Jimmy Page: ‘I Didn’t Hear the Song I’m Accused of Ripping Off’
Rocker Jimmy Page has taken the stand to testify on the first day of the Led Zeppelin copyright infringement trial. The star is charged with stealing the guitar riff for the band’s classic song “Stairway To Heaven” from a track written and recorded by Randy California for his band Spirit.
The late California refused to take legal action against Page and bandmate Robert Plant while he was alive, but a trustee for his estate decided to sue the pair following the songwriter’s death. Following jury selection on Tuesday, the trial got underway in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and Page was one of the first people to testify. He told the court he hadn’t heard “Taurus,” the song he’s accused of ripping off, until a few years ago, even though Spirit star Mark Andes confirmed reports suggesting Page and his group performed with his band in 1968 and therefore would have heard the track then. Segments of both songs were played in Los Angeles federal court, where Andes recalled Led Zeppelin opening for his group. But Page and Plant’s lawyer reiterated his clients didn’t hear “Taurus” until decades after the track was recorded. The trial is expected to last four to five days.