Home News Classic Rock News John Paul Jones Takes the Stand in “Stairway to Heaven” Trial

John Paul Jones Takes the Stand in “Stairway to Heaven” Trial


Neil Lupin/Getty ImagesCourt won’t be in session today in the copyright infringement trial over Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway to Heaven.”  But in Friday afternoon’s session, Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones took the stand.

At issue is a claim by the estate of Spirit‘s Randy California that Led Zeppelin took the intro of “Stairway to Heaven” from Spirit’s tune “Taurus.”  On the stand, Jones said he was only recently been made aware that his band had shared some bills with Spirit in the late ’60s and said he does not ever recall seeing Spirit play.

During Friday’s session, defense expert Dr. Lawrence Ferrara, professor of music at New York University, faced cross examination and asserted that the disputed “Stairway” passage is closer to the folk song “To Catch a Shad” than it is to “Taurus.”

Also during the session it was determined that the plaintiff’s attorney, Francis Malofiy, has hit the ten hours he was allotted to make his case and going forward will be limited to 10 minutes in cross examining defense witnesses.

The trial resumes in federal district court in Los Angeles on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

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