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Stairway To Heaven chords similar to Chim Chim Cher-ee, says Jimmy Page

Published 16/06/2016

Jimmy Page, left, with Robert Plant, told the court he
Jimmy Page, left, with Robert Plant, told the court he "liked" Spirit in the late 1960s but he only became aware of the song Taurus in recent years (AP)

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has told a court that the chords in Stairway To Heaven are similar to Chim Chim Cher-ee from the Disney film Mary Poppins as he faced more questions about the origins of the band's famous hit.

The Dick Van Dyke song was played to the federal court in Los Angeles where Page is facing claims he copied the opening guitar riff on Stairway To Heaven from a track called Taurus by the American group Spirit.

A lawsuit has been filed by Michael Skidmore, the trustee of Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe - known as Randy California - who drowned in 1997 having never taken legal action over the song.

Mr Skidmore's lawyer Francis Malofiy asked Page whether he had previously said Chim Chim Cher-ee had "inspired" him to write Stairway To Heaven.

Page replied: "I didn't say that.

"I think I may have said the chord sequence is very similar because the chord sequence has been around forever."

Asked whether there were similarities between the two songs, Page replied: "Yes, a sequence."

Page, 72, has previously told the court he had not heard Taurus until his son-in-law showed him a comparison with Stairway To Heaven on the internet a few years ago.

Giving evidence on the third day of the trial, the musician said he had "no recollection" of meeting Wolfe or of "interacting with him".

He told the court he wrote the introduction of Stairway To Heaven on his own before his bandmate Robert Plant added lyrics at Headley Grange in Hampshire.

A previous interview Page gave in the 1970s, in which he said the wrote the song's intro in Bron Yr Aur in Wales was "incorrect", he told the court.

The jury heard Led Zeppelin received 60 million dollars (about £42 million) after signing a publishing deal in 2008 and 10 million dollars (about £7 million) as part of a record deal with Rhino Entertainment in 2012.

Page, dressed in a dark three-piece suit, with his grey hair tied back in a ponytail, was joined in court by singer Plant as both men face a copyright infringement trial.

Plant and his bandmate John Paul Jones are expected to give evidence in the trial.

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