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Randy California Rides Again!

Paul Berger's picture

In a December edition of my Copycats series, I told the tale of a lawsuit for copyright infringement brought by the estate of Randy California (nee Randy Wolfe) against Jimmy Page and Robert Plant based on the opening chords to Stairway to Heaven. You see, Randy, frontman and lead guitarist of the 60's band Spirit, wrote a song called Taurus that had a remarkably similar intro. After poor Randy died trying to save his drowning son, his executor sued Page and Plant, alleging that they brazenly ripped off the opening riff of Spirit's song. The case went all the way to the jury in federal court, with a verdict in favor of the two English rockers. End of story, right? Wrong. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed the case and sent it back for retrial, ruling that the district court really screwed up the trial. I'll keep you up to date and play a mashup of the two opening guitar riffs. I'm also going to play some long killer performances by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Peter Frampton, Walter Trout, the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Led Zeppelin, all at the top of their game. Don't worry, I've also included some softer, gentler tones as well, including a new Leonard Cohen cover from Madeleine Peyroux and ballads by Pentangle, Mark Knopfler and Patty Larkin. Finally, a tribute to the late great Marty Balin, co-founder and lead singer of the Jefferson Airplane. Join me this Wednesday 4-7 am, or stream later by clicking on archive.kvmr.org.