The Led Zeppelin Trial

The Led Zeppelin Trial

When the legendary band Led Zeppelin was cleared of “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism charges recently, there is no question that it was a good day for Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and the rest. However, it is worth keeping in mind that Led Zeppelin is no stranger to the courtroom. Nor are they unfamiliar with accusations of plagiarism. In fact, such claims have dogged the band on a number of occasions, leading some to question their creativity and integrity.

Regardless of how you feel about the matter, you can’t deny that Led Zeppelin has been involved with a number of plagiarism cases, in form or another. Also, we should also keep in mind that these sorts of cases are extremely common.

 Led Zeppelin and Plagiarism

The most recent Led Zeppelin plagiarism lawsuit involved their famous song “Stairway to Heaven”, and a 1967 song by Spirit entitled “Taurus”. The estate behind “Taurus”, as well as members of the band, argued that “Stairway” was lifted from their work, after both bands played on the same bill at a concert in 1970. Further testimony stated that not only did the groups play together on a specific night, but that they also hung out together afterwards.

Both Plant and Page denied the claims. Eventually, Zeppelin came out on top in the lawsuit. Amongst other elements of their defense, singer-songwriter Robert Plant offered a detailed account of the incident that he said actually led to the writing of “Stairway.”

As mentioned before, this is not the only time Led Zeppelin has found themselves in court. Arc Music brought a famous lawsuit against the band in 1972, arguing that Zeppelin had stolen heavily in the writing and recording of “Bring it on Home” and “The Lemon Song.” Another incident saw Zeppelin defending plagiarism accusations against “Whole Lotta Love.” Yet another lawsuit would involve whether or not Zeppelin had stolen from Ritchie Valens. All of these involved Led Zeppelin paying settlements to various parties. For “Whole Lotta Love”, later pressings of the record gave credit to Willie Dixon, who had accused the band of ripping off his song “You Need Love.”


While Led Zeppelin has had several lawsuits and accusations brought against them over the years, they are not the only artists who have fought for or defended against plagiarism/credit claims.


Further Examples

If you want a few more examples to supplement all of the Led Zeppelin stuff, you won’t have to travel very far. You can find successful suits/settlements, as well as unsuccessful suits. You can also find cases that were left unsettled, or ones that only existed in the form of allegation. A number of suits over the years have also been forgiven over time.


For example, The Beatles 1969 track “Come Together” contains a line from a Chuck Berry song. Berry’s publisher sued, and songwriter John Lennon made a settlement that involved promising to record three songs from their catalog for his next album. Lennon failed to make good on this promise, and wound up having to pay a settlement.


Oasis is a band that has had to defend itself in court (unsuccessfully) against various accusations. Most famously, a court awarded co-writing credit to musician-comedian Neil Innes, regarding similarities between Oasis’ “Whatever” and Innes’ “How Sweet to Be an Idiot.”


Most recently, both Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were found guilty of ripping off Marvin Gaye to write their controversial track “Blurred Lines.”


Examples of unsuccessful suits abound. John Fogerty was once unsuccessfully sued for self-plagiarism. Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” was the target of a 1993 lawsuit by Killing Joke. The suit was eventually dropped, when Kurt Cobain tragically died.


Unsettled Music Plagiarism Suits

Unsettled lawsuits involving music can be found throughout the decades, as well. There are also numerous examples of situations in which an accusation is made, or similarities are merely noticed, and the matter dies there. One example of this would be the similarities between Bruce Springsteen’s 2007 track “Radio Nowhere” and the 1982 Tommy Tutone release “867-5309/Jenny.” Beyond a comment from Tommy Heath that the world had perhaps become too litigious, nothing further has come of the matter.  In certain instances, artists have found themselves plagiarized, but unable to take the matter further. Eric Clapton and Louise King Mathews are one example of this.

Upcoming Music Events and Top Venues In The Bay Area

Upcoming Music Events and Top Venues In The Bay Area

San Francisco’s Bay Area has a rich, vibrant, lengthy association with the arts, particularly when you talk about music.

 Bay Area Music and Venues

While you can find music venues throughout the entire state of California, there is something rather special about San Francisco. There are venues with deep ties to the history of the Bay Area. There are venues that have sprung up and become popular over the past few years. The variety to the range of venues throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area is, quite frankly, amazing.

And in terms of music, you’re going to find that no matter what you are into, the Bay Area has something to offer you. This is something that is going to hold true for just about any given night of the week.

 Where to Go for Music in The Bay Area

If you are visiting the Bay Area for the first time, or if you are moving there in the near future, and you love music, you are in for a treat. San Francisco’s Bay Area offers music for every taste imaginable. Whether you like classic rock, tribute bands, indie darlings, virtual unknowns, or moving to the creative beats of the best DJs in California and beyond, you can find something appealing in this part of the state.

Start off by learning a little more about the best Bay Area indie music venues. Bottom of the Hill is a good example of what we are talking about. Alternative, rockabilly, and hard rock are just a few of the genres that come through this well-known location. You can also come across artists from such genres as folk or punk rock. The Makeup Room offers more of the same, in terms of music genres. However, you will find at The Makeup Room not only different artists, but also a decidedly different atmosphere from not only the Bottom of the Hill, but from any other venue in San Francisco.

The best music venues in the Bay Area are unique entities unto themselves. Over on O’Farrell Street, make it a point to visit the Great American Music Hall. People used to come to this place to check out the likes of Patti Smith, or The Grateful Dead. In the present, you can find artists like Arcade Fire headlining the bill.

If you really want to catch the hottest indie acts, you’ll want to find out what’s playing at Rickshaw Stop. Since 2004, this venue has offered one of the most eclectic calendars to be found anywhere. These are only three examples. You should also check out venues like Café Du Nord, The Hemlock Tavern, Milk Bar, Elbo Room, Slim’s, Monarch, Ruby Skye, and Monarch. And even with that list, you still haven’t covered all of your options.

 Bay Area Music Choices

Remember that a number of these clubs are 21 and older establishments. However, many venues offer shows for all ages. Make sure you know what the club is going to ask of you, prior to showing up for whatever you want to see, and remember to designate a driver for a safe ride home, reminds San Diego DUI Defense Attorneys.

Boss Hogg and Widespread Panic are just two major shows coming to the Bay Area soon. Comparing just those two groups should give you a pretty good idea of what you can find. As you check out shows featuring the likes of Blonde Redhead, you can also come across artists UB40, the legendary Sublime, Band of Horses, or even Creed Bratton (better known these days for his starring role on TV’s The Office). On the same night you head out to catch some 90’s nostalgia, there will likely be an indie hip hop show that only fifteen people know about. Move a couple of buildings down from that, and you might discover the next big thing in folk or alternative country.

If you like dance music, the Bay Area is going to take your breath away. Next Level Thursdays at Temple Nightclub is one possibility, while Stamina Sundays at 1192 Folsom is always a popular destination. Remember that no matter what kind of music you are looking for, there is a good chance that any given night is going to give you more than just one possibility. This is a city that never disappoints music fans.

Don’t forget about festivals either! San Francisco was built on rock n’ roll, enjoy it!