music


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This one has been bubbling for a few years.

Two members of British rock band Led Zeppelin will go to court in Los Angeles on May 10 over a copyright dispute regarding the song “Stairway to Heaven.”

The case against Led Zeppelin comes from a trustee for the estate of a member of American rock band Spirit, who released a song named “Taurus” in 1968.

Michael Skidmore, representing the estate of Spirit member Randy Wolfe, claims that Led Zeppelin copied the introduction of “Taurus” and transformed that into the opening section of “Stairway to Heaven.”

Led Zeppelin denies the claim and asked a Los Angeles judge to issue a summary ruling on the case, but it was only granted in part. That means the case will go to court.

One member of Led Zeppelin is already off the hook

John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin’s bass and keyboard player, is no longer a defendant in the trial. The Los Angeles judge granted Led Zeppelin’s request for a summary judgment in regards to dismissing the suit against Jones and also against Warner Music.

There have been some pretty wild claims

Skidmore accused Led Zeppelin of “falsification of Rock n’ Roll history.” That’s a pretty big claim, but it’s also difficult to prove legally. An April 8 decision by the Los Angeles judge says that the “plaintiff presents an inventive — yet legally baseless — claim … The Court has diligently searched but is unable to locate any cognizable claim to support this theory of liability.”

It’s only about a specific part of both songs

Skidmore’s lawsuit specifically accuses Led Zeppelin of copying the introduction to “Taurus.” Both sides of the case called expert witnesses to examine the musical structure of the songs. It all boils down to two letters: A and B. “Taurus” starts with an “AABAAB” structure, while “Stairway to Heaven” has an “AABAABAA” structure. 

In order to persuade the judge to grant him damages, Skidmore had to demonstrate that there was a “striking similarity” between “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven.” But the Los Angeles judge decided that the songs were not close enough to rule on, but that they were similar enough that it should go to trial.

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I’ve been working on my Insolvency assignment all morning. Quietly in the background I’ve had these chaps on. First time I’ve listened to them in years. This album when it first came out was massive in London, oh, 1980’ish

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We have always produced good music. There were a couple of surprises in there, but mostly, being one of the chap’s, I knew where most of the bands came from.

I buy all of my music on CD. I know, dinosaur. I like to own it and put it into a CD player. I don’t use a mobile phone, never have, therefore the whole ‘download’ thing passed me by.

As Bruce Willis found out, who owns the ‘download’ is not as clear as you might have thought, he has had to fight for ownership in Court.

Just arrived from Amazon, “The Farm Greatest Hits.” They are actually Scouse, but, one of the early “Madchester” bands that pretty much culminated in Oasis, think Stone Roses etc. The song that played in the London clubs, and became probably their best known tune – “All Together Now.”

In an industrial section of south-central Nashville, stuck between a homeless shelter and some railroad tracks, sits a little primary-colored Lego-block of a building with a Tesla tower on top. The inside holds all manner of curiosities and wonders — secret passageways, trompe l’oeil floors, the mounted heads of various exotic ungulates (a bison, a giraffe, a Himalayan tahr) as well as a sign on the wall that says photography is prohibited. This is the home of Third Man Records: the headquarters of Jack White’s various musical enterprises, and the center of his carefully curated world.

I just saw on amazon their ‘greatest hits’ album, for $3, so I bought it. I liked their early stuff, the above being a good example. When I receive it through the post and listen to the music again, for the first time in nearly 40 years, I’ll let you know how it held up.

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