Led Zeppelin Did Not Steal 'Stairway to Heaven' From Jewish Rockstar, Jury Rules

The suit charged that Led Zeppelin stole the 'Stairway to Heaven' riff from Spirit's song 'Taurus,' written by Jewish frontman Randy Wolfe, aka Randy California.

Randy Wolfe, aka Randy California, performing in Utrecht, the Netherlands, May 1, 1989.
Frans Schellekens/Redferns/Getty Images

The British rock band Led Zeppelin did not steal the famous anthem used in “Stairway to Heaven” from another rock band, a federal jury decided Thursday.

The verdict on a civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the late Randy Wolfe, aka Randy California, the Jewish frontman for the American psychedelic group Spirit, was announced in federal court in Los Angeles, The Associated Press reported.

The suit charged that Led Zeppelin stole the “Stairway to Heaven” riff from Spirit’s song “Taurus.”

Spirit toured with Led Zeppelin as its opening act in 1968. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page asked Wolfe in 1969 to show him how to play the intro to “Taurus,” and Led Zeppelin’s members were fans of Spirit and went to see their shows, even beyond the bands’ first tour together in 1968, according to court documents.

Page and Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant appeared in court for the trial.

Wolfe died in 1997 while saving his son from drowning off the coast of Molokai, Hawaii.

The trustee for Wolfe’s estate had filed the lawsuit more than 40 years after the songs were written.