Jimmy Page Speaks Out on “Stairway” Lawsuit

Sin Nombre

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was Stairway the first song to do the slow ballad build up into a big huge distorted rocking "heavy" ending?

Bolero, by Ravell, covered many times.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrEk06XXaAw"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrEk06XXaAw[/ame]

When I was making a film in the 60s promoting the California Coastal initiative I needed a musical soundtrack that startd out soft and quiet and became louder as the film showed the development of the coastline. 'Stairway to Heaven' had just come out and I decided it was perfect so I used it. I may get sued next. :laugh2:
 

Boleskinehouse

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As Long As I Have You/Fresh Garbage bear a striking similarity to The Green Manalishi..


So really, every band from 1965 to 1982 should just go ahead and sue each other. Silly ****.
 

Mark V Guitars

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It seems like Page will end up paying for some debts in this life...one way or another. lol

Hilarious.
 

Fritz

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Who is Spirit? Aren't they that threesome who invented cheese whiz from a can - that stuff that causes body rot?

Led Zeppelin made history decades ago. Spirit? What, are we suddenly supposed to have a newfound respect for Spirit? Bwaaahahahaha!!

If Led Zeppelin stole the song from Spirit, then they should have poked their heads above the buds and coke 30-some years ago, aye?

Even if Spirit won the case, you think anyone'd actually buy a copy today?

Im'unna go back and say what is the point to all this? Led Zeppelin is the definition of rock n roll. Spirit wasn't even as good as The Monkees.

Spirit. BWAAAAAAHAAAA!!!!!! Suck a Daiquiri, you dead, washed up buffoons.
 

Mark V Guitars

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Who is Spirit? Aren't they that threesome who invented cheese whiz from a can - that stuff that causes body rot?

Led Zeppelin made history decades ago. Spirit? What, are we suddenly supposed to have a newfound respect for Spirit? Bwaaahahahaha!!

If Led Zeppelin stole the song from Spirit, then they should have poked their heads above the buds and coke 30-some years ago, aye?

Even if Spirit won the case, you think anyone'd actually buy a copy today?

Im'unna go back and say what is the point to all this? Led Zeppelin is the definition of rock n roll. Spirit wasn't even as good as The Monkees.

Spirit. BWAAAAAAHAAAA!!!!!!

I'm sure they know that by now. My guess...is it's just about the money. :rolleyes:
 

Stinky Kitty

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This whole thing would have been very different had Page's response been something like, "Sure I was exposed to it along the way, and was probably influenced by it, just like any other snippet or motif that gets passed around by musicians through the ages, like protein strands recombining the genetic information in DNA.

"And here's what we did to take it further, make something of its own, to make it ours..."

But Nuuu!
 

Sin Nombre

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This whole thing would have been very different had Page's response been something like, "Sure I was exposed to it along the way, and was probably influenced by it, just like any other snippet or motif that gets passed around by musicians through the ages, like protein strands recombining the genetic information in DNA.

"And here's what we did to take it further, make something of its own, to make it ours..."

But Nuuu!

I would imagine his barrister advised him not to admit or concede anything which could be used by the plaintiffs.
 

Midnight Blues

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Another update from Guitar Player:

Jimmy Page Questioned Over Influence of

jimmy-page-on-mary-poppins-stairway-influence.jpg


Jimmy Page Questioned Over Influence of ‘Mary Poppins’ Song on “Stairway”

BY Christopher Scapelliti


June 17, 2016

"The courtroom trial over the authorship of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” grew more contentious on Thursday, as the judge admonished the plaintiff’s attorney for “wasting time” and Jimmy Page was questioned about a recently released mix of the song that could produce royalties for the plaintiff if the case succeeds.

Significantly, an expert witness described similarities between “Stairway to Heaven” and the Spirit instrumental “Taurus” to support the plaintiff’s claim that Page plagiarized the song when composing his Led Zeppelin classic.

For the second day, Page was grilled about the influence of other songs on the creation of his 1971 composition. Francis Malofiy, the attorney for the plaintiff, had Page listen to “Taurus” before questioning him about similarities between the two recordings.

That effort proved to be in vain: The matter in the copyright infringement case concerns the underlying musical structures of the two songs, not their recorded versions. U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner sustained the numerous objections raised by Page’s attorney and grew increasingly annoyed by Malofiy’s line of questioning.

“Nobody cares,” he told Malofiy. “It’s not an issue in this case.”

Page at times seemed confused by Malofiy’s questions during a lengthy conversation about the musical structure underlying his song. In one of the more unusual moments of his testimony, Malofiy quizzed the guitarist about the influence of the tune “Chim Chim Cher-ee” on “Stairway to Heaven.” The song comes from the 1964 musical motion picture Mary Poppins.

Page had himself referred to the song in his pretrial declaration back in February:

“Before 1968, I also was familiar with other songs that included a descending line, such as songs by the Beatles and ‘Cry Me a River’ by Davey Graham. Also, in 1964 a studio musician, Joe Moretti, introduced me to the song ‘Chim Chim Chiree’ and I liked the idea of music going at counterpoint and I used that and similar ideas in my music. For example...‘Stairway to Heaven’ has a descending chromatic line over which there is also an ascending line, so that the music is going in two different directions.”

