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 Post subject: Robert Plant 'can't remember' (lawsuit over Stairway riff)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:33 pm 
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Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant 'can't remember' watching band who accuse him of stealing Stairway to Heaven riff
Led Zeppelin star Robert Plant told a court a serious car crash left him with memory loss
On the same night in 1970 he saw American band Spirit perform
He claims he can't remember the show at Birmingham's Mothers club
And added he 'can't recall almost anyone' to the jury in Los Angeles
He and Jimmy Page are accused of stealing the riff for Stairway to Heaven from Spirit song Taurus
Scroll down for video comparing the songs of the two bands
By PRESS ASSOCIATION and MAILONLINE REPORTER

PUBLISHED: 22:57 EST, 21 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:50 EST, 22 June 2016

Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant has told a court a serious car crash left him with no memory of watching the band accusing him of copying their song to compose Stairway to Heaven.

The frontman and guitarist Jimmy Page are being sued in a copyright dispute brought by the American band Spirit, who claim the classic 1971 hit was 'lifted' from their instrumental track Taurus.

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe - known as Randy California - who drowned in 1997 having never taken legal action over the song.


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Memory loss: Robert Plant told a court in LA that a serious car accident had affected his memory on the night he saw Spirit. He and Jimmy Page are accused of stealing the riff in Stairway to Heaven from that band

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Page (left) of Led Zeppelin laid down the guitar parts for Stairway To Heaven
But it is now claimed that the notes in the song's opening bars were in fact written by Randy California, right


Plant, 67, told the federal court in Los Angeles that he could not remember watching Spirit at Birmingham's Mothers club in 1970 after he was involved in a serious car crash with his wife that night.

'I can't recall Spirit or anybody else playing there with the passing of time,' he said.

'I don't have a recollection of mostly anyone I've met,' Plant added, prompting laughter in the courtroom.

The veteran rock star told the court his wife suffered a fractured skull in the crash.

'Part of the windshield buried in the top of my head, which was interesting,' he said. 'I don't remember a thing.'

Plant, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie, with his hair tied back in a ponytail, told the jury he could not remember playing snooker with a member of Spirit after the gig at Mothers club.

'I did have a bad car accident,' he said. 'I don't remember seeing Spirit. I don't remember playing snooker.'

Spirit bassist Mark Andes said he played a game with Plant after the show, but the singer questioned how he could be expected to remember one man he has not seen in 40 years.

Plant did remember how he wrote the lyrics to Stairway To Heaven, after Page had played some of the song to him at the country manor house Headley Grange in Hampshire.


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Rock legends: Plant (left) and Page perform at the Live Aid concert at Philadelphia's J.F.K. Stadium in 1985

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Randy California's old band Spirit on stage in 1969, around the time they say that Led Zeppelin would have heard them playing their song Taurus, which it is claimed that Page took the guitar riff from

'That particularly evening I sat with Jimmy by the fire,' he told the court.

'He began playing. I had these couple of lyrics which fit with what he was playing.

'I was trying to bring in the beauty and remoteness of pastoral Britain.

'It developed into something I could not imagine.'

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Jimmy Page (shown sitting in court on Tuesday) admitted that he 'liked' Spirit in the late 1960s but he only became aware of the song Taurus in recent years

And Plant said he did not think it was a 'problem' that Led Zeppelin covered other bands, including Spirit, at their early gigs in the late 1960s.

'In the nest of rock and rhythm and blues, there has always been cross-pollination,' he said.

Page and Plant have attended each day of the copyright infringement trial, which is expected to conclude this week.

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In an earlier hearing Page (left) insisting he'd never heard the track he is accused of copying
The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe - known as Randy California - who drowned in 1997 having never taken legal action over the song

Page, 72, previously told the court he had not heard of Taurus until his son-in-law showed him a comparison with Stairway To Heaven on the internet a few years ago.

He gave evidence for a second time in the trial as he was questioned about the origins of Stairway To Heaven.

He said: 'The original concept I had was for a piece of music that would basically go through many moods and changes.

'Robert and I were so in sync with musical composition at that time.

'All the time the thing is accelerating and getting more intense.'



CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE? 'TAURUS' VS 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN'

Earlier, Timothy Gardner, a consultant with Joan Hudson and Co Accountants, told the court that Stairway To Heaven had earned Page revenue of 615,000 dollars (£421,000) and Plant 532,000 dollars (£364,000) before tax following a 2008 music deal.

David Worihaye, chief financial officer at Led Zeppelin's record label Rhino Entertainment, said the song had earned the company more than three million dollars (£2.05 million) in revenue and nearly 870,000 dollars (£595,000) in net profit since May 2011.

Economist Michael Einhorn previously told jurors that Page and Plant had received 58.5 million dollars (£40 million) from Stairway and their other Led Zeppelin works since May 2011.

Page said he decided to record at Headley Grange after hearing Fleetwood Mac had rehearsed at the estate.

The Zeppelin duo had asked Judge R Gary Klausner to throw out the case, but he refused and both songs have been played to the jury.

The earliest surviving recording of Stairway To Heaven from Headley Grange and the final 1971 track was played to the court.

The case continues.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3653608/Robert-Plant-remember-watching-US-band-Led-Zeppelin-accused-copying.html

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I'm sure she still wakes up in cold sweats and night terrors of Peyton's wrinkly ball sack pitter-pattering on her forehead.


Last edited by StillMadAtSlobber on Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Plant 'can't remember' (lawsuit over Stairway rif
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:26 pm 
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3656853/Jury-finds-Led-Zeppelin-did-not-steal-riff-Stairway.html

Quote:
Led Zeppelin did not steal a riff from an obscure 1960s instrumental tune to use for the introduction of its classic rock anthem 'Stairway to Heaven,' a federal court jury decided Thursday.

The verdict in Los Angeles settles a point that music fans have debated for decades but didn't find its way to court until two years ago, when the trustee for the late Randy Craig Wolfe filed a copyright lawsuit.

The trust claimed that Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page lifted a passage that Wolfe, better known as Randy California, wrote for 'Taurus,' a short work he recorded with his band Spirit in 1968.

JURY RULED ZEPPELIN DIDN'T RIP OFF SPIRIT - BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Both 'Stairway to Heaven' and 'Taurus' contain guitar riffs in A minor that begin with arpeggiated, finger-picked chord progressions. Both use chromatic, descending bass lines - but so do many other songs, including the Beatles tunes 'Michelle' and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.'


Page and singer Robert Plant showed little emotion as the verdict was read then hugged their lawyers.

Jurors found the trust had cleared a few hurdles, including that Page and Plant had 'access' to 'Taurus,' meaning they would have been familiar with it.

Trust attorney Francis Malofiy said he was sad and disappointed by the jury's decision.

'The reality is that we proved access, but they could never hear what they had access to,' Malofiy said. 'It's bizarre.'

In trying to show the works were substantially similar, the trust had the tricky task of relying on sheet music because that's what is filed with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Jurors were not played the 'Taurus' recording, which contains a section that sounds very similar to the instantly recognizable start of 'Stairway.'

Instead, they were played guitar and piano renditions by musicians on both sides of the case. Not surprisingly, the plaintiff's version on guitar sounded more like 'Stairway' than the defense version on piano.

Page and Plant, who wrote the 'Stairway' lyrics, said their creation was an original. In several hours of often-animated and amusing testimony, they described the craft behind one of rock's best-known songs, all the while denying knowledge of one of the genre's least-known tunes.

Plant cracked up the courtroom when said he didn't remember most people he had hung out with over the years.

In closing arguments, Malofiy criticized Page and Plant's 'selective' memories and 'convenient' truths on the witness stand.

Experts for both sides dissected both compositions, agreeing mainly that they shared a descending chord progression that dates back three centuries as a building block in lots of songs.

The trust's experts, however, went further and noted several other similarities that made the two works unlike the many other tunes they were compared to, including 'My Funny Valentine,' and The Beatles' 'Michelle.'

Led Zeppelin's lawyer said the trust didn't own the copyright and that the plaintiff failed to prove a case that should have been brought more than 40 years ago when Wolfe was alive and Page and singer Robert Plant would have had better memories.

