Led Zeppelin bassist rejects ‘Stairway’ plagiarism claim


LOS ANGELES: Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones appeared in court Friday to reject allegations that his band mates had plagiarized an obscure instrumental rock song for their iconic hit “Stairway to Heaven.” Robert Plant, 67, and Jimmy Page, 72, are being sued amid claims they stole the anthem’s melancholic opening guitar arpeggio from “Taurus,” from the first album of long-defunct LA psychedelic rock band Spirit. Jones, 70, told the Los Angeles jury on the fourth day of a federal copyright infringement lawsuit he had no recollection of ever hearing Spirit. Spirit guitarist Randy California, who penned “Taurus,” long maintained he deserved a songwriting credit for “Stairway” but never took legal action and drowned in Hawaii in 1997. A lawsuit filed by his trustee and friend Michael Skidmore two years ago seeks damages and claims California deserves a songwriting credit so that he can “take his place as an author of rock’s greatest song.”



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