Sunday, June 12, 2016

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

Led Zeppelin band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will appear in court on June 13 to defend Stairway to Heaven. Spirit, a band from Los Angeles, claim the iconic melancholic guitar that opens the song was lifted from its instrumental track, Taurus. Led Zeppelin was the opening act for Spirit when they made their United States debut in Denver in 1968.

Damages claimed haven't been specified but reports have suggested a possible settlement of anywhere between a symbolic US$1 plus a writing credit to as much as $40 million.
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.
Some suggest Led Zeppelin and Taurus both stole the riff from Davy Graham's 'Cry Me A River'. (Big Kudos to 'Tolimar' on LoP - Lunatic Outpost)

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