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Led Zeppelin are cleared of stealing music for biggest hit

By Staff Reporter

Published 24/06/2016

Led Zeppelin in their ‘70s heyday
Led Zeppelin in their ‘70s heyday

A Los Angeles jury has found that Led Zeppelin did not steal the opening bars of their biggest hit, Stairway to Heaven, from a lesser-known band of the era.

Zeppelin first performed the song live in Belfast's Ulster Hall in March 1971.

Guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant were accused in a lawsuit of lifting the intro to their landmark 1971 song from the instrumental track Taurus, which was released by the band Spirit three years earlier.

The suit was filed by Michael Skidmore, a British-born former rock journalist, who oversees the trust that manages royalties for Spirit's late guitarist Randy Wolfe, who went by the stage name Randy California.

The jury found that while Mr Page may have heard Taurus before writing Stairway to Heaven, the two songs were not "substantially similar" in their fundamental elements.

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