As expected by all intelligent people, British Legends Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” is not a copy of “Taurus” by American Sixties rock band Spirit. This decision was made by an eight-person Californian jury on Thursday June 23th 2016.
“Stairway to heaven” is a beacon from the past for generations to come: a landmark in music history.
“Taurus” is a very nice instrumental on Spirit’s self-titled debut album.
During the trial music experts made clear what every one can hear: the beginning of both songs is just a chromatic descending arpeggiated scale that skips the E note. This is a common musical element and more importantly is in the public domain. The defense argued that it has been used by many groups and composers, e.g. The Beatles and Mary Poppins.
The trial was started by greedy lowlife Francis Malofiy (reads like “Mala Fide” and clearly hints to Malfoy, one of the bad character’s in the Harry Potter series, an irritating person who tries to manipulate people but fails at the end).
At one point Malofiy questioned Page over whether or not “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins influenced the making of the iconic Stairway. They even played a bit of “Chim Chim Cher-ee” in the courtroom, which caused Page to smile. Judge Gary Klausner however was not so amused and told Malofiy, “you’re wasting a lot of time.”
Spirit hasn’t been fighting with logic. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have hired Francis Malofiy. If Cersei Lannister were to have a child with Saul Goodman, Malofiy would be the toxic result. – Austin Faulds
Michael Skidmore, trustee for Randy Wolfe, the late singer/guitarist of the band Spirit reiterated this point and said, “If the jury had heard ‘Taurus,’ the sound recording, we would have won the case. They were limited to looking at a piece of paper.” He continued, “We got the access, we got the trust’s okay, we weren’t allowed to tell them the money [awarded from the suit] goes to charity. It was all skewed in Led Zeppelin’s favor. All I can say is money talks louder than common sense. We did the right thing. We tried to carry on Randy’s legacy … We had a small team versus multinational corporations. I think we did a really good job.” Or how many lies can one invent to prove his own rights …
The true spirit of musicianship has survived. Let’s continue to give the world nice tunes, which probably will sound alike in some way, because after all, there are only seven notes to deal with.
It is worthwhile mentioning that Frankie-Boy Malofiy, who is currently fighting suspension in Philadelphia federal court (!), was censured for ‘outrageous’ and ‘unprofessional’ behavior in the past, and again during this trial he behaved in a flagrantly unprofessional and offensive manner, triggering more than 100 sustained objections and multiple verbal lashings from U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner.
After his bad performance, plaintiff attorney Francis Malofiy stated boldly and as ever stupidly: “They won on a technicality. We proved access. We proved they had access to the music, but [the jury] never heard the music.” hinting to the fact that a studio recording of Spirit’s “Taurus” wasn’t played during the hearing. “So the jury’s sitting there with basically blinders on without ever having the opportunity of hearing the evidence at issue.”
So Stairway to Heaven remains the “song of hope”, as Robert Plant always sang.
I think a last note has to go to Jimmy and Robert, who remained their calm and proved once again how extremely professional they are, whitty and charming as always. They gave no quarter to Malofiy. It was a rare public reunion for the three surviving Led Zeppelin bandmates. Let’s hope they make a nice song about it.
For further listening: Rainson Zeppelin made this nice compilation of interesting similarities. Or have a run through this nice compilation.