By Annie Reuter
The long-awaited trial between Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Spirit’s “Taurus” begins today (June 14), in Los Angeles.
The estate of Randy California (aka Randy Wolfe) of Spirit brought the complaint against Led Zeppelin, citing the similarities between the intros of both songs. The estate seeks a writing credit entitling beneficiaries to future royalties. The suit claims that Led Zeppelin copied the opening of Spirit’s 1968 song “Taurus” for their 1971 hit “Stairway to Heaven.”
Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are named as defendants in the lawsuit and are due to appear in court after a judge turned down the band’s effort to have the lawsuit dismissed as “frivolous.”
However, the judge did rule in Led Zeppelin’s favor by allowing music expert Lawrence Ferrera to testify. Francis Malofiy, the attorney for California’s estate, had asked the judge to dismiss Ferrera’s testimony since the musicologist had previously been hired by Zeppelin’s publisher. There is no word on when Plant and Page will attend the trial.