In February, I talked with Tim English, author of "Sounds Like Teen Spirit," a book about bands that have ripped off other people's rock riffs and used them in their own tunes. We played several samples of the originals and the copies, and he cited Led Zeppelin as the most frequent culprit.
Now, a lawsuit is charging that, in creating Led Zep's most famous tune, "Stairway To Heaven," Robert Plant and Jimmy Page stole riffs from the song "Taurus" by the band Spirit. That was one of the examples English and I dissected during our conversation, which you can listen to here.
The irony is that Led Zeppelin hasn't been sued for ripping off all those black blues artists whose tunes they appropriated along the way.