Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne can’t believe Led Zeppelin were recently forced to defend themselves in court over claims they plagiarised the opening chords of Stairway To Heaven from the Spirit track Taurus.
Ozzy tells Rolling Stone: “That should have never gone to court. I heard the original thing, and there’s just a slight similarity. It’s like saying any fucking song with that kind of a guitar on it is a rip-off. It’s not fair. There’s only so many fucking notes on a guitar, and it wasn’t that much like Stairway To Heaven. I’m amazed it lasted so fucking long.
“You listen to All Right Now by Free and you listen to Steve Miller’s Rock’N Me, and it’s exactly the same riff and they haven’t sued each other. It’s exactly the same.”
After a trial last month, a Los Angeles jury determined that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant didn’t copy Spirit’s 1968 instrumental in the making of their classic track.
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Ozzy adds: “I’ve met John Bonham – I’ve met all of them. That group is fucking phenomenal. What do they need a fucking songwriter for? Why would they rip anybody off? It’s just a waste of fucking time. I’m really surprised it went to court. It’s fucking crazy.
“They don’t deserve it. Do you honestly think they’ll sit there and go, ‘Oh, we’ll steal this and change it a bit like this so it sells.’ Fuck. Give me a break. The song that was played was a bit similar but it was only the chord sequence.”
The fallout from the Stairway trial continues as Led Zeppelin publishers Warner/Chappell Music are seeking $613,000 in legal fees for defending the case.
Following the trial, Plant resumed his 2016 summer tour with The Sensational Space Shifters. A July 18 appearance by the singer at the Nice Jazz Festival in France was cancelled following the lorry attack in the city on Thursday that left 84 dead and dozens injured when the driver ploughed through a crowd that had gathered to watch Bastille Day fireworks.