OTHER SONGS THAT LED ZEPPELIN HAVE BEEN ACCUSED OF STEALING
'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' was based on Joan Baez's adaption of the song by the same name, which was originally written by folk singer Anne Bredon. The song was originally credited to just Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, but is now credited to Anne Bredon, Page, and Plant.

'Dazed and Confused' is a song off Led Zeppelin's first album, which was based on a song by Jake Holmes. Holmes sued the band in 2010 and the song is now credited as 'Jimmy Page, inspired by Jake Holmes.'

'Whole Lotta Love' was lyrically inspired by the track 'You Need Love,' popularized by Muddy Waters and written Willie Dixon. Credits for the song were altered to include Dixon.

'The Lemon Song' was inspired by 'Killing Floor' by Howling Wolf, but the band originally didn't give credit to the blues legend. After a lawsuit, credits for the song were altered to include Chester Arthur Burnett, Wolf's real name.

'How can you wait a half century and criticize people ... 45 years later for the delay you caused?' Peter Anderson said. 'They should have sued in 1972.'

Wolfe, who drowned in 1997 saving his son at a beach in Hawaii, had spoken with lawyers over the years about suing, but they never took on the case because it was old, said Glen Kulik another lawyer for the trust. A Supreme Court ruling in 2014 over the movie 'Raging Bull' opened the door to bring a copyright case at any time with damages only dating back three years and continuing into the future.

Malofiy asked jurors to give Wolfe a songwriting credit and millions of dollars in damages, though he didn't provide a specific figure. The defense said record label profits from the past five years were $868,000, but Anderson reminded jurors that only a fraction of the eight-minute song was being challenged.

The trial took jurors and lucky observers who managed to pack into the courtroom on a musical journey through the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Spirit, a California psychedelic group that blended jazz and rock was achieving stardom as the hard-rocking British band was being founded.

Stops on the tour of testimony included Spirit shows at 'love-ins' during the 'Summer of Love,' Led Zeppelin's U.S. debut as an opening act for Spirit and Vanilla Fudge in Denver in December 1968 and, finally, to a country house in the south of England where Page, Plant and bassist John Paul Jones described how 'Stairway' was born.


Page said his ambition was to write a song that would accelerate to a crescendo and he first shared the opening with keyboardist and bassist John Paul Jones to get an ally in his scheme.

Singer Robert Plant said he was sitting by the fire at Headley Grange in the spring of 1970, when Page played the intro on acoustic guitar and he offered the start of a couplet he had been working on: 'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold/and she's buying a stairway to heaven.'

Jurors never heard a note from Page or Plant live, but they were treated to lo-fi vintage recordings of the band creating the song, renditions on guitar and piano by other musicians and, finally, the full recording of one of rock's most enduring anthems.

Page, 72, bobbed his head and moved to the tune while Plant, 67, sat still. Both men wore sharp suits, white shirts and ties throughout the trial and had their hair pulled back in neat ponytails.

They didn't chat with anyone in the gallery, including several fans, and were escorted by personal bodyguards to the restroom and in and out of the federal courthouse each day. One afternoon, a group of women clapped and Page flashed a smile as the rock stars were hustled across the courthouse corridor to a private hallway.

The case is not the first time Led Zeppelin was accused of swiping another artist's work. The lawsuit listed at least six other songs in which the band reached settlements over songwriting credits for works including 'Whole Lotta Love,' 'The Lemon Song,' and 'Dazed and Confused.'

_________________
R S wrote:
I'm sure she still wakes up in cold sweats and night terrors of Peyton's wrinkly ball sack pitter-pattering on her forehead.


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 Post subject: Re: Robert Plant 'can't remember' (lawsuit over Stairway rif
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:52 pm 
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You can't rely on Nigel, he's confused...

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Plant 'can't remember' (lawsuit over Stairway rif
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:26 pm 
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Most famous cover band of all time!


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 Post subject: Re: Robert Plant 'can't remember' (lawsuit over Stairway rif
PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:55 pm 
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Led Zeppelin going to court to defend Stairway would be like a parental custody battle over a child they both hate.

They've made no secret how much they hate playing that song.

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 Post subject: Re: Robert Plant 'can't remember' (lawsuit over Stairway rif
PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:18 am 
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This is old news

Zeppelin won

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