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Ripped by Zeppelin ?


gardo
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[video=youtube;JyvLsutfI5M]

 

And now I read in this morning's paper the latest on a lawsuit claiming that the acoustic guitar line

on "Stairway to Heaven" was ripped of from

"Taurus" by Spirit.

[video=youtube;gFHLO_2_THg]

 

What Thinkest Thou ?

Edited by gardo
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When I heard this story last week I immediately dismissed it, since (I assumed) there was no way anyone could have missed "Stairway" for 40+ years. I 've never heard (or even heard of) that Spirit track before, but if I had heard it in passing I would have assumed it was a stylized Stairway cover ...

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Led Zeppelin did plagiarize a lot of things, plain and simple. You just get a lot of people trying to deny or justify it because there are a lot of fanboys.

 

However, Stairway to Heaven was not plagiarized. It only has the same chord progression in the beginning, and Page did have permission to use it. Also, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You was accidental. Both Page and Plant were fans of Joan Baez, she had her own rendition of that song that inspired the Zeppelin version. Baez originally had that song credited as traditional though it had been written by Anne Bredon.

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Of course he ripped it (stairway) off.....lol.....come on....it's obvious.....the opening notes are nearly identical as is the feel of the whole thing. It's not a chord progression....it's a single note melody line...and that is protected by copyright. And that melody line is the basis of the entire first half of the song. Plus part of copy right infringement is proving that the accused had access too the original source material before they accused released theirs. Zep opened for spirit on their first US tour in 68 or 69...something like that.....of course stairway was 71 so it's not even a debate.

 

It's the same crap he tried to pull with Jake Holmes and Dazed and Confused. Not to mention all the other cases Zep has lost.

 

Randy California's estate is apparently saying they want him to be "properly credited" but I suspect Zep's lawyers/record company will do just what they did with Jake Holmes. Throw a big pile of money in their face....get them to sign over the rights to the song (without having to give a writing credit) and make the whole thing go away. I don't know who's behind "randy california's estate"....but I suspect if it's family or something...they are just seeing this as a cash grab. I'd be very surprised if they hold out for a complete writing credit...which would be profitable obviously...but probably in a much slower way than just getting a great one time payout. Obviously California never cared about it when he was alive but that doesn't change the fact page took it.

 

As for Page...I'll say what I always say about him....

 

His original contributions to music can in NO WAY whatsoever be denied or UNDER stated......the man is unquestionably one of the most important people in rock history.....BUT that does not change the fact that he, consciously or not, blatantly ripped A LOT of people off and made heaps of cash while doing it.

 

And I don't under state "consciously or not".......I can totally believe that he wrote some of those songs and didn't realize where the "inspiration" had come from.....hell it's happened to me.....think you have a cool riff and then bam...it hits you...."oh yeah that song"....lol....But do I believe that happened to him as many times as it seems it has? LOL...no way.....on at least some of those he knew what he was doing...lol...and he got (is getting) busted.

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Of course he ripped it (stairway) off.....lol.....come on....it's obvious.....the opening notes are nearly identical as is the feel of the whole thing. It's not a chord progression....it's a single note melody line...and that is protected by copyright. And that melody line is the basis of the entire first half of the song. Plus part of copy right infringement is proving that the accused had access too the original source material before they accused released theirs. Zep opened for spirit on their first US tour in 68 or 69...something like that.....of course stairway was 71 so it's not even a debate.

 

 

Moot point, as Page actually did have permission for this one. Just people like to bring Stairway into the plagiarism discussion since it's arguably their best known song.

 

But I otherwise agree with you, its a shame that Page (and Plant for that matter) plagiarized as much as he did when he's proven how creative he can be.

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Here's an article from Forbes on the pending lawsuit if you want more info.

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdecherney/2014/05/21/not-too-late-for-a-lawsuit-against-led-zeppelins-stairway-to-heaven/

 

I think there was an influence but not enough to call it infringement. Nothing is completely original we are always building on someone else's foundation,as Dr Scottie pointed out

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Moot point, as Page actually did have permission for this one. Just people like to bring Stairway into the plagiarism discussion since it's arguably their best known song.

 

But I otherwise agree with you, its a shame that Page (and Plant for that matter) plagiarized as much as he did when he's proven how creative he can be.

