Great Job, Internet!: A guitarist on whether “Stairway To Heaven” really rips off “Taurus”

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are reuniting in a Los Angeles courtroom this week to defend themselves in a lawsuit brought by the estate of one Randy California (real name: Randy Craig Wolfe). The suit alleges that Led Zep’s immortal 1971 oldie “Stairway To Heaven,” whose composition is credited to Page and Plant, rips off an obscure instrumental called “Taurus” released by California’s band, Spirit, in 1968. Since Zeppelin and Spirit toured together in the late 1960s, California’s estate says, Page would have had plenty of opportunity to hear and learn the crucial guitar part from “Taurus” that became the unmistakable intro from “Stairway.” The lawsuit, originally filed in 2014, is just coming to trial now, but the story of how Led Zeppelin supposedly copied Taurus has been a subject of debate among music fans for years. Back in 2014, for instance, an Orange …

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