LED ZEPPELIN vs SPIRIT Lawsuit | Stairway To Heaven Comparison



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Adam Neely
There's a (maybe apocryphal) story about how Jimmy Page wrote the riff to Stairway to Heaven after he took a jazz lesson with John McLaughlin where McLaughlin taught him My Funny Valentine. Rogers and Hart should be suing, not Spirit!
Alec Middleton
Next time you're trying a guitar in a music store which bans the playing of Stairway To Heaven, tell them you're playing Taurus :-)
Alexander Kelley
What bothers me most about this case is that isnt not Randy Wolfe himself doing the suing, he died some time ago. Correct me if Im wrong but Im fairly sure the similarities were pointed out to him and he really didnt give a damn. This is what happens when you have non musicians running the music business and owning copyrights to songs they didnt write.
Animo
Do you need a musical lawyer?\nCall rick beato!
Anonymous
You can't copyright and claim line cliches. Adam Neely made a great video on the subject:\
Aylbdr Madison
*That's absurd.* \n It's a standard musical device, that's like saying no one but Bach can use a pedal tone, lols.
Barış E.
We should make the lawyers of led zeppelin see this video.
BlaBlog101
Thanks for this, Rick. Another line cliché is Michelle.
Bluemon
I mean....you can't own chord progressions
Burnt Gerbil
Stole the riff, no. It is all a coincidence.
CarsInDepth
Rick, all you say may be true from a musical standpoint, but Jimmy Page and Robert Plant's documented history of using other musicians' songs without crediting the originators, plus the circumstances of Spirit and Zeppelin sharing bills, and Page owning a copy of Taurus (yeah, he does have 40,000 recordings but I bet he can tell you something about each one too - he is Jimmy Page after all) at least make enough of a case to make it worth taking it to court. Have you read the original lawsuit? While not conclusive, it is persuasive to me. You may not find it persuasive, and I'm not saying that Randy California's estate has a open and shut case, but there's enough there to make the effort worthwhile. By the way, I think it's possible that Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile was influenced by Dr. John's Walk On Gilded Splinters. The chorus on Gilded Splinters is very close to the guitar intro on Voodoo Chile and Dr. John recorded that first.
Charles Insandiego
It sounds more like Croce's \
Chris Ayres
Is a coincidence they sound slightly similar but come on Page and Plant went to a cottage in Wales and composed the song in private , they did not listen to Spirits music as thats not even the type of Music Plant Page JPJ and Bonham were listening to , they were listening to blues music from the past and also folk music not modern day songs, anyway hope Led Zepp are proven right again as this is totally ridiculous
Chrono Logic
I love Spirit and Randy California, but Led Zep didn't really \
CorbCorbin
What do you think about Dazed and Confused, or any of the other examples people give of Zeppelin plagiarizing?
Crowbar1115
Rick...I LOVE your videos but you didn't mention that the Jury was only allowed to hear basically glorified MIDI versions from the songs' sheet music and NOT the actual recordings. The examples you played are the actual songs...that wasn't what was played during the case itself. That little detail is often overlooked.\n\nHad the jury heard the two pieces in full context then been asked \
Da Hawk
What is really on trial is Led Zeppelin's reputation for lifting songs left & right. I don't know how a vid on Taurus v Stairway could be made without giving the full context here.
Daniel True
It really bothers me that there is someone that is suing on behalf of a guy who’s been dead for 21 years. If that isn’t a money grab, I don’t know what is.
Dante Sparda
Zeppelin could use this video as defense
Davorin Pavlica
Don't forget that a line cliche is a part of a classic blues turnaround.\n\nAnd Jimmy Page was a blues scholar. He even wrote some early Led Zepp songs (Bring It On Home and Whole Lotta Love) with legendary blues singer / songwriter Willie Dixon. ;P
Ed Riley
Rick...have Jimmy put you on the ZEP legal team. Case closed. Brilliant work here!!
Fitch K
The famous is the truth, it always does.
Frode Lund
You should be used as a subject matter expert on this case. Great vid, keep it up!
