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Scoop: Led Zep in court over ‘Stairway to Heaven’

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Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, left, and Robert Plant (pictured in 2012) are being accused of stealing the famous opening of “Stairway to Heaven” from a 1960s California band called Spirit. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The battle’s on over the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway to Heaven.”

Rock royalty turned out Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court for the civil trial in which the estate of late guitarist Randy “California” Wolfe has accused Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of stealing what might be rock and roll’s most recognizable riff.

A trustee for Wolfe’s estate claims Page and Plant picked up the tune from the song “Taurus,” but attorney Peter Anderson said evidence will show that the English songwriters did not violate the copyright of Wolfe’s instrumental.

Rolling Stone reporter Matt Diehl described a fun scene on opening day, mentioning an interesting cast of characters — in addition to the legendary Plant and Page — expected to appear throughout the trial, presided over by Judge Gregory Klausner (who amusingly referred to the defendants as “the Led Zeppelin”).

In his statement to the court, the plaintiff’s attorney Francis Malofiy indicated that Spirit members Mark Andes and Jay Ferguson, Linda Mensch (wife of manager Peter Mensch), music biz legend Lou Adler and Guitar World editor Brad Tolinski, who wrote 2013’s “Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page,” would appear or testify in court.

The defense’s witness list included one name: Zep bassist and co-founder John Paul Jones.

Stay tuned!


Despite what many are speculating, all is well with Lil Wayne.

On Tuesday, his representatives issued a statement to Entertainment Weekly, saying that the 33-year-old rapper, under treatment by his own doctors, is “in stable condition and good spirits” after suffering two “minor” seizures.

Derek Sherron, publicity director of The Chamber Group, said, “He thanks his fans for their everlasting support, prayers and well wishes.”

On Monday, TMZ busily reported that the entertainer had two seizures, prompting his private jet to make two emergency landings before he was hospitalized in Omaha, Neb. The site also mentioned similar incidences in 2012 and 2013 — one seizure on the set of a Nicki Minaj video — and that fact that the star had been seen “double-cupping a lot of codeine syrup” may have had something to do with his infirmity.


The 10th Treasure Island Music Festival on Oct. 15-16 (and its last on the island) features headliners Sigur Rós and Ice Cube, as well as James Blake, Purity Ring, ZHU, Glass Animals, Tycho, Duke Dumont, Mac DeMarco, Young Thug, Flight Facilities, Sylvan Esso, Christine and the Queens, Stormzy, Neon Indian, Wild Nothing, Kelala, HONNE, Hinds and Day Wave,


Former S.F. Giant Tim Lincecum is 32. … Actor Neil Patrick Harris is 43. … Actress Leah Remini is 46. … Rapper-actor Ice Cube is 47. … Actress Courteney Cox is 52. … Actress Helen Hunt is 53.

— Wire reports

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