The iconic band Led Zeppelin is being sued for copyright infringement of the opening stanzas of what might be the most famous rock and roll song of all times, Stairway to Heaven.
The suit is being brought by the estate of the late musician Randy California of the rock and roll group, Spirit. It charges that parts of Stairway to Heaven were plagiarized from Spirit’s song, Taurus.
In the late 60’s the newly formed band Led Zeppelin, was touring as an opening gig for Spirit. The suit charges that Zeppelin’s famed guitarist, Jimmy Page, was acquainted with Taurus and the entire catalog of Spirit’s songs.
I heard Taurus this morning, and can see definite similarities between it and Stairway to Heaven.
Led Zeppelin was one of my favorite groups for many years.
In the high school rock and roll band that I had in the 70’s by the name of Shades of Incomplete Metamorphosis, Led Zeppelin songs were staples.
I am not the judge of what is happening between Spirit’s Taurus and Zeppelins, Stairway to Heaven. Those were dark days for me.
Another Zeppelin song, Dazed and Confused, described who I was in 1970’s.
But this is what happened that changed me
At the age of 18 I left my family in the Virgin Islands as an absolutely lost young man.
I had been accepted in the Harvard of the South, Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee.
These were the days of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles.
It wasn’t more than a few months later at Vanderbilt that I was smoking tons of marijuana, taking bi amphetamines, and became chronically drunk.
At Vanderbilt one must be a fair student to get C’s, an excellent student to get B’s and a zombie study nut with zero social life to make A’s. I was making D’s.
I was dating a girl who had psychological issues. One night she telephoned in an extremely depressed mood, and suicidal. I heard her open up a bottle of pills. She passed out. Madly, I ran a mile to the girl’s dorm and told the security guard what occurred. The RA and other girls broke into her room and found her passed out. They made her vomit and saved her life
That night, I came close to knowing what a nervous breakdown is. I felt like a vegetable. I could not think, I could not function, and was comatose. In the following weeks, I developed insomnia and persistent chest pains.
One night I laid crumpled upon the bed of my tiny room at Vanderbilt engulfed with self-pity, and fear.
I made an appointment the next day to go the nurse because I was petrified of the chest pains.
My brother George, who is now deceased, was a freshman at the college. He came to visit. He had had an encounter with Jesus Christ.
George said, “Why don’t you ask Jesus to heal you?”
In the darkness of my room, I cried out in desperation to the unknown God whom I had never prayed to. “God if you are real, please heal me!” I suddenly felt an invisible hand reach inside my chest. It felt like a painless spiritual surgery. I passed out into a deep sleep.
In the morning, I woke up and realized that I had missed the appointment with the nurse. The chest pains and anxiety were gone. I was healed.
I turned my back upon Jesus though, and went back to the bars and drugs of Nashville. Five years later I broke. I dropped out as a junior and went to Florida where my family had moved to.
My parents were in the heat of a divorce. My father packed up his bags, left home, never to come back.
Two more years passed. I was unemployed, drinking and taking more drugs.
In 1979, my father hired me to be a file clerk at his insurance company in what we call in Miami, “The Little Havana.” By that time, my life had hit the rock bottom. I went to visit a woman psychologist who had treated me in Cuba twenty years earlier for a speech impediment. Now in her 70’s, I told her how messed up my life was. She replied, “Jose, get close to God” At that moment, a light darted through me. I knew that this unknown God was calling me back to what had occurred at Vanderbilt.
Next to my father’s office was an empty Episcopalian church which was opened. I was so broken, fearful, and helpless. During my lunch breaks, I went to the church and prayed to this God whom I did not know.
I did not know if He was Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Krishna or Confucius. For ten days I went to the church, got on my knees and cried out to its roof for help and mercy. Nothing happened; there were no bright lights, no voices, just silence. On the 10th day, a Presence of the sweetest, most innocent, and most delightful love came upon and enveloped me. I knew that this Presence loved me, and could be my very best friend, I knew that this Being would never play a head game with me. I was so hungry for more. I visited the church again and again and came into contact with this wonderful being.
I was to realize that this was the Holy Spirit. As I my encounters continued, my heart was compelled to go to a Christian bookstore and buy a Living Bible. As the months evolved I realized that this was Jesus, not Mohammed, not Buddha, not the crystals, not the energy or an aura and not Krishna. This glorious Presence had drawn me only to Jesus!
God changed and healed me and has given me the most fantastic wife, beautiful children, a wonderful global Christian family, and the most fulfilled life.
I came to realize that everything that I had been always seeking in girls, money, drugs and drinking, Jesus was the answer. I realized that He was the key to my heart. I was captivated by His tender love and friendship and by a continual protection over me that only a mother hen can give to her chicks.
Thirty seven years later, my friendship, love affair, and hunger for more of Jesus continue undiminished. He has never stopped being my friend.
I pray that Led Zeppelin and Spirit can resolve their problems amicably.
I have the real Stairway to Heaven found only in Jesus Christ. I am no longer, Dazed and Confused.
Here is the link for you to compare Taurus with Stairway to Heaven.