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Robert Plant in 'Stairway' Suit: He Can't Remember the '60s

Image: Robert Plant in 'Stairway' Suit: He Can't Remember the '60s
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By    |   Thursday, 23 Jun 2016 12:28 PM

Robert Plant testified in the "Stairway to Heaven" tune-stealing trial that he could hardly remember anyone he hung out with in the 1960s, much less anything about lifting a riff from another band's song back then, reported The Hollywood Reporter.

The 67-year-old singer took the stand in Los Angeles as Led Zeppelin fought charges in a federal civil lawsuit that it ripped off the opening of Spirit's 1968 song "Taurus." Spirit charges that its song was plagiarized to create the Zeppelin mega-hit.

Attorney Michael Skidmore charged in court documents that Spirit and Led Zeppelin performed together at a number of shows before 1971, reported The Wrap, and in one show Led Zeppelin covered one of Spirit's songs, "Fresh Garbage," which appeared on the same album as the song "Taurus." 

In his testimony on Tuesday, Plant said he didn't remember ever meeting Spirit band members, reported THR.

"I don't have a recollection of mostly anybody I've hung out with," Plant said, adding that in all the "hubbub and chaos" he couldn't be expected to remember one person he had not seen in some 40 years, noted THR.

Plant said he visited the pub the plaintiff said they met in, Mother's in Birmingham, England, about 40 to 50 times during the late 1960s and early 1970s, said THR.

Under questioning from his attorney Peter Anderson, Plant said he couldn't read or write music, so even if he did hear "Taurus" he wouldn't have been able to transcribe the music.

Plant partially blamed his lack of memory on a car accident in Birmingham in 1969, said Rolling Stone magazine.

Plant testified that "Stairway to Heaven" evolved from work the band did at the country estate Headley Grange, noted Rolling Stone.

"One evening, Jimmy Page and I sat by the fire going over bits and pieces," Plant said in court, according to Rolling Stone, building on the melody and lyric based on his fascination with Celtic lore. "The mountains of Wales, Snowdonia ... and the pastoral areas of Britain I love."

Plant said Led Zeppelin covered songs from Spirit, the Yardbirds, and Ben E. King, noted Rolling Stone.

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Robert Plant testified in the "Stairway to Heaven" tune-stealing trial that he could hardly remember anyone he hung out with in the 1960s, much less anything about lifting a riff from another band's song back then.
robert plant, stairway
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2016-28-23
Thursday, 23 Jun 2016 12:28 PM
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