 

 

Where do you get that he had permission? The only thing I see from Randy California is this quote

 

People always ask me why "Stairway to Heaven" sounds exactly like "Taurus", which was released two years earlier. I know Led Zeppelin also played "Fresh Garbage" in their live set. They opened up for us on their first American tour.

 

That's not permission. If there is a source you're seeing that I haven't found please share. Cause I haven't found it yet. Plus I think the estate's lawyers wouldn't waste time bringing a suit if there was permission given.

Edited by soundcreation
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I think it's possible for two people to come up with similar things independent of each other. That being said, I wish Jimmy would've given source credit to a lot of songs on his first album. I think Zeppelin definitely made all those tracks "there own," and even Jeff Beck and others were doing there versions of old blues songs. And all those artists eventually found their own voice, and the only reason they are getting {censored} now is because they were very successful on their own right and everybody still knows them years later.

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Where do you get that he had permission? The only thing I see from Randy California is this quote

 

People always ask me why "Stairway to Heaven" sounds exactly like "Taurus", which was released two years earlier. I know Led Zeppelin also played "Fresh Garbage" in their live set. They opened up for us on their first American tour.

 

That's not permission. If there is a source you're seeing that I haven't found please share. Cause I haven't found it yet. Plus I think the estate's lawyers wouldn't waste time bringing a suit if there was permission given.

 

 

It was a Randy California interview I had read, where the interviewer had asked about the intro to Stairway to Heaven. He stated that Jimmy Page did ask and he gave permission. I am trying to find it, but now I find the first few pages of results for Randy California have to do with this lawsuit lol. However, upon reading some recent statements from Randy California it seems his attitude about had changed before his death.

 

Also, just because something is legitimate enough doesn't always prevent lawsuits later if there is enough money involved.

 

At any rate, I won't feel sorry for Zeppelin if they lose the case, even if they were in the right. Sometimes karma is a b*tch.

Edited by DarkHorseJ27
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Trouble is, unlike the Tull example above, there is very little similarity between the two songs, just one little descending walk that is similar, that's all.

And I say this as a Spirit fan ( Fresh Garbage and Mr Skin being among my all time favorites).

This is more about families and lawyers in modern litigious culture than it is about Musicology.

Unfortunately the "Men at Work" case set a bad example, now everyone is a laughing Kookaburra

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I think that one thing that many people from outside the UK don't realise is the vinyl culture of the late 50s and 60s UK music scene.

 

It all started when US servicemen started bringing in vinyl from the US, skiffle n stuff, then a lot of black blues musicians stare6td touring the Uk while the Civil Rights move,ment was going on in the US, Northern Soul was booming in Wigan and Manchester, and people like Page were nipping in and out of houses listenbing to hundreds of 7" and 12" records, drinking, getting stoned and then sitting down with a guitar and remembering riffs, runs and all kinds of stuff.

 

They also didn't have the internet, thus no way of even trying to remember where the stuff in their heads came from

 

By the time Page had even struck his first chord in a band called Led Zeppelin he was hot property in the session musician scene.

 

All of this stuff was of it's time.

 

If Randy C felt the need to get pissed about Stairway he had 26 years to pipe up....he didn't.

 

If Jimmy was influenced by that descending bass line and remembers it was Taurus, then man up and say thanks for the influence Randy.

 

But this case imho is fed with sour grapes, and envy.

 

The winners will be lawyers

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I think that one thing that many people from outside the UK don't realise is the vinyl culture of the late 50s and 60s UK music scene.

 

It all started when US servicemen started bringing in vinyl from the US, skiffle n stuff, then a lot of black blues musicians stare6td touring the Uk while the Civil Rights move,ment was going on in the US, Northern Soul was booming in Wigan and Manchester, and people like Page were nipping in and out of houses listenbing to hundreds of 7" and 12" records, drinking, getting stoned and then sitting down with a guitar and remembering riffs, runs and all kinds of stuff.

 

They also didn't have the internet, thus no way of even trying to remember where the stuff in their heads came from

 

By the time Page had even struck his first chord in a band called Led Zeppelin he was hot property in the session musician scene.

 

All of this stuff was of it's time.

 

If Randy C felt the need to get pissed about Stairway he had 26 years to pipe up....he didn't.

