Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Will NOT Testify at the “Stairway to Heaven” Plagiarism Trial

Sorry, Zep watchers, but counsel for Messers Plant and Page (along with John Paul Jones, who had nothing to do with the writing of the song) have let it be known that neither will testify in the “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism trial set to start in Los Angeles on May 10. The trial, pitting “Stairway” against passages in a 1967 instrumental called “Taurus” by Spirit.  Jury selection begins May 10 and is expected to last four or five days.

Quick, huh? There’s a reason for that, though.  Bloomberg reports the following:

The trial over whether Led Zeppelin stole the opening riff of “Stairway to Heaven” from a 1967 instrumental will be quick and focused and won’t include testimony about the band’s drinking and drug use, a federal judge said.

Each side will get 10 hours to argue its case before a Los Angeles jury next month, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said in court Monday. He tentatively granted most requests by lawyers for band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, as well as record labels, to exclude evidence they claim would be irrelevant or prejudicial.

Many of the proposed witnesses would be repetitive and unnecessary, the judge said, adding that his time restrictions will be force the lawyers to present a clearer, more focused case to the jurors.“If you use up your 10 hours, you’re out — that’s it,” the judge said.

“If you use up your 10 hours, you’re out — that’s it,” the judge said.

LA correspondent, Pamela Chelin, will be covering the trial from start to finish. She supplied me with a list of exhibits expected to be brought fourth, a document that runs 393 pages. The most interesting items are audio recordings that compare the two compositions. The witness list (which runs 36 pages) features a variety of expert witnesses, including a musicologist who will hold forth on the two pieces of music.

This is gonna be interesting.

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

5 thoughts on “Jimmy Page and Robert Plant Will NOT Testify at the “Stairway to Heaven” Plagiarism Trial

  • April 26, 2016 at 10:29 am
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    There are a few similarities, but to my ears, as a musician, the two songs are really nothing alike.

    Reply
  • April 26, 2016 at 11:50 am
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    As a lifelong guitar player , it could go either way. Bell’s telephone patent beat Gray by a few minutes, but he didn’t steal it.

    Reply
  • May 2, 2016 at 3:44 am
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    melody is close, but jimmy page’s talent with the guitar. closed the melody to make it carry onword. page closed the opening melody which he might have heard on the airwaves radio, ( but greensleeves has many versions also. classic and jeff beck. remember page was in the yardbirds) innovators in the 60″s robert plant was the voice to carry the melody into the anthem state. the innerworks of heartfelt melody is a fullilling of the poetic artists work. stairway is stepped to a heaven working towatd the goal was created by the play artists to reach that platform
    its the song created by artists, feeling innerworkings of the souls being. after all i feel it is a masterwork and wish zepplin, page, plant all the best for creation of it and its lyrics as well.a medely for the agesAnne Cook, San Diego.Cal. enjoying the music? forever, great, great, great, great uncle was mozarts teacher
    I love heartfelt music.

    Reply

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