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Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Wyldgusechaz, Jul 13, 2007.
Was LZ just a trumped up cover band? I keep hearing ths.
If so, what a drag.
There is this site called MarksFriggin.com - SternSuperFan.com - Welcome that scrpts the Howard Stern show daily, I don't have Sirius (I own the stock tho and its a complete dog), and Stern apparently played a bunch of songs that were written by others that LZ basically covered and did not credit.
I always have a LZ CD in my car and now I can'r listen to them. I need the truth.
Oh, it's Friday. Thanks for reminding me.
I've never heard anything else about it, so I'm not going to believe Howard Stern of all people. Do you remember the names of the song that they supposedly ripped off?
Puhleeze. If Led Zeppelin had been ripping off their music, we would've heard about it long before now and the ensuing legal action. Don't worry about it and crank that Physical Graffiti. I know I will.
Actually, there was legal action. The legendary Willie Dixon sued em and won a settlement out of court. The key when covering old blues men is to at least credit them, like the Stones did, when you're ripping them off.
Here's a list of their various degrees of borrowing.
Allegations of plagiarism
When Led Zeppelin's debut album was released, it received generally positive reviews, however John Mendelsohn of Rolling Stone magazine, criticized the band for stealing music, notably "Black Mountain Side" from Bert Jansch's "Black Water Side" and the riff from "Your Time Is Gonna Come" from Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy". He also accused the band of mimicking black artists, and showing off. This marked the beginning of a long rift between the band and the magazine, with Led Zeppelin rejecting later requests for interviews and cover stories as their level of success escalated.
One song from the album, "Dazed and Confused", was a song originally written by Jake Holmes on his album "The Above Ground Sound" of Jake Holmes. Jimmy Page decided to rework the song, but for reasons unknown claimed sole credit for the song upon release, with Holmes having never received any royalty payments for their recording. Holmes did not file suit over the song, although he did send the band a letter stating "I understand it's a collaborative effort, but I think you should give me some credit at least and some remunity." His letter was never replied to and he did not follow up on it.
Led Zeppelin II's credits have also been the subject of debate since the album's release. The prelude to "Bring It on Home" is a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Bring it on Home" and drew comparisons with Dixon's "Bring It on Back". "Whole Lotta Love" (sample (info)) shared a line with Dixon's "You Need Love/Woman You Need Love". In the 1970s, Arc Music, the publishing arm of Chess Records, brought a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over "Bring It on Home" and won an out-of-court settlement. Dixon himself did not benefit until he sued Arc Music to recover his royalties and copyrights. Years later, Dixon filed suit against Led Zeppelin over "Whole Lotta Love" and a large out-of-court settlement was reached. Later pressings of Led Zeppelin II credit Dixon.
The opening chord progression and verse in "Stairway to Heaven" are nearly identical to the 1968 instrumental "Taurus" by the group Spirit. Led Zeppelin was the opening act for Spirit's 1968 tour., three years before "Stairway To Heaven" was written, but nobody in Led Zeppelin has ever cited influence for the song from "Taurus".
Zeppelin also allegedly sold their souls to the devil but I'm not sure I'm gonna believe that one. The things listed above seem pretty common to me, lots of bands take ideas and influences from previous work. If we are going to be picky about things like that, then I bet you cnd find thousands of riffs or songs that are completely bit off of led zeppelins work. Taking something someone made and changing it so it becomes your own is not plagarism nor stealing. Its influence.
I also think I read somewhere that some of those things they readily admitted such as dazed and confused. Those songs were inspiration for them. Even the mighty Zep is allowed such a thing right? There really is no musical big bang theory where everthing spawned from, its just evolved.
I think it was Picasso who said "All art is a tribute to previous art". This gets me thinking about the first Cro-magnon man who produced the first cave drawing. What a revolutionary.
From the Howard Stern scrpt:
Howard said this next guest, Denny Somach, is a guy he used to worship. he used to program a radio station that he wanted to be on years ago. he said he knows all kinds of radio information that he doesn't even know. He asked Denny when he got involved in the radio business. Denny said he was about 17 or 18. He went on to talk about some of the shows he used to produce in the years past. He mentioned a bunch of popular shows he used to produce and mentioned that he was asked to do a thing for Howard Stern back when he was at WNBC. Howard said he wanted to get his show syndicated back then but they ended up taking his idea and gave it to Soupy Sales instead. He said he flipped out on them about that. Denny said that they told him that he went and worked on a special for Howard to get him the syndicated show but it was the week he got fired. He said that they were going to go through with it up until he got fired.
