Robert Plant Testifies About Writing “Stairway to Heaven”: “Jimmy Page and I Sat by the Fire”

This article from Guitar World has some fascinating and profound implications for copyrights, law suits and intellectual property. It is the kind of scenario that every content creator should be aware of.

EXCERPT:  Robert Plant …800px-Led_Zeppelin_2007 took the stand Tuesday, June 21, at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Los Angeles, becoming the last surviving member of Led Zeppelin to testify in the trial to determine whether the band plagiarized the 1968 Spirit song “Taurus.”

… Plant recalled for the court how he and Page had worked on “Stairway to Heaven” at Headley Grange, a former poorhouse in Hampshire, England where the band rehearsed and recorded some of their early tracks. His testimony provided a glimpse into the early stages of the song, when Page first played for him its opening passage, a descending arpeggiated chromatic line that the plaintiff, Michael Skidmore, believes is copied from “Taurus.”

“One evening, Jimmy Page and I sat by the fire going over bits and pieces,” Plant said, explaining that he would go off alone to his room with a notepad to develop the melody and lyrics. He testified that he had been working on a couplet of “the natural, old, almost unspoken” culture of the Welsh countryside. “It seemed like a good fit for the song,” he said.

***

PHOTO: A reunited Led Zeppelin in December 2007 at The O2 in London for the Ahmet Ertegün tribute show. From left to right: John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page. On drums is Jason Bonham, the son of the deceased John Bonham.   CREDIT: By p_a_h from United Kingdom – flickr.com, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3251626

 

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