Last week, allegations surfaced that Led Zeppelin’s most famous song, “Stairway To Heaven,” was a rip-off. Those allegations came courtesy of a report that Randy California, the singer of the Los Angeles-based rock band Spirit, was preparing a lawsuit against Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and company before California’s death in 1997. Now, Page has shot back at those claims, calling them “ridiculous.”
The original lawsuit alleges that “Stairway” was taken from an instrumental track that Sprit recorded in 1968 called “Taurus.” Spirit and Zeppelin toured together in the late ’60s, during which the lawsuit alleges that they would have heard “Taurus” frequently. Page did not write “Stairway” until the sessions for Led Zeppelin’s fourth album began in 1970.
Of course, some fans would know that this isn’t the first time that the mighty Zep have been accused of ripping off songs. Some of the songs off of their second album owed more than a bit to blues classics by Howlin’ Wolf and Willie Dixon, and the band were forced to give a songwriting credit to Memphis Minnie for their re-working of “When The Levee Breaks.”