Plant, Page appear in Los Angeles court for plagiarism case



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Wearing suits and ties, long gray hair hanging off their backs, singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page showed up in an LA courtroom to listen to opening arguments in the “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism case.

“No one owns common musical elements,” their attorney, Peter Anderson said…

The lawsuit, which alleges the British band stole the opening chords for “Stairway to Heaven” from the 1967 instrumental “Taurus” by the American band Spirit, was brought by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the late Randy Wolfe, Spirit’s guitarist and the composer of “Taurus.”

“Stairway to Heaven” is considered one of the most widely heard compositions in rock history and is the signature song of Led Zeppelin, which broke up in 1980. (via Reuters)

Plant and Page are expected to testify later in the hearing.

Normally, I’d argue this is just a case of accidental misappropriation. It happens all the time. There are only so many combinations of notes you can play on a guitar. Overlap is inevitable. But the fact that Zep wrote Stairway to Heaven when Spirit was performing as the band’s opening act blurs the lines here.

Compare Spirit’s Taurus (starting at 0:54) with Stairway to Heaven below and decide for yourself.

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