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‘Stairway to Heaven’ Judge Angered by Spirit’s ‘Mary Poppins’ Line of Questioning

Tim P. Whitby, Getty Images / Disney
Tim P. Whitby, Getty Images / Disney

For the second day in a row, Jimmy Page was grilled on the stand about the authorship of Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway to Heaven.” At one point, the attorney for the plaintiff questioned Page over whether or not “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins influenced the rock classic.

Rolling Stone reports that Francis Malofiy, who is representing the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California, played a bit of “Chim Chim Cher-ee” in the courtroom, which caused Page to smile. However, Judge Gary Klausner was having none of it, and told Malofiy, “you’re wasting a lot of time.”

Back in February, in a pre-trial declaration, Page spoke of the Mary Poppins song’s influence on “Stairway.” “I liked the idea of music going at counterpoint and I used that and similar ideas in my music. For example, as stated above, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ has a descending chromatic line over which there is also an ascending line, so that the music is going in two different directions.”

The Hollywood Reporter adds that Page, while on the stand, listened to Spirit’s “Taurus.” But the lawyer’s attempts to find out whether or not it could have influenced “Stairway” appeared to confuse Page.

Malofiy got under Klausner’s skin frequently during the day. Objections against his line of questioning were repeatedly sustained, Malofiy was often warned for straying too far off course and several issues regarding how Malofiy handled the sharing of evidence caused the judge to say, “The discovery [in this trial] has been abominable!”

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