Legendary British rock band Led Zeppelin did not plagiarise the opening chords of their famous song “Stairway to heaven” from the US band Spirit, a Los Angeles jury has found.
It said the riff that Led Zeppelin was accused of taking from Spirit’s 1967 song “Taurus” “was not intrinsically similar” to Stairway’s opening, the BBC reported.
But it said that Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant had access to “Taurus”. “Stairway to heaven” was released in 1971.
The case was brought on behalf of Spirit’s late guitarist Randy Wolfe.
During the trial, defence lawyers argued that the chord progression in question was very common and had been in use for over 300 years.
The prosecution had argued Led Zeppelin became familiar with Spirit’s song after the two bands played on the same bill in Plant’s hometown at a club in the English city of Birmingham in 1970.
Spirit’s bassist Mark Andes testified last week that he met Plant at the show and played snooker with him afterward.
Plant insisted he had no memory of that night, saying that in all the “hubbub and chaos” it would be hard to remember a one-off meeting 40 years ago.
Plant partially attributed his lack of memory to a bad car crash on his way home from the club. Both he and his wife suffered head injuries in the accident, he told the court, after the windshield of his Jaguar was left “buried” in his face.