‘Stairway to Heaven’ creator faces questions of song origin

In this July 13, 1985 file photo, singer Robert Plant, left, and guitarist Jimmy Page of the British rock band Led Zeppelin perform at the Live Aid concert at Philadelphia's J.F.K. Stadium. (AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page faces tough questioning in a trial over whether the band stole a riff for the opening of “Stairway to Heaven.”

Page is to resume testimony Thursday in Los Angeles federal court in a dispute over the copyright to the Spirit song, “Taurus.”

Page says he never heard the instrumental tune on Spirit’s first album and didn’t realize he owned a copy of it until he learned that comparisons with “Stairway” were cropping up online.

Page says his band did borrow a riff from another Spirit tune in the early days of the band when it didn’t have a lot of material and relied heavily on cover songs.

Page says he only knew Spirit’s song “Fresh Garbage” because he heard it on the radio.