Dispute over Stairway To Heaven
Led Zeppelin face a legal dispute over their classic Stairway to Heaven. The copyright infringement action is being taken on behalf of deceased Spirit guitarist Randy California. Spirit released a track called Taurus, featuring a similar chord progression to Stairway’s intro, on their eponymous debut album back in 1968. Zepp’s eight-minute magnum opus was written around 1970 and, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, went on to earn the band more than £334m. Neither Led Zeppelin nor Warner Music have commented on the allegations. Mr California was quoted by Bloomberg as describing Stairway to Heaven as a “rip-off” shortly before he drowned in 1997 while saving his 12-year-old son Quinn from a rip current off the coast of Hawaii.
The controversy comes on the eve of Led Zeppelin releasing new remasters of the band’s first three albums, including companion discs with alternative versions of many tracks. No live shows are planned.
Randy California: is his song Taurus the basis for Stairway?