Ah, a lot of new buzz these days around the Led Zeppelin suit, alleging that the mighty rockers are nothing but plagiarist. Specifically when it comes to their trademark hit and the one song you MUST not play when in a guitar store: Stairway To Heaven, of course, and the controversy around who came up with the riff first, Randy California of Spirit or the four lads from Great Britain.
Well, the opinions vary on this topic, strongly, to say the least. One camp is convinced that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham had no intent to steal anything from anyone. The undeniable similarity between Led Zep’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and Spirit’s ‘Taurus’ is nothing but a coincidence, or maybe at ‘worst’ a case of where two bands who toured with each other back in the day may have influenced each other – consciously and subconsciously. Others feel very differently and firmly believe in ulterior motives on Zeppelin’s part being the reason for the resemblances .
I will refrain from belaboring this topic any more, because ultimately I really don’t care. However, there is a funny anecdote that I wanted to share with you guys. So, Page and Plant had to show up in court earlier this week to defend their position before and L.A. judge. Page explained that he had never heard of the Spirit track before up until a couple of years ago when he asked his son-in-law to show it to him, after Page learned about the engaged discussion that had started a few years ago. Page, an Internet and Online agnostic, insisted that the riff was alien to him when he heard it for the first time. He went on stating that he was actually surprised, because apparently he doesn’t believe that Stairway to Heaven has anything to do with Taurus.
Well, Jimmy, I’m still a fan of yours but with all due respect, even a complete ton-deaf person would have to acknowledge that both ‘versions’ are eerily similar. While I don’t know or care for the reason, facts remain facts.
Back to the ‘funny’ thing that occurred in court. So, at some point – and I have no idea why the opposing lawyer would ask a question like that – he was asked whether he believes he “had a gift of playing the guitar”, to which Jimmy responded “Well, yeah”. Subsequently, the court room bursted out into laughter.
Oh, and I learned that Page had recently disclosed that he owns 4,329 albums and 5,882 CDs. Now, I would love to browse through that collection, but oh well. Hey, maybe I’d find a ‘Spirit’ record somewhere in all that vinyl…hehehe.
Read the full story with some interesting video and pictures over at the ‘Daily Mail’.