Led Zeppelin sued over rock masterpiece

Photo: Tony Morelli.

Led Zeppelin performing in Chicago in 1975.

Rock band Led Zeppelin are being accused of lifting another band’s music.


Members from the Los Angeles band Spirit are alleging that the band lifted the opening riffs of the classic hit Stairway to Heaven from their 1968 instrumental piece Taurus.

Legal representative Francis Alexander Malofiy confirmed a report in Bloomberg Businessweek saying that a copyright lawsuit is in the works. Malofiy declined to give details.

Spirit’s founding bassist, Mark Andes, and the trust that manages royalties for the band’s guitarist, Randy California, who died in 1997, are said to be the complainants.

Prog-Rock/Psychedelic band Spirit and Brit Rock group Led Zeppelin were on a US tour together in 1969.

A year later, in 1970, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is said to have started writing Stairway to Heaven while staying at a remote cottage in Wales.

The legendary song was recorded and released the following year, and ever since it has been widely regarded as one of the greatest rock tunes of all time.

Bloomberg Businessweek stated that the eight-minute song had earned $562m as of 2008.

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