 

If Jimmy was influenced by that descending bass line and remembers it was Taurus, then man up and say thanks for the influence Randy.

 

But this case imho is fed with sour grapes, and envy.

 

The winners will be lawyers

 

 

Randy is gone and now people are looking back and possibly even re-writing history because there is money to be made.

Perhaps at one time it was the love of music that pushed people but now it is often the lure of money pulling them.

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I think that one thing that many people from outside the UK don't realise is the vinyl culture of the late 50s and 60s UK music scene.

 

It all started when US servicemen started bringing in vinyl from the US, skiffle n stuff, then a lot of black blues musicians stare6td touring the Uk while the Civil Rights move,ment was going on in the US, Northern Soul was booming in Wigan and Manchester, and people like Page were nipping in and out of houses listenbing to hundreds of 7" and 12" records, drinking, getting stoned and then sitting down with a guitar and remembering riffs, runs and all kinds of stuff.

 

They also didn't have the internet, thus no way of even trying to remember where the stuff in their heads came from

 

By the time Page had even struck his first chord in a band called Led Zeppelin he was hot property in the session musician scene.

 

All of this stuff was of it's time.

 

If Randy C felt the need to get pissed about Stairway he had 26 years to pipe up....he didn't.

 

If Jimmy was influenced by that descending bass line and remembers it was Taurus, then man up and say thanks for the influence Randy.

 

But this case imho is fed with sour grapes, and envy.

 

The winners will be lawyers

 

See that's one of my big problems with Page though. I am quite willing to agree it could have been honest "mistakes" of not remembering where something came from until after the fact. You're totally right about the times and the way things were absorbed. But in all these cases he's never come out and just said...'yep....I f...ked up"....He's never manned up.

 

Now......that MAY even be his record company/lawyers telling him to zip it and not comment under any circumstances....hell...he may even be contractually obligated not to say sh...t......but seriously...considering the shear number of cases....this is a LOT of benefits of the doubt I'm giving him here. To many to be believable in all these cases.

 

Again...given that it's the "estate" bringing this case.....I don't see sour grapes and envy.....just greed.

 

still though...doesn't change the fact they are going to "win" this case, cause page DID obviously rip it off.

 

 

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Come on. Its a massive rip. I have heard cover bands be further away from the original.
Exactly. I don't understand the posters who mention things like "descending bass lines", et cetera, unless they are just trolling from a generic standpoint. We are not talking about chord progressions or a riff here. These are the same notes, in the same key, at the same tempo. They wouldn't even let you play this at a guitar shop ...
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Zep raped some of the original artists hard on songwriting credit. Too bad the first 50 seconds of the Taurus song suxx.....if it started off with the single note line that Page clearly pilfered, either R. California would have been a millionaire 40 years ago, or "Stairway" from Zep would have never existed in the first place, as it was a song that already existed.

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I did not even realize that Randy California had died. That to me is more upsetting than all the rest of this crap. Saw him on Spirit's first Houston appearance and man were they great...Saw him again after Spirit broke up and he was out on his own and he absolutely mesmerized me. So creative...Don't really care about the lawsuits, just really sad about not knowing the man had passed away...

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still though...doesn't change the fact they are going to "win" this case, cause page DID obviously rip it off.

 

 

SC, I've played both of those to two classical musicians. one a classical guitarist, the other a Moscow Conservatoire trained pianist.

 

Both agree the section in question is entirely NOT unique, and has occurred in music going back to the every first stringed instruments, so even when Randy played it, he ripped it..........I think most musicians apart from people like Zapp, Vai and Satch would struggle to prove that the way they strung notes together was entirely unique and there composition alone

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Exactly. I don't understand the posters who mention things like "descending bass lines", et cetera, unless they are just trolling from a generic standpoint. We are not talking about chord progressions or a riff here. These are the same notes, in the same key, at the same tempo. They wouldn't even let you play this at a guitar shop ...

 

Sorry but theyre just not, get too competent guitrsists to sit side by side and play those pieces, same notes, same key, same temp in front of an audience, and they'll get called {censored} for not playing the same piece and being out of key and time.

 

Similar, yes, identical, not close

 

Edited by Ratae Corieltauvorum
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