18. May 2014
NEWS: Led Zeppelin Sued Over ‘Stairway To Heaven’
Opinion By Chris McKay
Ultimate Classic Rock: Led Zeppelin Sued By Spirit Bassist For ‘Stairway To Heaven’.
Well, yeah, Zep definitely stole that intro, but isn’t 43 years a little late to weigh in? Everyone’s known this and the guy that wrote the lick died back in the ’90s. I wouldn’t have blamed Randy for suing, and he should’ve done it in the ’70s. I’m not sure how I feel about the suit beginning well into the next millennium.
Excerpt from Ultimate Classic Rock:
“Andes is seeking an injunction to block the impending re-release of Zeppelin’s fourth album, on which ‘Stairway’ appears, in the hopes that guitarist Randy California, who wrote ‘Taurus,’ gets a co-writing credit on the song. California died in 1997, but not before telling a reporter, “I’d say it was a ripoff. And the guys made millions of bucks on it and never said ‘Thank you,’ never said, ‘Can we pay you some money for it?’ It’s kind of a sore point with me. Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it.”
|Led Zeppelin IV (1971)|
In order to prove copyright infringement in a U.S. court, the claimant has to prove not only that the songs are virtually identical, but also that the defendant had access to the source material. Led Zeppelin’s first concert in America was as Spirit’s opening act in 1968, the year in which ‘Taurus’ was released on their self-titled debut. The two bands also appeared together on several festivals in 1969.
Led Zeppelin’s history with copyright infringement is one of the most notorious and well-documented in rock history. Previous lawsuits have forced them to give co-writing credit on ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,’ ‘The Lemon Song’ and ‘Dazed and Confused.’ – Dave Lifton (ultimateclassicrock.com)
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