G. Medina
More Damn frivolous wastes of time in the court system.\nProbably lawyer driven.
Ge0f Thomas
Jimmy Page better hope Ted Nugent ain't on the jury !! ....don't get the \
GojirA
probably the lawsuit stems from past times when zeppelin has be caught stealing songs and they wanted a shot at some money or writing credit
Good Comment Man
I would LOVE to see you called in as an expert witness in this suit. Imagine how cool the courtroom presentation would be.
Homer Slated
Everything is derivative, including music. That's not a bad thing, it's just how the universe works.\n\nThis is why copyright doesn't make any sense. It pretends that artistic works exist in some kind of bubble, completely isolated from everything that came before, and that this therefore entitles the artist to \
J C
I know we stole Babe I'm Gonna Leave You from Joan Baez, and Dazed and Confused from Jake Holmes, Muddy Waters You Need Love. The Lemon Song from Robert Johnson's Traveling Blues In my Time of Dying by Blind Willie Johnson. Bring it on Home By Sonny Boy Williamson and paid out all kind of royalties in lawsuits. But We wrote Stairway to Heaven honest and did not steal it from a warm up band of ours Spirit.
JRussoC
Here is a list of Beatles' songs I can recall that use the line cliché or little variations of it in some part :\n\n- Michelle\n- For no one\n- While my guitar gently weeps\n- Lucy in the sky with diamonds\n- A day in the life\n- Hello Goodbye\n- Something\n- Strawberry fields forever\n- Dear Prudence\n- Magical mistery tour \n- Hey Jude \n- Fixing a Hole
Jack Torrance
In 500 hundred years, no music will be possible. Everything will have been done. It’ll be clicks and dings. 😂
Jason Bone
Zep lawyer needs you in his corner! Great video as always.
Jeff's Big Guitars
If borrowing lines was a crime, every blues player would be in prison.
Joe Thompson
Hey Rick... yeah man, so true...Spirit & Zep where both a couple of my very fav bands growin up in the early 70’s...but one that I always wondered about the similarity in progression with was Aldo Nova’s “Fantasy” compared to Jefferson starship’s “Jane”... but yeah, where do ya draw the line... Id like to know your opinion on those two..✌🏻
John Barrie
Well said Rick, this lawsuit is complete nonsense!
Johnny Rosen
Harmony is not plagiarism. Ya need to steal 2 consecutive bars or more of MELODY for it to be considered plagiarism in musical composition. The Beatles always kept their melodic thefts to less than 2 bars, and so avoided the plagiarism charge. Of course when Harrison stole several consecutive bars of the melody to He's So Fine, he had to pay up. The bridge of Free as a Bird is a direct lift from the verse of Walking In The Rain. People have been going on for years about Zep stealing tunes, but it just ain't so. You can't steal harmony, you can only use it. And if you don't use harmony, aka music theory, the music just won't make any sense.
Joseph Devens
GIOVANNI BATTISTA GRANATA | “Sonata di Chittarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo”, composed in 1659
Julie Young
This guy is so bias!! He must be getting paid by Zeppelin. Zeppelin stole from a number of people. They have lost other lawsuits and/or agreed to settlements many times.
Justin Champa
Of course, it’s easy to side with one of the greatest rock bands of all time. But Rick, as much as your argument makes sense, I can’t help but wonder what yours and others verdicts might be if roles were reversed; if Zep had released Stairway before Spirit’s tune, and then sued Spirit for plagiarism. 🤔
Keke what-what
Bravo!!! Finally!!! Thanks
Kent Mains
If Zeppelin hadn't toured with them then the lawsuit would have never made it to court. If Zeppelin hadn't made it big and have deep pockets the lawsuit would have never been filed. Thanks Rick, and I think you could start a career as an expert witness in these frivolous music lawsuits!
Kev Kubli
What a lot of people don't know, due to being younger and the facts not properly kept up, is that Spirit was a frequent opening band for Led Zeppelin. Spirit would end with Taurus and Zep would come on immediately with no break in the music and open with stairway. I was just a kid, but it wowed me to see it done like that. Besides that, the progression is one of the most common known to humanity. Musicians have been playing it for literally thousands of years. You can hear this progression in the oldest piece of written music, The Hurrian Hymn, although it's played a little slower.
