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Jimmy Page, Robert Plant will attend Led Zeppelin Stairway trial

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (Image credit: Getty)

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant will attend the Stairway To Heaven copyright trial in the US next month, lawyers have said.

Proceedings are set to commence in California on June 14. The court will decide whether Led Zeppelin based the opening section of their 1971 anthem on the instrumental piece Taurus by Spirit, which had been released four years earlier.

Action was instigated by the estate of late Spirit guitarist Randy California, who’d always insisted Stairway was lifted from his work. His arguments are presented by lawyer Francis Malofiy, who’s petitioned US District Judge Gary Klausner to compel the pair to attend.

Page and Plant, who deny any wrongdoing, have both recorded video testimonies for the trial. Bassist John Paul Jones was originally included in the lawsuit but was later removed.

Malofiy wrote in his motion: “Defendants’ refusal to specify if they will appear is causing havoc. Because Defendants are not being clear whether they will attend, Plaintiff is being forced to designate more deposition testimony that he will need if they appear.

“This uncertainty is extremely costly as Plaintiff is also having to edit hours of video deposition testimony.”

Led Zeppelin’s lawyers say: “We have previously made it clear that Messrs Page and Plant will attend the trial, but with them coming from England we cannot guarantee the day they will arrive.”

Malofiy accuses the musicians of trying to “dictate the court’s schedule” and says they’re displaying a “lack of common courtesy.” He wants a failure to appear to be officially regarded as a limited admission of guilt.

It’s thought that, if the case is found against Led Zeppelin, it could cost them as much as $40m in settlement payments.

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Martin Kielty

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.