Origin of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ questioned during copyright trial

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Los Angeles: Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant seemed in justice on Tuesday to repudiate accusations that they “lifted” a opening bars to iconic stone strain Stairway to Heaven.

The musicians, dressed in black suits, arrived to a mob of reporters during Los Angeles sovereign court, where a jury of 4 group and 4 women was played their anthemic hit.

Spirit, a unusual LA rope that enjoyed a niche following though never achieved a superstardom of Zeppelin, claims a saddening guitar that opens Stairway was taken from a instrumental lane Taurus.

File print of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of a Led Zeppelin. AP File print of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of a Led Zeppelin. AP

File print of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of a Led Zeppelin. AP

Spirit’s guitarist Randy Wolfe — who went by a nickname Randy California — never took authorised movement and drowned in Hawaii in 1997, though a lawsuit was filed by his keeper and crony Michael Skidmore, who was in court.

“This box can be epitomised in 6 words: Give credit where credit is due,” pronounced Francis Malofiy, Skidmore’s attorney.

Malofiy told a jury it could demeanour during a lawsuit “almost like a ambience test,” asking: “Do these things ambience a same? Do these things sound a same?”

The profession played a recording for a jury of a introduction to Stairway, describing a arpeggio as a “lifted composition.”

At emanate is either Led Zeppelin had entrance to 1967’s Taurus before recording Stairway in London in Dec 1970 and Jan 1971.

No recollection

Zeppelin non-stop for Spirit when a tough British rockers — Plant, Page, John Paul Jones and a given defunct John Bonham — done their US entrance on Dec 26, 1968 in Denver.

But flourishing members of Led Zeppelin have submitted testimony that they never had concrete communication with Spirit or listened to a band’s music.

Defense profession Peter Anderson told jurors that Page, 72, and Plant, 67, were not informed with Spirit or a output, and that Page had no correlation of ever conference Taurus.

Anderson played a initial dual mins and 14 seconds of Stairway as Page nodded along.

Stairway to Heaven was created by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and them alone, period,” Anderson said.

Skidmore has not specified a indemnification he is seeking, though several stories in a strain press have posited a probable allotment during anywhere between a mystic $1 and a essay credit to as most as $40 million.

The lawsuit speaks of Led Zeppelin’s “deep-rooted story of lifting combination from blues artists and other songwriters who they have regularly unsuccessful to credit.”

It lists disputes over 16 other Led Zeppelin songs, many of that were staid by giving a complainant a songwriting credit and royalties, including classics Whole Lotta Love and Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.


The justice listened from California’s younger sister, equine tutor and musician Janet Wolfe, who described her hermit as a “prodigy.”

Wolfe, of Ventura, California, removed how a family had trafficked to New York in 1966, where Randy, afterwards only 15, met and befriended Jimi Hendrix.

The stone fable hired a youngster to play fill-in guitar, and gave him a name Randy California to heed him from another Randy in a band, a justice heard.

Wolfe, 62, removed how California had complained after in life about Led Zeppelin plagiarizing Taurus, that he had created for a girlfriend.

“It was something that dissapoint him for many, many years,” she said.

Multi-instrumentalist Jay Ferguson, 69, who played with Spirit and after wrote strain for film and television, described Taurus as a “really special number.”

“It was a taste cleanser… it was beautiful. It was a opposite character of strain than anything else we played in a shows,” he told a court.

Ferguson, who has created strain for Arnold Schwarzenegger movement film The Terminator (1984) and comedy array The Office, pronounced Spirit played a strain during a infancy of their concerts.

He described carrying a “meet and greet” with Plant during a Spirit gig in Britain in a 1970s, recalling he was “flattered” that a thespian had incited adult to see a band.

The hearing is approaching to final about 5 days.