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Led Zeppelin cleared of stealing ‘Stairway to Heaven’
By
Del Cowie

Published

June 23, 2016

Genre

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Led Zeppelin have been cleared by a Los Angeles jury of stealing the opening riff to their 1971 song "Stairway to Heaven."

Guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant were cleared of lifting the riff from "Taurus" by Spirit, a band that often played with Led Zeppelin in the early '70s.

"We are grateful for the jury's conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of 'Stairway to Heaven' and confirming what we have known for 45 years.  We appreciate our fans' support and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us," said Page and Plant in a joint statement.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Randy California, the writer of "Taurus" in 2014. California, who was also known as Randy Wolfe, died in 1997 while attempting to save his son in the Pacific Ocean.

In the complaint, filed by trustee Michael Skidmore, it is alleged that California taught Page the chords to "Taurus" in 1969. Spirit played a number of concert dates with Led Zeppelin in 1969.

"Stairway to Heaven" is listed at number 31 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.

Listen to "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin, "Taurus" by Spirit and a YouTube video comparing the two songs, below.