After threats issued last month, the estate of former spirit guitarist Randy “California” Wolfe has filed suit against Led Zeppelin, claiming that the British rockers lifted part of their biggest hit, Stairway To Heaven, from one of California’s songs.
The suit, filed in the US District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania on May 31st, alleges that California’s instrumental song Taurus, which appears on Spirit’s 1968 debut, was the genesis for Zeppelin’s anthemic song, according to Billboard. “Any reasonable observer,” the suit claims, “when comparing ‘Taurus’ and ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ must conclude that—at the very least—significant portions of the songs are nearly identical.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, while California’s estate may have a case, the issue of copyright is far from black and white, and Led Zeppelin is not without its legal defenses. The plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages, royalties, and a court order giving California a writing credit for the iconic tune.
Jimmy Page has hardly minced words on the topic. During his promotional tour for the newly released Led Zeppelin reissues, the question was put directly to him in an interview with France’s Liberation newspaper.
“That’s ridiculous,” Page said. “I have no further comment on the subject.”
After listening to the songs, Inquisitr readers will have to decide for themselves. Did Led Zeppelin steal the opening of Stairway To Heaven?
[Image via Stereogum ]