Kim Conrad
Of course Zeppelin stole it , it's what they do , come on
LarryHovis
Circumstances are everything. We can point to many settled copyright infringement lawsuits that fall under the Spirit/Led Zeppelin quandary and went the way of the entity suing. There's more to this suit than just the music; it's the opportunity that Led Zeppelin had to grab a very recognizable chord progression because they knew Spirit and knew of Spirit. The line in question sounds largely the same to me, and I grew up playing classical bass, played 18 instrument is middle school, bla bla bla bla bla.....and I understand where the estate of Spirit is coming from. I would not want to be the judge here - how do you distinguish this from He's So Fine/My Sweet Lord, Ghostbusters/I Want A New Drug, Blurred Lines/Got To Give It Up, etc. There are so many. So the problem is with precedence as well as the actual songs themselves. It's not at all black and white.
Lost in a Paradox
its only because stairway is really successful. if stairway was a failure they wouldn't care
LoungeFly02
I can't believe Spirit is still trying this. I think the lawyers should call you to testify how ridiculous this lawsuit is.
Luka Meah
I own the vi-IV-I-V progression.\n18,000 bands owe me royalties.
Mallman
Great input. Couldn’t agree more. Almost as ridiculous as when Fogerty was accused of plagiarizing himself.
Marc Bolan
Every rock n roll group who composed \
Marquis Projects
I thought they stole it from Marvin Gaye. Didn't he write everything?
Matthew Dower
There's a great video from the Howard Stern Show about Zeppelins first album and how many musicians they ripped off.
Michael Jennings
This was stolen from Let it Grow by Eric Clapton
Michael Streich
Actually, Zeppelin stole it from my uncle. My uncle\nWrote a song called \
Mike Adams
All of these lawsuits stem from Marvin Gaye's family suing everyone in the last few years and the Tom Petty/Sam Smith settlement.\nPeople are suing in hope of getting a settlement
Mike Lakefloor
I think the \
MrTechselect
This! Absolutely this! Which is why the writer of Spirit, Randy California, didn't think there was any plagiarism. Its just that the people who run his estate are greedy.
Oilid
Taurus + Stairway to heaven = Steroid to heaven.
Oisin Smith
Every single popular musician has borrowed ideas from other songs. There would be no such thing as music if people were sued for every slightest similarity between songs
OlymPigs2010
...Led Zep was also accused of \
PowerTuber 3.0
You should have been called as a defense expert.
Produce Like A Pro
This is the best video I’ve ever seen about this! It’s also better than any article I’ve read! Bravo Rick!!
Robert Curley
I always thought it was understood Zeppelin stole everything they ever did.
Robert Varda
Beat-o! Beat-o! Beat-o! Beat-o for President!
Robotron 2084
Why wasn't Rick in that courtroom?!\n\nAlso, everything is from Bach.
Roger Fredriksson
Greed and envy.
Ronny Ward
Rick, I think what really solidifies your argument is the point about the 1-4-5 blues progression. For that matter, if it wasn’t for the 1-4-5 and especially the 1-6-4-5 progressions in so many songs of the 50s and early 60s, I doubt rock and roll would have meant very much.
Rotisserie Chiggen
Spirit was so close to making a legendary rock song
Russell Hltn
\
Ryan Bruce
Brilliantly done, Rick!
Snoop Cheesus
It's no secret they've \
Soundscapemind
Lawyers are not songwriters. If they were they would know the process and understand on a fundamental level how these are different. inspiration is normal and is in fact key to creating great songs. And why is it always the dead estate suing? The guy clearly wasn't bothered otherwise he would have gone after them in his lifetime.
