The trial to determine whether Led Zeppelin lifted a key segment of the melody of Stairway To Heaven from an instrumental title Taurus by the band Spirit opened in Los Angeles federal court Tuesday (6/14). Present for the day's proceedings were both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant as well as Michael Skidmore, a musician and composer who is the executor of the late Spirit member and Taurus writer Randy California. Page and Plant sat stoically through the opening of the trial that is expected to run no more than four days. Presided over by a cold, decidedly un-hip judge who calls the defendants 'the Led Zeppelin'. Also in the courtroom and expected to testify at some point during the trial were former Spirit members Mark Andes and Jay Ferguson. Dueling versions of the Spirit song were played and evaluated by the respective sides. The presentation by the defense contends that the similarity between the Spirit and Zeppelin songs is a foundational sequencing of scale that's found in songs written as long ago as the 1600's and was used in Michelle by the Beatles.
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