Stairway to Heaven not copied by Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page

Led Zeppelin have won an action that accused them of stealing their signature song “Stairway to Heaven”.

The band was accused of copying the rock classic from a song called “Taurus”, written by Randy Wolfe.

Wolfe was a guitarist in the band Spirit.

Led Zeppelin played live with Spirit and it was claimed guitarist Jimmy Page stole the riff after hearing “Taurus”.

Page has always claimed credit for the 1971 Zeppelin track, written three years after Wolfe’s Taurus.

Wolfe died in 1997, but Michael Skidmore – a trustee of his estate – sought damages.

The US lawsuit claimed that the famous introduction to “Stairway to Heaven” was too like the riff in Taurus.

After the verdict Skidmore’s lawyer Francis Malofiy said:

“Obviously, the court got it wrong.

“This is a big loss for creators, those who copyright laws are meant to protect.”

The panel of 11 judges decided by a verdict of 9-2 for Page.

Los Angeles circuit judge Margaret McKeown said:

“This case was carefully considered by the District Court (judge) and the jury.

“The trial and appeal process has been a long climb up the Stairway to Heaven.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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