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16 June 2016 3,227 views No Comment

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Stairway To Heaven Court Case: 

The Stairway To Heaven court case has begun in Los Angeles and as expected, there’s been a barrage of media coverage.

This report of the opening of proceedings via The Guardian:

The opening to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven transfixed the venue but Jimmy Page and Robert Plant did not sing or jam guitar.
It was a courtroom, not a concert, and they sat in silence, accused of stealing arguably the most famous riff of the most famous anthem in rock.
The British duo, sporting dark suits and ponytails, sat side by side on Tuesday as a Los Angeles jury listened to the melancholic notes of the 1971 mega-hit in the start of a plagiarism trial.

In an age of declining revenue, suing over chord progressions and samples opens a new revenue stream for disgruntled artists – but such action is nothing new

It was the opening of a week-long legal drama which will reach back into centuries of music history to determine if the band nicked the 1971 song’s opening passage, which evokes Renaissance folk music, from an LA-based psychedelic band called Spirit.
The jury and a packed public gallery, which left fans queuing outside, strained to catch every note of Stairway to Heaven, and then Taurus, the song it allegedly ripped off.

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The estate of Spirit’s guitarist Randy Wolfe, also known as Randy California, who died in 1997, is suing for recognition and a share of the proceeds from a lucrative hit estimated to have generated more than $500m.
The estate’s trustee, Michael Skidmore, claims Led Zeppelin ripped off a musical theme which recurs in Taurus, an instrumental on Spirit’s 1968 debut album, three years before Stairway to Heaven featured on the British band’s untitled fourth album, known as Led Zeppelin IV. The two bands shared concert billings in the late 1960s.

“This was a song that Randy California had written for the love of his life, Robin. That was her sign, Taurus,” said Francis Malofiy, representing the late musician’s estate. “Little did anyone know it would fall into the hands of Jimmy Page and become the intro to ‘Stairway to Heaven.’”
Wolfe, speaking shortly before his death, said in magazine interview, quoted in the lawsuit, that it was a rip-off. “And the guys made millions of bucks on it and never said ‘thank you,’ never said, ‘can we pay you some money for it?’ It’s kind of a sore point with me.”
Page, 72, the guitarist who wrote Stairway to Heaven, and Plant, 67, the singer, did not speak to reporters as they arrived on an overcast morning at the Edward Roybal federal building in downtown LA.

Addressing the jury their attorney, Peter Anderson, rejected any infringement. “Do re mi appears in both songs,” he said. He played a piano interpretation of “Taurus” that had only a vague similarity.
Malofiy responded with videos of guitar interpretations of both songs which sounded more similar, prompting complaints from Anderson that it was not an agreed exhibit and could trigger a mistrial.

The eighth-floor courtroom, a sombre blend of marble and wood, was an incongruous arena to revisit a bacchanalian era of rock’n’roll. US district court judge Gary Klausner, with a black robe, silver hair and glasses, said formalities will be preserved in the case, which is expected to last five days. “Never use a first name,” he told lawyers. “Everybody should have the dignity to be addressed by their last name.”

Judge Klausner, 75, signalled he may not have been a hardcore Zeppelnite by referring to the band as “the Led Zeppelin”. He kept a brisk pace and dispatched more than a dozen motions within minutes. He warned lawyers from both sides to stick to protocol and “not do anything spontaneous”.
Reporters were threatened with expulsion if they used phones and pens, apparently lest they contain recording devices. A court official handed out pencils.

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Jury selection produced a panel of four men and four women who appeared to range in age from 20s to 60s. Two potential jurors were excused after saying they were Led Zeppelin fans. One recalled learning to play guitar by plucking Stairway to Heaven.
Plant and Page, seated beside their lawyers, took notes and remained largely impassive, relaxing and smiling only during breaks.
After two years of legal argument Judge Klausner ruled in April that the case should go to a jury but he stopped short of agreeing that the song was copied.

Led Zeppelin’s lawyers are expected to argue that the opening of Stairway to Heaven, a descending sequence mostly in A-minor, has been a common musical device for centuries and that the lawsuit ignores the rest of the song, which lasts eight minutes.
Page and Plant, who have given filmed depositions, have said they never had substantive interaction with Spirit or listened to the band’s music.
Larry Iser, a lawyer and copyright specialist who is not involved in the case, said the defense should put Plant and Page on the stand. “The jury needs to hear them tell the story of their independent creation of Stairway to Heaven and in particular their lack of reliance on Taurus. If they don’t testify, the jury will likely conclude that Plant and Page have something to hide.”

The lawsuit alleges Led Zeppelin have “a deep-rooted history of lifting composition from blues artists and other songwriters who they have repeatedly failed to credit”. It cites disputes over 16 other Led Zeppelin songs, including Whole Lotta Love and Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.
Several Zeppelin fans turned up at court, including Byron Taylor, 57, a retired teacher who brought LPs in hope of autographs. He worried that the jury might decide against the band.

The Led Zeppelin dispute is the latest in a string of high-profile music plagiarism cases in LA.

