Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have appeared in court in California to deny plagiarising elements of their 1971 track “Stairway To Heaven”.
Page and Plant are being sued by a trust representing a founding member of the band Spirit. Representatives of the Spirit guitarist Randy California, who died in 1997, claim that Led Zeppelin borrowed a distinctive down-picked guitar progression from the 1967 track “Taurus” when writing of “Stairway To Heaven”.
You can listen to the track below.
The BBC report that the band’s lawyer, Robert Anderson, claimed that the progression in question was a “descending chromatic line… something that appears in all kinds of songs”. It is a “commonplace” musical technique which “goes back centuries”.
Mr Anderson added: “[Page and Plant] created Stairway To Heaven independently without resort to Taurus or without copying anything in Taurus”.
The same BBC report describes Page and Plant as “relaxed and attentive” during the court case, stating that Page even “leaned back and closed his eyes, his head nodding gently” while the courtroom was played a recording of his 1971 track.
The trial is scheduled to last four or five days.
Robert Plant was forced to cancel his appearance at the Meltdown festival in order to attend the proceedings.
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