06.13.2016 08:13 AM

Stairway to Litigation

In high school in Calgary, I detested Led Zep.  I particularly detested Stairway to Heaven,’ that staple of every high school sock hop.  I was a punk, you see.

‘Stairway to Heaven’ was a great way to dance up close with Karen Lux, however, so I kept quiet.  Page and Plant made zillions.  The world rolled on.

Many years later, we are learning that something was perhaps amiss.  Did Led Zep truly steal the riff for their most famous song?  Someone feels that they did – in respect of the unlikeliest song you could imagine – and has taken them to court over it.

Listen in, and decide for yourself, here.

In the meantime, Karen Lux, where are you now – and will you let your kids slow-dance to ‘Stairway to Heaven’?



  1. davie says:

    When you’re a retired senior they make you do all kinds of things – walk every day, bend and stretch, wear baggy pants, watch Downton Abbey,…and Square dance. Our square dance caller uses all kinds of songs; the other night the caller had us do se do ing to a song by Lady Gaga.
    I’ll mention this Stairway to Heaven thing to our caller. I’m sure he can come up with something for us.

    (Maybe I’ll even run that Donald Trump song of yours by him…)

  2. MississaugaPeter says:

    Just a few years younger than you, Stairway to Heaven, was the best end of the Calgary junior high school dance song ever!

    Some of the groping (that the girls did on me of course) and use of mistletoe, I fondly remember, but would flinch quite a bit if any of my four children had the same liberties at any of their dances. But they really did not have any dances in public schools here. Student Councils were expected to produce 1 dance a month in junior high and I believe our high school had 4 dances a year. In elementary/junior school here my children attended a dance in grade 8 and prom in grade 12. Truly pathetic.

  3. Kevin says:

    Ah, high school dances. We only had a few of those – it was a mission school, run by the Oblates, on a little island off Montreal. But we had 2 halls on the island that would hold dances, with live music. Travor Payne used to play at one of the halls, he did R&B before he got religion. What a musician! And I remember going over to a little depanneur on Duhamel and picking up a couple of quarts and some cigarettes for the evening, and downing the beer before getting to the hall so no one would know (meanwhile smelling of beer…).

    We moved to the city that fun forgot when I was 14, so that fun ended (other fun started). Stairway to Heaven came later. No, I don’t think it was stolen. Often a piece of music will influence (or inspire) some later piece of music. Unless it’s an utter rip-off, it should be seen as a compliment, IMO. (Of course, that raises the question of what is an “utter rip-off”).

  4. bigcitylib says:

    I recall one of Bonzo’s drum solos was supposed to be note for note cop of some blues guy.

    Probably like StoH better now than back in the day, when it was being played every ten minutes.

  5. Ray says:

    I detested ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as well…gawd awful. Would’ve rather listened to ‘Chim, Chim, Cheree’, in fact.

    Butthole Surfers ‘Hairway to Steven’, on the other hand….

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