| 21 Jun 2024
Led Zeppelin in lawsuit over 'Stairway to Heaven' guitar riff

MUMBAI: There is no doubting Led Zeppelin's famous song 'Stairway to Heaven' brought the English rock band fame and fortune. More than four decades since its release, and the track has also brought with it a lawsuit. According to reports, the rockers are being sued for allegedly lifting the opening guitar riff from another band.

A psychedelic Los Angeles band called Spirit claims that the guitar work on 'Stairway to Heaven' resembles that of its 1968 instrumental track 'Taurus' which was written by its late guitarist Randy California. The plaintiffs of the lawsuit, which include an attorney for Randy California's trust and Mark Andes- founding bassist of Spirit, feel that California should get a written credit on the Led Zeppelin track.

Speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek, Anders said, "It would typically come after a big forceful number and always got a good response. They would have seen it in that context. It is fairly blatant, and note for note. It would just be nice if the Led Zeppelin guys gave Randy a little nod. That would be lovely."

In 1997, before his death, California is said to have told Listener magazine that the guitar riff was a "rip-off". He also said that despite making millions off it, the English rockers did not even give him a thank you or offer him money. California died later that year when he tried to save his son from drowning.

'Stairway to Heaven' is considered as one of the greatest rock songs and earned Led Zeppelin an estimated $525 million in record sales and royalties since its release. The song was never released as a single, and came only with the band's fourth album 'Led Zeppelin IV'- the third biggest selling album in the US.

The band and Warner Music have both declined to comment on the allegations.

Led Zeppelin split in 1980, following drummer- John Bonham's death, and has since then reunited only four times. Earlier this May, they released two never heard before recordings, and will be releasing reissues of their first three albums this June.