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Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” Case Headed To Appeals Court

The "Stairway To Heaven" plagiarism saga is not over yet for Led Zeppelin.

Attorneys for the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy California have appealed last year's federal court ruling that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were not guilty of copying Spirit's "Taurus" for opening portion of "Stairway."

The new suit has been filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and maintains that it's "quite clear" Page based "Stairway's" opening passage on "Taurus."

Attorney Francis Malofiy writes that the case deserves appeal because "the trial court refused to the jury hear the full and complete composition of 'Taurus' embodied in the sound recordings that Jimmy Page possessed, instead limiting the comparison to an outline of the 'Taurus' composition in the deposit copy lead sheet...the jury was asked to render a verdict without a key instruction that describes the relationship"

Malofiy did establish during the original trial that because they played on the same concert bills during the late 60s Led Zeppelin had access to Spirit and to "Taurus."

The appeals court is waiting for a response from the Led Zeppelin camp before deciding whether or not to accept the case.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.