Robert Plant and Jimmy Page Back on Stand in 'Stairway to Heaven' Trial

Testimony explores the connection between Led Zeppelin and the band Spirit.

The lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement on their iconic song was originally filed in 2014, by the lesser known band Spirit. The band, who toured with Led Zeppelin in the late 60s, claimed guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant incorporated a unique musical phrase from Spirit’s song “Taurus” in the introduction of the hit song “Stairway to Heaven."

During his testimony today, Plant admitted to owning a compilation album from the band Spirit, but said the album did not contain the song that is said to be similar to "Stairway." He confirmed he had been present on a night when Spirit played live in a club, but said he had a bad car accident later that night with "part of the windshield buried" in his head, so he didn't remember any details.

He added that he's met countless people in the music industry and has "no recollection of mostly anyone I've ever hung out with."

When asked directly about borrowing musical ideas from other artists, Plant said there's always been cross pollination -- for instance, Little Richard or The Beatles wouldn't exist without lifting sounds.

Jimmy Page took the stand next, disputing testimony from Spirit bassist Larry Fuzzy Knight about being at a Spirit show in London in 1973. Page is expected back on the stand Tuesday afternoon. He described his original vision for "Stairway to Heaven" as "a piece of music that would go through many moods and changes...starting with acoustic guitar."

The complaint states that notes from “Stairway to Heaven” sound almost exactly the same as Spirit's instrumental song “Taurus." Experts for the late Randy “California” Wolfe, former Spirit singer, claim that Led Zeppelin lifted the riff, pointing to a similar chord progression.

Lawyers for Led Zeppelin have denied plagiarism and maintained that even if copyright were infringed, it does not account for the wild success of the song. They have claimed any similarities are insubstantial and a defense expert testified that the chord progression has been essential in music for more than 300 years.

Judge Gary Klausner had decided the songs were similar enough to move forward when the case was presented to a jury on May 10.

According to an economist that testified for the defense, Page has earned $615,000 and Plant $532,000 from the song in the past five years, the window for which damages could potentially be awarded.