Legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page took the stand in a Los Angeles courthouse in a trial to determine whether he ripped off the 1968 Spirit song “Taurus” while writing “Stairway to Heaven.”
Michael Skidmore, the trustee of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, dubbed after the real name of Spirit frontman Randy California, filed suit in 2014. His suit notes that Spirit and Zeppelin played a number of shows together before the 1971 release of “Stairway.”
Wearing a black suit, blue tie and white shirt, Page weighed in on an array of topics including his impressive guitar skills and lack of Internet savviness.
Read the five most eye-opening revelations from his testimony below.
Page revealed the size of his record collection
While on the stand, Page told the courtroom that he owns precisely 4,329 records. Apparently more a fan of digital media these days, the guitarist’s collection also contains 5,882 CDs, Page testified.
Among those records: The first Spirit album, which contains “Taurus.” He maintained that he did not own the record, released in 1968, during the 60s. He did state, however, that he owned the second and third albums during that decade.
Page added that he hasn’t really listened to Spirit’s self-titled 1968 debut, saying, “Since the comparisons [between ‘Taurus’ and ‘Stairway’], I really didn’t want to get that into it.” He noted that he only found out about the song “Taurus” when he caught wind of Internet comparisons between that song and “Stairway to Heaven.”
With all of those records, he has trouble keeping track of them
While testifying, Page said he had no idea how the first Spirit album ended up in his collection.
He doesn’t use the Internet
Though he said he was aware of Internet comparisons between “Taurus” and “Stairway,” Page said he doesn’t log onto the web. “I don’t do the Internet,” the guitarist testified. “I’m not like everyone else here.”
He knows he’s a pretty good guitar player
OK, maybe this one isn’t much of a bombshell, but it did provide one of the more amusing moments of the testimony. After Page testified that he started playing guitar at 12 and took up session work by 17, the plaintiff’s attorney, Francis Malofiy, noted, “You had a gift at playing guitar.” To which Page replied, “Well, yeah!”
His memory’s not too hot
OK, again, color us shocked. But despite earlier testimony that Zeppelin opened for Spirit during their debut U.S. concert and shared the bill with Spirit at a number of festivals, Page said he didn’t recall playing on any bills with the band. He also testified that he never had any interactions with the group.
During his time on the stand, Page was also read an interview that he gave in which he said, “Last time, we were the second group and Spirit was the third. Now we’ve each gone up one notch, and Spirit has second billing.” The guitarist testified that he didn’t recall saying that.
Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant is also expected to testify at the trial.