Make us your home page
Instagram

Jury: Led Zeppelin didn't steal 'Stairway to Heaven' riff

From left, Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page are shown in 2012 at the "Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day" premiere in New York. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Page and Plant were named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit.  [Associated Press file photo]

From left, Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page are shown in 2012 at the "Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day" premiere in New York. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Page and Plant were named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit. [Associated Press file photo]

The Latest:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles jury has decided the band Led Zeppelin did not steal the opening to its classic anthem "Stairway to Heaven."

The federal jury reached its verdict Thursday, settling a point that music fans have debated for decades but didn't find its way to court until two years ago.

The trust for the late songwriter Randy Wolfe claimed Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant stole a riff from Wolfe's 1968 instrumental "Taurus" recorded with the band Spirit.

Page, Plant and bassist John Paul Jones all testified in the case, providing anecdotes about the 1971 creation of "Stairway to Heaven."

Experts who testified for the trust said the two songs bear striking similarities, while defense experts said they shared a common musical building block.

The lawsuit said Led Zeppelin had a history of ripping off works by other songwriters and had settled at least six other copyright cases.

Jury: Led Zeppelin didn't steal 'Stairway to Heaven' riff 06/23/16 [Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2016 2:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 20

    Events

    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill: It's been 20 years since the country music star couple started touring together, first on McGraw's solo tours and then on their record-breaking Soul2Soul tours. Now, ten years after the last Soul2Soul tour they're back on the road with opener, LoCash. 7:30 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 …

    Handout photo of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill performing in New Orleans on their 2017 Soul2Soul World Tour. Credit: Becky Fluke
  2. Dia de los Muertos celebration in Dunedin canceled this year by hurricane

    Events

    Chalk up one more closure to Hurricane Irma: The huge Dia de los Muertos Fiesta originally planned for Saturday in Dunedin has been scrapped for what would have been its 25th year.

    At last year’s Dia de los Muertos, Casa Tina owner Tina Marie Avila (crouching) shows her “Ofrenda,” or Day of the Dead alter. What would have been the 25th annual Dia de los Muertos Fiesta on Saturday had to be canceled this year because of Hurricane Irma. The folk festival will be back next year.
JIM DAMASKE   |   Times (2016)
  3. 'Only the Brave' honors sacrifice of front line firefighters amid California wildfires

    Movies

    No one knew that the release date for the forest firefighting movie Only the Brave' would coincide with one of the most destructive wildfires in California history.

    Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller), Chris MacKenzie (Taylor Kitsch), plan to do the backburn at the Chiricahua Mtn. fireline in  ONLY THE BRAVE. (Columbia Pictures)
  4. 'The Snowman' has a star-studded cast based on a blockbuster murder novel, but it's a mess

    Movies

    Mr. Alfredson, you could have saved it. We gave you all the tools — a star-studded cast, a blockbuster best-selling Scandinavian murder novel by Jo Nesbo, and three time Oscar winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker. So why is The Snowman such a jumbled nonsensical mess?

    Michael Fassbender in "The Snowman." (Universal Pictures)  1213107