“Late in 1968, a then new band named Led Zeppelin began touring in the United States, opening for Spirit,” the suit states. “It was during this time that Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s guitarist, grew familiar with ‘Taurus’ and the rest of Spirit’s catalog. Page stated in interviews that he found Spirit to be ‘very good’ and that the band’s performances struck him ‘on an emotional level.’ ”
One of the causes of action for the suit is listed as “Falsification of Rock N’ Roll History” and the typeface in the section headings of the filing resembles that used for Led Zeppelin album covers. According to claims in the suit, “Parts of ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ instantly recognizable to the music fans across the world, sound almost identical to significant portions of ‘Taurus.’ ”
The estate is seeking court ordered damages and writing credit for California, born Randy Craig Wolfe. Part of the defense includes a printed interview conducted with California prior to his death from drowning in 1997. In the 1997 interview with Listener Magazine, the guitarist claims that some of the music from “Stairway to Heaven” was taken from his group’s song.
“Well, if you listen to the two songs, you can make your own judgment,” the lawsuit quotes the interview as saying. “It’s an exact … I’d say it was a rip-off. 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.”
In a May interview with France’s Liberation newspaper, Page said of the claims “That’s ridiculous. I have no further comment on the subject.”
Hmmmmm, What say you?