Was Stairway to Heaven Really Stolen?

Led Zeppelin

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page Performing as Led Zeppelin (Photo by Jim Summaria)

Upon hearing that the most famous rock ballad of all time, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, may have been partially lifted from another band, the immediate reaction is likely incredulity. How can one of the most listened to songs of all time really be ripped off from another band, beneath all of our noses? That is exactly what the representation of the American rock band Spirit is alleging, citing close similarities between the first two minutes of the 1971 rock classic and Spirit’s 1968 instrumental song Taurus. And, upon listening, those two songs do sound very similar.

Whether the similarity is coincidental or a conscious homage, Los Angeles US district judge Gary Klausner has ruled that there is enough basis for a copyright infringement trial to take place – court proceedings begin on May 10, 2016. Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, who wrote Stairway to Heaven, will stand as defendants in the case, which seeks a co-writing credit on the song for the late Spirit vocalist and guitarist Randy California. The attorney representing California’s estate has stated that he will not settle the case without the partial credit being awarded to the Spirit front man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *