven’ started to appear on every music platform. Although the song was remarkably successful, one of the band members once offered a radio station $10,000 to stop playing ‘Stairway To Heaven.’ Let’s find out who that person was and why he wanted such a thing.
Robert Plant Donated KBOO.FM $10,000 To Stop Playing ‘Stairway To Heaven’
In Led Zeppelin, Page wrote most of their music, and Plant wrote almost all the lyrics, including for ‘Stairway To Heaven.’ Although it was released in late 1971, the song still has an audience today and is listed among the greatest rock songs. However, Robert’s relationship with the song was kind of complicated.
During Led Zeppelin’s career, the musician refused to play it live several times and stated he no longer relates to it. In the 1970s, ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was the most requested song on radio stations in the United States, even though Zeppelin never released the song as a single. However, Plant went on to donate $10,000 to stop a radio station from playing it.
One night, Robert Plant was wandering around the Oregon Coast in his car after his last set at the Aladdin Theater. He was station-surfing when he came across a radio station that played non-mainstream music. That radio station was KBOO which is a non-profit, listener-funded station broadcasting from Portland, Oregon.
The station took donations from members to financially support themselves, and that day, they promised that they would never play ‘Stairway To Heaven’ again for a donation of $10,000. As it appears, Plant liked that idea and pulled over his car and made a $10,000 pledge using Atlantic Record’s credit card.
In a previous interview, Plant also confirmed this story. The musician revealed the details of what happened that day and said he didn’t do this because he didn’t like the song but only because he had heard it so many times before. So, it was the song’s actual singer who did such a thing.
Here’s how Robert Plant recalled that incident:
“I played in Portland, Oregon. That day, I was driving to Lincoln City to take the highway down to Eureka, exploring this beautiful land. I was leaning in Portland, and I heard a radio station. It was playing some amazing flip sides of Jive Five tracks.
Then, the guy came on and said ‘If you want this radio station to continue, please sponsor us now.’ And they said ‘We promise we will never ever play ‘Stairway To Heaven.” So, I pulled out of the car, and using my telephone credit card, I called KABOO in Portland.
It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just about I’ve heard it before.”
Below, you can listen to the iconic rock classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’ again and watch Robert Plant’s interview.