Last week Ed Sheeran was hit with an infringement suit claiming his 2015 hit Photograph ripped off the song Amazon, by Martin Harrington and Thomas Leonard. Last year Marvin Gaye’s family won a $7.4m award against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for infringing on Gaye’s Got to Give It Up in their song Blurred Lines.

See link at:

The case continues…

For daily updates visit:


More TBL 41 Feedback:


TBL issue 41 is out on the streets now and readily available to order.

Here’s some more feedback comments from satisfied customers…

Why is it when a new TBL magazine arrives do I always feel like I just got a new Zeppelin album? Ken Winovitch

TBL 41 ended its long journey from Totnes Towers in the post today, allowing me to enjoy some terrific reading in the winter sunshine here in Melbourne! Thanks, Dave, it’s another fine edition. Any fan of the music of Led Zeppelin would be a fool not to subscribe! Michael Rae

The as ever wonderful 41st issue of the Led Zeppelin magazine Tight But Loose, complete with exclusive John Paul Jones interview and numbered print, edited by the tireless and ever Zep inspired Dave Lewis. Kevin Hewick

41’s another cracking issue. More like this. Even in trying times, no one tops The Blimp’s #1 Bard. Chris Serratella

Just a quick note to say read most of the new TBL in one sitting. Particularly enjoyed the article on the Tarantura Bootlegs. Mark Halliwell

Brilliant edition Dave.  Phil Richardson

Cracking piece from Larry Bergmann in the latest TBL. Worth the piece of admission on its own. Peter

Thanks so much for that copy of TBL. You have such an infectious enthusiasm for your subject and such an obviously diligent approach .
Loved the JPJ interview ( those are such a rarity ) and also all your record collecting background. All a joy to read, and of course within minutes my headphones were on too. Keep sharing the love ! It’s so infectious and quite unique. Amanda Bruckshaw

Issue 41 of Tight But Loose is out, and for anyone who does not have a subscription then it can be ordered on the TBL website. A review of this issue is just up on Underground Uprising, with details of how to order it. Highly recommended, as always this magazine and everything Dave does for all us fans gets a massive thumbs up from me. Julian Walker

Received TBL41 I loved this edition – a brilliant interview with Jonesy pus a fabulous set of collector features which is right up my street as you know. Congrats again on another super edition.  TBL …no Zep fan should leave home without it! Graeme Hutchinson

Many thanks to the above and to all the other positive comments received.

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One thing to reiterate – ALL subscriptions ended with issue 40 -so if you were a subscriber and had issue 40 now is the time to re-subscribe.

There’s still quite a few regular subscribers who have not come on board yet – and the probable reason is they do not realise their subscription ended with issue40.

If you have yet to indulge…now is the time to soak up more TBL essential Led Zep summer reading…

Here’s the subscription order link…and many thanks for your support in advance…

You can order the single issue TBL 41 at this link:


LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Led Zeppelin
The “Stairway To Heaven” trial starts on Tuesday. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are both expected to be in attendance. It’s not yet clear when John Paul Jones will be called as a witness. We’re expecting the trial to last around five days.

The New York Times published an article about the upcoming trial. It’s mostly just a report of what we already know ahead of the trial, but it does include a brief interview with Malofiy who calls a court filing by Led Zeppelin “100 percent bluster.”

Haven’t been following the “Stairway To Heaven” lawsuit? Here’s a refresher on what’s happening:

On June 14 a case against Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page will go to trial in Los Angeles, accusing them of copying the introduction to arguably their most famous song: “Stairway to Heaven.”

The lawsuit, filed in 2014, comes from a trustee of the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe (also known by his stage name “Randy California.”)

Wolfe died in 1997, but the man in control of his estate says Led Zeppelin ripped off the opening chords to Spirit’s song “Taurus,” which Wolfe wrote.

Upcoming events:
June 14 – The “Stairway To Heaven” trial will start in Los Angeles.
July 1 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Rock Werchter music festival in Belgium.
July 2 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Beauregard Music Festival in France.
July 4 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at Le festival des Nuits d’Istres in France.
July 7 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the NOS Alive Music Festival in Portugal.
July 14 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at Festival Noches del Botánico in Spain.
July 20 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Street Music Art Festival in Italy.
July 22 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Italy.
July 24 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Italy.
July 27 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in the Czech Republic.
July 28 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Austria.
July 30 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Croatia.
August 2 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Germany.
August 4/5/6/7 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Wilderness Festival in the UK.

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:


Classic Rock website: The Top Ten Best Jimmy Page Guitar Solos – The Led Zeppelin Years:

I recently put together a listing of what I consider to be the ten best Jimmy Page solos within Led Zeppelin for the Classic Rock website.

Narrowing it down to ten is of course an impossible task…so forgive me for any obvious omissions!

In a career that has spanned six decades, Jimmy Page has written the rule book on the art of rock guitar. From monolithic riffing to blistering solos, through acoustic beauty to vast instrumental guitar orchestration. Here’s the ten best solos from the lord of the strings.

