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English guitarist Jimmy Page playing a double-necked six and 12 stringed guitar during a Led Zeppelin concert at Earl's Court in London on May 18, 1975. / Graham Wiltshire, Getty Images

Was the opening to the 1971 classic Stairway to Heaven ripped off from another song?

Lawyers for the band Spirit say the Led Zeppelin song's intro sounds a lot like Spirit's 1968 instrumental track Taurus.

A lawyer representing Spirit guitarist Randy California, now deceased, said he will file a copyright infringement lawsuit and try to block the re-release of a Led Zeppelin album that includes the song, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

The goal is to give California a writing credit on Stairway to Heaven, said Francis Alexander Malofiy, one of the lawyers, according to the Bloomberg Businessweek article.

Spirit and California's family waited until now to make the claim because they had not been able to pay for lawyers, reports Rolling Stone.

The bands played four shows together in 1968 and 1969, according to Rolling Stone.

California did not appear to complain publicly about Stairway for decades. But he made a comment to Listener magazine in 1997 that he believed the song was "a ripoff," according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

California had told the magazine: "The guys made millions of bucks on it and never said 'Thank you,' never said, 'Can we pay you some money for it?' It's kind of a sore point with me. Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Led Zeppelin accused of stealing 'Stairway to Heaven' intro

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