Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page fielded a barrage of questions in a contentious and increasingly bizarre trial to determine whether one of the quintessential hit songs in the rock canon, “Stairway to Heaven,” was stolen.
Michael Skidmore, trustee of the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California, is accusing Led Zeppelin of borrowing part of “Stairway” from “Taurus,” a fairly obscure instrumental track composed by California.
Rolling Stone reports that Francis Malofiy, counsel for the plaintiff, drew a series of reprimands from Judge Gary Klausner, with Klausner telling Malofiy: “You’re wasting a lot of time.”
“One entertaining moment, however, occurred when Malofiy played the ‘Mary Poppins’ classic “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from the Disney film to discuss its use by Page as a potential inspiration for ‘Stairway,’ causing the rock legend to smile broadly,” Rolling Stone reports.
It was unclear what the point of the comparison was.
The report notes that Page, who is a co-defendant along with Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, has been bringing his guitar into the coutroom, and on Thursday a Yamaha electric piano was brought in. However, the musician apparently has yet to perform on the instruments in court.
We encourage readers to read Rolling Stone’s account of the unusual proceedings by clicking on the link near the top of this story.