Space Singer
This is tricky! Because it is not just chord progressions. Chord progressions are obviously not copyrightable but here you are playing the notes in a chord progression in descending order which is essentially a melody. Notes make melody. One one hand you can say that chords progressions are reused and the notes in a chord played as arpeggios can be reused as well even if it is in the same exact order. What then is music? On the other hand, notes make up a melody. So you are essentially saying melodies that are based on the notes used to make a chord are not unique. Then you literally have no music anymore because there is no exact and clear definition of what is considered building blocks of music. Like cliched blues licks for example! If Zep wins this case then, I could essentially copy that exact note sequence and write a song around it (I'm sure GVF will beat me to it.. lol) but then music will turn into sampling. Instead of sounding vaguely similar to your favorite artist, you can now just lift note per note if it is deemed a reusable block. I fear the future of music because already most vocal melodies in pop are simply ripped off and the argument is \
Strident Atheist
The melodies are totally different. Melody is what gives a tune it's 'flavor'. Bullshit lawsuit.
Tesla Nick
Led Zep \
ThatGamer
So all of them ripped of from Piazzolla for using descencing chromatic basses?? This nonsense lawsuits need to stop
TheZooropaBaby
*ghosts of hundreds of dead bluesmen murmuring intensely*
There are many usernames but this one is mine.
I want to own the rights to E minor
Thomas Wright
It sounds like the lawyers have stuck their noses into the tent. Another lawsuit over a chord progression. Greed.
Tony Walker Acoustic Hour
My worthless opinion..Given that they are the same tempo, key, and have the same finger picking style...I can see why it would raise a few eyebrows. Not to mention that Led Zeppelin opened for this band before they were famous (very coincidental)...Who knows. Led Zep has been known to pinch a few things here and there. Great vid!
Vadercon
Too bad Men at Work didn't have you on their legal team.
Wil D
If Led Zep looses this trial most of all the modern music can sued for the I-IV-V chord progression from the blues.
William King
Zeppelin toured with Spirit prior to \
Woden 4545
LED Zepplin opened for Spirit on their first US tour. Led Zepplin played Fresh Garbage, a Spirit song, in their set . You played a small section of Taurus later in the song the similarities are closer . Jimmy Page had a history of borrowing from other songs . He played Spirit songs. Maybe it’s just a coincidence or maybe “Whole lotta love” was original too.
Wrath Az
Exactly right!
asparagusman
Zeppelin will win, they have better lawyers. They should call Rick as a witness!!
audiodeluxe
Case closed big chap... great video
boblob2003
19th Century composers Carulli and Carcassi wrote classical guitar studies that have the same exact lick note for note. (At least the first bar)
braden7180
Musicians and music theorists alike know this to be true. But as is often the case, the loudest voices are those that are the least educated.
chrigsound
Not gonna lie: when I first heard the Spirit tune, I thought \
fred fox
Rick. When Zeppelin's lawyers ask if they can use this episode to definitively win their case in 6:46 minutes, you should tell them only if you can use Zepp's music in your teaching videos. I'm learning a lot from you. Thanks!
gkarjala
All music is a ripoff. All use a-g, choral, modal, blah blah. I III V is blues.
hammill444
What this critique--- and a few others --- seem to ignore is simply this: mood and tempo. Yes, many songs use this line cliche---- but both these songs share not just this line, but also the mood and tempo and feel. Now, I'm not saying necessarily Zeppelin deserves to lose the case. But you cannot just compare a host of other songs with this descending line; one must also consider how the line is used and presented
ickng456
thats what they get for not using the analog tapes😝
johnnystaccata
I hope the Led Balloon plagiarist pirates are sued for their crimes! They shouldn't get away with this. They charge so much for rights to their songs, while they steal most of their material.
luigigarcia64
not a hope in hell Spirit
menckencynic
This was very clear. IF Page did pick up the basic structure, he certainly made it his own.
old school hawking
I wish everyone would get off of Led Zeppelin's nuts about plagiarism. We know Jimmy ripped off music and called it his. It's just a fraction of his work, they deserve a lot of credit for what they did for the music industry.
picolete
But let's never forget that they stole from a ton of people
sniggity
Very good presentation and proves that Page ripped off nobody. Thanks !
zeb doz
well, to my ear, and yes i play music, they are similar but i am split as to if it was a rip off or not, its 50/50 to me