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Ozzy Osbourne and Jeff Beck Weigh in on Led Zeppelin Lawsuit

Frazer Harrison / Kevin Winter / Simone Joyner, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison / Kevin Winter / Simone Joyner, Getty Images

Last month, a jury ruled that Led Zeppelin were not guilty of stealing “Stairway to Heaven” from Spirit’s “Taurus.” Now, two of their contemporaries, Jeff Beck and Ozzy Osbourne, have issued their thoughts on the matter in recent interviews. Although both of them felt — as did Ultimate Classic Rock’s staff — that the right side prevailed, they took different approaches in expressing their opinions.

“I had to smirk because I knew that Jimmy [Page] and Robert [Plant] would come out on top,” Beck dryly told Billboard. “Apparently you can’t copyright a chord sequence. It has to have a lyric or some kind of a meaningful melody to be copyrighted. And it is a chord sequence which has been used loads of times, but not in such an iconic way. It clearly is the same chord sequence, but then we’re all guilty of stealing a chord sequence and sticking some words on top of it. So I think it’s a bit of bravado to try to bring it to court, but Jimmy came out ahead. So, lucky old Jim!”

As for Osbourne, he declared his support for Led Zeppelin by using the type of language that turned him into a reality television star. “It’s f—ing crazy, actually,” he said to 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 f—ing song with that kind of a guitar on it is a rip-off. It’s not fair. There’s only so many f—ing notes on a guitar, and it wasn’t that much like ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ I’m amazed it lasted so f—ing long, you know?”

To further prove his point, Osbourne gave the example of two classic rock songs that are even more similar than “Stairway to Heaven” and “Taurus.” ”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,” he continued. “It’s exactly the same.”

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