Jimmy Page was back on the stand for day 3 of the Led Zeppelin copyright infringement trial in Los Angeles centered around the band’s signature song “Stairway To Heaven.”
The Los Angeles Times reports Page was grilled for two hours Thursday morning by attorney Francis Malofiy, who is representing the estate of Randy Craig Wolfe of the Los Angeles rock band Spirit via trustee Michael Skidmore over claims that the acoustic introduction to “Stairway” was lifted from their 1968 instrumental, “Taurus.”
Several of Malofiy’s attempts to extract technical and contractual information about the tune from Page were shut down by U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner for various legal reasons.
In an odd moment, Malofiy played Dick Van Dyke’s recording of the “Mary Poppins” song “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and suggested Page had cited it, rather than Spirit’s 1968 instrumental “Taurus,” as the inspiration for “Stairway.”
Page sharply disagreed, testifying, “No, I didn’t say that. I said they have similar descending chromatic lines.”
The common ground between the two songs in question comes down to a 10-second musical theme that appears 45 seconds into “Taurus,” an instrumental from Spirit’s 1968 debut album released three years before “Stairway” surfaced on “Led Zeppelin IV.”
The jury must decide whether members of Led Zeppelin heard the song played enough times to conceivably rip it off and whether the two songs meet a legal threshold of “substantial similarity.”
Peter Anderson, one of Zeppelin’s attorneys, told jurors Tuesday the similarity is nothing more than coincidence between musicians working in a field rooted in commonly used and reused musical ideas.
Co-defendant Robert Plant has been in court this week as part of the proceedings but has yet to testify in the matter.
Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page testifies at Stairway To Heaven trial
VIDEO: Train performs Led Zeppelin II classics on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven trial begins in Los Angeles
Robert Plant cancels Meltdown appearance for Led Zeppelin trial
Search Led Zeppelin at hennemusic