Howard gave Denny a plug for his web site ClassicRockCentral.com and Denny said that he had all of this stuff they were about to talk about up on the site if the audience wanted to follow along. Howard said that Denny was going to show them some examples of how it appears that Led Zeppelin stole almost every one of their songs from other bands. They took credit for writing those songs for years but now Atlantic Records has started crediting the original writers on their latest Greatest Hits album.
Howard had Denny present them the evidence. the first song was ''Babe I'm Gonna Leave You'' which may have been ripped off from Joan Baez's performance of an Anne Bredon song. Howard played the original song and then the Led Zeppelin song which was very similar. Fred said that he read the lyrics and it does look like they stole the songs word for word.
Howard played both songs and listened to how similar they were. Of course the Zeppelin stuff was rockin' while the Joan Baez was pretty mellow. Howard took a call from a guy who said that this stuff had changed his opinion of the band now.
Howard went to the next song ''Dazed and Confused.'' Howard played a Jake Holmes song which was the one that appears to have been ripped off by Zeppelin. Howard played the Zeppelin cover of the song and it was like a direct rip off. Denny said he had a story about Jake Holmes to tell too. He said that Jake said that 17 years went by before he found out about this. He said that Jake was an unknown person and he had gone into the jingle business and wrote the ''Be All You Can Be'' jingle for the Army and some other things. Jake was also in a comedy trio with Joan Rivers for a while. He got out of the music business for a while and didn't know about the song being ripped off. He said that The Yardbirds are back together and perform the song but they do give Jake credit now.
Howard moved on to the next song which was a rip off of ''Blackwater Side'' which was changed to ''Black Mountain Side.'' Fred asked if it's possible that even the other performers didn't write those songs. Denny said it's possible but they should have had a disclaimer on the songs if that was the case.
Howard played a few more clips of examples of riffs that could have been ripped off. There were many examples that sounded like songs that could have been ripped off. One of them was the ''Stairway to Heaven'' opening that appeared to be ripped off from another band. It was a good cover of the song but they were just doing the originals better. A caller said that this is awful for Jimmy Paige because he's such a great guitarist. He said that it's just wrong to make these guys look bad because there are other bands that covered old songs. Howard said that bands like The Beatles would credit the other guys that they covered
Perhaps Led Zeppelin III is the most original of all their albums.
So this proves my point that any legal recourse would have happened long before now because it did. Gotcha.
I have difficulty understanding why someone would sue for lack of credit 30 years after the song/s were released, thus my reticence to believe such claims.
EDIT: after reading the WGC's excerpt, I still don't understand why some of these artists never came forward with their claims. Led Zeppelin has made more money over the years than most of us can fathom. Why weren't they sued for royalties? Were they intimidated by this musical juggernaut and hesitant come forward?
duhh its because Zeppelin went down to the crossroads and sold their souls to the devil. You can hear proof if you play the records backwards gosh EVERYBODY knows that! They had the devil on their side and the poor folk didn't want to mess with that.
This is devastating news indeed. One of my absolute joys in life was grabbing our surfboards with my buds, jumping in the van heading down to Baja and hitting all the best waves. As MB said, cranking up Physical Gaffitti and smoking some stuff, avoiding the Federales, just friends, music, surf and sunset, no people, no tourists, the beaches all to ourselves and again the music.
Fuck em, I am still doing that. Who cars. great songs and great guitars.
Mercurial, Skull, wanna go? Short board or long board? Hit the Long Board Grotto in Encinitas, lobster dinner in Rosarita and surf with the whales along Baja. Forever.
White musicians have been ripping off black musicians since the 50s, and probably earlier than that. So?
I forgot to toss logic out the window. My bad. :biggrin1:
*turns the record backwards to the garbled strains of "....myyyy...suhhhhweeet...saaatannn..."*
This is not news. The claims and legal action have been going on since the early 70's.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
Can you wait until the end of August? I'm taking a few surfing lessons next month when I hit the west coast, driving from Santa Cruz to Big Sur. I suspect i'll be in the water more than the board but you can give me a few pointers. Or just fish me out of the water when I fall. :redface:
It sucks for artists who weren't credited if the allegations are true. Clerical error or perhaps greed. Bummer.
Does it take away from my appreciation of their music. Nope. They made great music.
Does performing cover songs make you a lightweight?
Ray Charles did a lot of cover songs.
Not much of a Zep fan anyway. It's one of several reasons why I don't use Big Zeppelin as my novelty handle.