In Court, Jimmy Page Denies Ripping Off Spirit For 'Stairway To Heaven' Opening Riff
June 16, 2016 at 6:47 AM (PT)
For his part, JIMMY PAGE says that he did not plagiarize the opening riff of "Stairway to Heaven" from SPIRIT's 1968 song "Taurus," and he testified to that effect in court WEDNESDAY (6/15), reports the LOS ANGELES TIMES.
Under questioning from the attorney for the estate of SPIRIT's RANDY CALIFORNIA, the LED ZEPPELIN guitarist said that he had not heard "Taurus" until alerted to it in recent years by online allegations of copying, despite SPIRIT sharing concert bills with LED ZEPPELIN before "Stairway" was released. But PAGE admitted that he owned a copy of SPIRIT's record among his large LP collection.
Also testifying was SPIRIT's bassist MARK ANDES, who could not definitively recall any shows at which SPIRIT played "Taurus" while LED ZEPPELIN was watching. An eight-member jury will decide whether the songs are substantially similar enough to constitute infringement, which, if proven, would lead to damages covering royalties due to CALIFORNIA from "Stairway."