‘Stairway to Heaven’ Trial: Opening Statements Could Lead To Mistrial
The trial over whether Led Zeppelin copied the guitar riff in Stairway to Heaven from the band Spirit could end before the trial truly begins.
A video was shown during opening statements that sparked talk about a potential mistrial.
In previewing his case on behalf of Michael Skidmore, trustee for late Spirit songwriter Randy Wolfe, attorney Francis Malofiy played a video of a man playing the beginning of Stairway to Heaven then the bass line of Taurus, followed by both videos synched.
Led Zeppelin’s attorney objected to the video, claiming it wasn’t included in the list of exhibits submitted prior to trial.
U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner said if the video really wasn’t in the joint exhibit list, its use would be “grounds for a mistrial.”
The plaintiff’s lawyer said the case could be summed up in six words, “give credit where credit is due”.
Read more about the trial’s opening statements here via The Hollywood Reporter.
Did Zeppelin rip off Taurus? Is there a similarity, unintentional or uncredited?