The ‘Stairway to Heaven’ case keeps getting more bizarre. And there have only been a few trial days at the Los Angeles federal court.
In the latest back-and-forth, the case took a slight spin when Page admitted that ‘Stairway to Heaven’ shares a strikingly similar chord sequence to the Mary Poppins song, ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’. But that’s not the point: Page said the commonalities being heard in all of these songs ‘have been around forever,’ and flatly rejected any claims that he copied ‘Taurus’. It’s all pulled from a giant body of creative work.
Several experts were called to the stand to distinguish whether there were enough similarities between the two songs to consider it copyright infringement, or whether there are enough differences for the case to be ruled out entirely.
One of the experts was a guitar instructor, Kevin Hanson. Hanson played parts of both songs on an acoustic guitar and concluded by saying “to my ear, they sound like they are one piece of music.” Though, when listening to both full songs, Hanson did say that he could easily tell the songs apart, despite similarities in the riff.
The case has been going for more than two years, and to this date there have been no conclusions on whether or not this is a valid copyright infringement case. Some people believe Led Zeppelin blatantly copied Taurus, given the fact that they were in the same musical circle as Spirit.
Even Stephen Colbert has taken a dig at Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’. After hearing both records he tells them to ‘take their money and hide it’.
But, the case is not focused on the sound of the music, more the similarities in the sheet music of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and Spirit’s ‘Taurus’. Malofiy’s biggest challenge will be proving that both songs have similarities in the sheet music.
The case is expected to be wrapped up by the end of day today. More news as it develops!
Image by Jenny Parks (CC by 2.0).