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."
Graphic designer Storm Thorgerson, who died on April 18 at age 69 in his native England, created something that just about every boomer who came of age in the 1970s had in his milk crate of record albums: that iconic image of light passing through a prism that graced the cover of Pink Floyd's 1973 LP Dark Side of the Moon (see right). That cover alone would have justified science-fiction author Douglas Adams' conclusion that Thorgerson was "the best album designer in the world."
This December is prime time for 50+ rockers. Is it ever! The fact was proven abundantly by stars from the mighty Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen to The Rolling Stones, The Who and Bon Jovi in the 12-12-12 benefit for Hurricane Sandy victims this month. (Yes, Mick Jagger looked creaky, but he still ruled the stage!) This week brings the annual after-Christmas treat -- The Kennedy Center Honors, being broadcast by CBS Wednesday, Dec. 26. And front-and-center once again are top-name acts who continue plying the rocker trade as sexagenarians.
His five favorite songs are "Gallows Pole" (Led Zeppelin), "Immigrant Song" (Led Zeppelin) "Trucking" (Grateful Dead), "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (Metallica), and "A Country Boy Can Survive" (Hank Williams, Jr.).
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