For boomers who grew up playing air guitar to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," it's mind-blowing to think that the 1971 classic rock standard might actually have been copied from another song. Lawyers for the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy California reportedly are planning to file a suit claiming that the opening riff in "Stairway" was ripped off from Spirit's considerably less famous 1968 song "Taurus."
If you grew up in the early to mid-1970s, you may remember tuning your AM radio to a local Top 40 station and grooving to music that, for want of a better word, we'll call the Memphis Sound. It was a hybrid of country's twangy guitar and plaintive vocals with the driving beat and existential, socially conscious lyrics of the West Coast's psychedelic rockers, with a little soul music mixed in, to produce a catchy sound that was a little hippie and a little homespun. Songs such as "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" made you want to shake your hips and get funky, but when you listened to the words, you couldn't help but think, too.
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