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The Song Remains the Same—Or Doesn’t

Did Led Zeppelin plagiarize another song in writing “Stairway to Heaven”? A while back, a federal jury in California jury found that they didn’t. Last Friday, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for a new trial. Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, No. 16-56057 (9th Cir. Sept. 28, 2018). The dispute arose because of similarities between “Stairway to Heaven” and the song “Taurus,” written by Randy Wolfe and performed by Spirit. I haven’t read the decision yet and probably won’t comment on it here, but I thought I’d share it here for any music lovers and guitar players who may be interested.

Here’s a video of “Taurus.” If I did this right, it should start at 0:45, where it has a chromatically descending bass line similar to that in the intro to “Stairway.”


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