Unplugged & Totally Uncut

Classic Rock Report Led Zeppelin April 12

April 12, 20161 min
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have an L.A. date set for May 10th, but it's not a Led Zeppelin reunion show. Rather, it's the start date for a jury trial over the claim they ripped off the opening riff from a song by the band Spirit for "Stairway to Heaven." On Friday, U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner ruled that Led Zep's 1971 classic is similar enough to "Taurus," a 1967 instrumental track by Spirit, to have a jury decide whether Plant and Page committed copyright infringement. The suit was filed by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the late Randy California, who wrote "Taurus" and played guitar in Spirit. Skidmore points out that Spirit and Zeppelin toured together in 1968 and '69 and Page may have been motivated to write "Stairway" after hearing "Taurus" performed live by Spirit. There is some good news for the Zep camp, though. The judged dropped claims against bassist John Paul Jones and Warner Music, so only Page and Plant remain on the hook.

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