Malofiy played a portion of “Chim Chim Cher-ee” in the courtroom, bringing a smile to Page’s face.

But the attorney’s rambling line of questioning only frustrated Klausner, who warned him, “You’re wasting a lot of time.”

For the first time in the trial, the court was presented with an explanation of the music theory at issue when Malofiy called expert witness Dr. Alexander Stewart to the stand. A noted musicologist and music professor at the University of Vermont, Stewart described for the court the similarities in the musical structures underlying “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven.” The passage of concern is a descending chromatic arpeggio line, performed on acoustic guitar. It appears at the opening of “Stairway to Heaven” and about 45 seconds into “Taurus.”

As Rolling Stone reports, Stewart noted that both songs “in an unusual way” skip E before resolving on an A note. He claimed that this was unlike any of the 65 compositions submitted by the defense team as examples of previous songs that used similar chordal and compositional structures, including the Beatles’ “Michelle,” “My Funny Valentine” and Henry Purcell’s “Dido’s Lament.”

Stewart also noted that none of the examples submitted by the defense have the “unique and distinctive elements” shared by “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven,” and which can be protected under U.S. copyright law.

“Stairway to Heaven” has earned more than $550 million in royalties since its release in 1971. Those royalties are protected by statute of limitations, though future royalties could be shared if the plaintiff succeeds with the case.

Through his questioning of Page at Thursday’s trial, Malofiy revealed that a previously unreleased version of “Stairway to Heaven” included in the 2014 reissue of Led Zeppelin IV may also be liable under the three-year statute of limitations.

In the video below, TJR of TJRMusic.com explores the similarities and differences between “Stairway to Heaven” and “Taurus.”"

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCEg9gMJakU[/ame]

One thing I didn't realize until this update is that the royalties aren't in question retroactively, only future royalties would be in play.
 

circles

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A lot of songs use that sequence, also seems a little late in the game.
 

Deus Vult

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Jimmy is gonna pay.

Mark my words....whether via settlement of judgment, he's going to be writing a check
 

sk8rat

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its not looking good for jimmy but if I was him and they haven't made any headway I would say that it was inspired by "Sonata di Chittarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo" from the 1600. the song is in the public domain. case closed.
 

Left Paw

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members of Nazareth seething at the use by Heart of "their" groove from their song "This flight tonight".

I think the exact words were "You stole our groove man".
!


If that is the case, then the estate of James Brown could also sue just about every soul singer from 1966 onward for 'stealing his groove...'
 

sk8rat

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If that is the case, then the estate of James Brown could also sue just about every soul singer from 1966 onward for 'stealing his groove...'

he's still just as relevant in music today as ever and no one even realizes it
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDn0WViwWiQ[/ame]

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=istJXUJJP0g[/ame]
 

TheX

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If that is the case, then the estate of James Brown could also sue just about every soul singer from 1966 onward for 'stealing his groove...'

It's a deep hole for sure.
 

Tone deaf

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California never brought suit because he knew that the chord progression didn't start with him... You can't (well, you can but it's harder) sue someone for stealing something that isn't yours. End of story.
 

sk8rat

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California never brought suit because he knew that the chord progression didn't start with him... You can sue someone for stealing something that isn't yours. End of story.

conspiracy theory :)Ohno:)

I have heard people say that he was a standup guy. there is the chance that he knew about the similarity but didnt care because he knew he didnt invent it. when the idea to bring the suit was brought to his attention he said no and that was it. since he passed the decided to wait just long enough after he died to not raise suspicion that the idea of the lawsuit was presented to him but he said no.

they say that it was impossible for led zeppelin not to know of or have heard spirit or seen them but it is equally as unbelievable that any member of spirit never heard stairway to heaven until recently.
 

Tone deaf

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conspiracy theory :)Ohno:)

I have heard people say that he was a standup guy. there is the chance that he knew about the similarity but didnt care because he knew he didnt invent it. when the idea to bring the suit was brought to his attention he said no and that was it. since he passed the decided to wait just long enough after he died to not raise suspicion that the idea of the lawsuit was presented to him but he said no.

they say that it was impossible for led zeppelin not to know of or have heard spirit or seen them but it is equally as unbelievable that any member of spirit never heard stairway to heaven until recently.

I don't think that it is possible for both groups to be ignorant of the correlation between the two songs. California never took action, during his life time. It is only after he had passed that some money-grubbing lawyer started the action. The bigger the estate (i.e. add a big pay out) the bigger his fee. It has nothing to do with music, provenance or any other lofty ideal, it is all about the money. End of story.
 

Stinky Kitty

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I would imagine his barrister advised him not to admit or concede anything which could be used by the plaintiffs.

He's admitted influence by a bunch of other tunes. This would give him the opportunity to show first, his integrity, and second, how he transformed it into something new.. like musicians, artisits, writers, et al do all the time.

It doesn't help that he has a history of not giving credit where credit is due until forced by litigation.
 

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