If you’ve ever gone into a music store to test out a guitar, then there’s a good chance that you’ve seen one of the signs.
The irony is that in the theatrical release, Wayne actually played the first few notes of Stairway. This led to disputes over who owned the rights to the first five notes of the song, so the notes were changed for the home video release. So if you thought “That doesn’t really sound like Stairway,” you’re right.
I specifically remember there being a sign inside Uptown Music when it existed on George Street. The sign banned Stairway, as well as a couple other songs.
Isn’t it funny how now another artist is saying “No Stairway” to Led Zeppelin themselves?
Led Zeppelin are being accused plagiarising the introduction of their iconic 1971 anthem, “Stairway To Heaven”, in a new lawsuit brought by the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California and members of the band.
Business Week reports the estate – and group’s members – believe the acoustic introduction to “Stairway” was lifted from their 1968 instrumental, “Taurus.”
The two bands crossed paths during Zeppelin’s first US tour, which saw the future rock legends open for Vanilla Fudge and Spirit, and that’s where the Los Angeles band claims Jimmy Page was exposed to “Taurus.”
Spirit founding bassist Mark Andes and the trust that handles California’s royalties are working with Phladelphia lawyer Francis Alexander Malofiy, who says he is going to file a copyright infringement lawsuit and seek an injunction to block the rerelease of “Led Zeppelin IV” (as part of that band’s expanded reissue series, which starts next month).
“The idea behind this is to make sure that Randy California is given a writing credit on Stairway To Heaven,” says Malofiy. “It’s been a long time coming.”
This certainly is not the first time Jimmy Page has been accused of stealing songs. One instance that pops to mind is back in 2010, when American folk singer Jake Holmes claimed he wrote the classic Zeppelin tune Dazed and Confused. His authorship has been widely cited for years, but there is a separate copyright for the Zeppelin version. The case was later dismissed.
Just so you can get an idea of what the lawsuit is based on, take a second and listen to both songs:
The part that sounds kinda like Stairway starts around 0:43, if you’re impatient.
You can certainly hear the similarities. The Zeppelin reissues are a pretty big deal, and they’re set to drop on June 3. It’ll be interesting to see if that gets delayed at all.