Read the full listing at :


Howard Mylett: Five Years Gone…

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This Sunday – June 19th, marks the fifth anniversary of the passing of  Howard Mylett, the legendary Led Zeppelin collector and original author.

Howard Mylett had an engaging dry wit, incredible enthusiasm for collecting all things Zep, and above all, was always so generous in sharing his passion.

It was way back in 1973 when I first began corresponding with Howard after seeing a ‘’Zep Photos wanted/for sale’’ ad in the NME. My collection of photos and cuttings improved manifold thanks to Howard’s generosity. For a mere few pence he would send me batches of cuttings. I can still recall the thrill of seeing a package postmarked from Brighton landing on my doormat.

I knew it would bring forth more unseen Zep images and foreign and overseas cuttings from the likes of the US Circus and Creem magazines and French magazines such as Rock And Folk. Howard also had unimpeachable Japanese contacts and it was through him that I first obtained the series of rare Japanese photo books.

It was always a pleasure to visit him and his lovely wife Anita in Brighton. I will never forget the final time I saw him early in 2011. Gary Foy and I travelled down to see him and I conducted an interview with him for the TBL mag. Despite his failing health, Howard’s passion for the world of Zep was burning bright as ever. It was an incredibly emotional afternoon as I think deep down, Howard knew we would not get many more opportunities to discuss our favourite subject again – and sadly that was to be the case…

Howard’s enthusiasm was infectious. He was a massive influence on my desire to put words into print about Led Zeppelin.

Since his passing, it has become even more evident how important Howard’s pioneering work was to me as a young impressionable fan.

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Howard would have course loved all the recent Led Zeppelin Reissues activity and there have been plenty of moments when I dearly wish Howard was still around to share it all…

Howard Mylett will always be a much missed part of the Zep fan fraternity.. but never forgotten and there will be countless fans across the world who will be  thinking of him on the fifth anniversary of his passing… rest in peace Howard – you shared it all…

Dave Lewis – June 16,2016.


Henry McCullough 1943 – 2016:

It was very sad to hear the passing of Henry McCullough aged 72. A great guitar player, I particularly liked his work with Wings – his guitar solo on the 1973 Wings single My Love is a masterclass of controlled subtlety(see YouTube clip below) – RIP


DL Diary Blog Update:

I have to say we are all feeling rather empty here as we move on with life without Betty. It’s been a slog picking up the backlog of TBL workload and I’ve not really felt anything like 100%.

However, there have been some silver linings to brighten things up – notably the encouraging reaction and feedback to TBL 41 -which makes it all worthwhile.

Looking ahead, there’s a new TBL T, shirt design on the way soon and Mark Smith has been in touch from Rufus Stone Limited Editions with news of a limited edition package of the Five Glorious Nights Earls Court 1975 book – more on that soon. On the home front, It’s  great to have Adam back for the summer from University.

barn june 10

Friday Treats at the Vinyl Barn last week included a very cool 1973 Bobby Womack album Facts of Life – a US pressing on the United Artists label…very nice. thanks Darren Harte

On the player: The above aforementioned Bobby Womack album plus Rod Stewart Every Picture Tells A Story – I was well pleased to see him attain the title Sir Rod Stewart – he is for me one of the all time great vocalists… mind you whenever the honours lists appear one hopes for a Sir Jimmy Page and surely John Paul Jones is long overdue recognition for his contribution to music over five decades.

Also on – the excellent Yes compilation Yesterdays – this includes the track Survival one of the very best compositions by any band, anytime…

The birthdays of Jim Lea and Noddy Holder this week had me wading through the Slade In Flame album – the likes of Far Far Away and How Does It Feel confirming what brilliantly melodic songwriters that pair were. Searching out the top ten Jimmy Page solos for the Classic Rock website listing led me on a highly enjoyable journey through  the 1990 Remasters box set and the sequel Boxed Set 2 – the latter remains one of my favourite collections of Zep material.

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It was a pleasant surprise to hear Bring it On Home soundtracking the BBC’s build up to their coverage of the England v Russia match last Saturday. Less pleasant of course, was Russia’s late equalising goal and the deplorable behaviour of their fans. Those shocking scenes, along with the scuffles involving a minority of English fans have somewhat tainted the tournament so far.

However, as the pic shows, our gang of Josh, Aaron, Max and Adam (along with the good lady Janet who took the pic!)  enjoyed witnessing a rare last minute winning goal this afternoon as England triumphed against Wales 2-1. Here’s hoping the winning ways continue against Slovakia on Monday night.

Dave Lewis  – June 16, 2016.

YouTube clips:

Howard Mylett interviewed at the 1992 Celebration Days Led Zeppelin Convention:

Clock this solo at 2mins and 8secs – the great Henry McCullough who has sadly passed away aged 72 – RIP..

Until next time…

Have a great weekend,

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – June 16, 2016.

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To view additional photos and TBL info be sure to hook up with the Tight But Loose Facebook page (add us as a friend) at!/profile.php?id=1611296783


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