Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright infringement trial is starting next week in LA. The lawsuit alleges that the descending guitar arpeggio opening of “Stairway,” released 45 years ago, was copied from the 1968 instrumental song “Taurus,” recorded by the LA-based band Spirit.
The suit was filed by Michael Skidmore, administrator of the trust of Spirit’s late guitarist-songwriter Randy Craig Wolfe. On the other side of the aisle: Led Zeppelin band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
The plaintiff’s attorney stated that Page first heard key guitar parts, later used in “Stairway”, when Spirit performed “Taurus” on stage when they headlined over Zeppelin on the British band’s first United States tour in 1968. The suit further alleges that Led Zeppelin has “a deep-rooted history of lifting compositions from blues artists and other songwriters who they have repeatedly failed to credit.”
In the 1970s, the band made settlement agreements and granted writing co-credits to other artists for several songs originally credited to Page, including “Whole Lotta Love,” “The Lemon Song” and “Dazed and Confused.”
In a six-page declaration filed with the court, Led Zeppelin’s Page said he didn’t hear, or had even heard of the 2-minute, 37-second ‘Taurus’ until two years ago. “I am very good at remembering music and am absolutely certain that I never heard ‘Taurus’ until 2014”, the 72-year-old guitarist said, adding that he has no memory of seeing Spirit perform in concert.
To be continued…
Source: Fox LA.
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