Tuesday, April 12, 2016

'Stairway to Heaven' lifted from Randy Wolfe's 'Taurus'?

A U.S. jury will decide whether the opening section of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” — one of the most famous passages in rock music — was lifted from the late Randy Wolfe, also known as Randy California — a songwriting member of the American rock group Spirit.

Led Zeppelin’s lead singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page, the song’s composers, will face a copyright trial after a U.S. district judge in Los Angeles ruled Friday that the plaintiff had made a strong enough case in its claim of copyright infringement to send the matter to a jury. The lawsuit was brought by a trustee for the estate of Randy Wolfe.
The suit claims that the guitar introduction to “Stairway to Heaven” — widely viewed as one of the all-time great classic rock songs — infringed on the copyright of the instrumental “Taurus,” released on Spirit’s debut album three years earlier.
Led Zeppelin in 1973. From left to right, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham (1947 – 1980), John Paul Jones.