Ozzy Osbourne engineer Max Norman claimed that Jimmy Page told Robert Plant that he stole the riff for Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” in a new The Metal Voice interview. Jimmy Page Reunites With Paul Rodgers In Photo.
“There’s a whole thing about Sting and The Police – ‘Every Step You Take,’ the guitar player came up with that whole thing, and basically, doesn’t get any of the royalties. And that’s really the whole song.
“It’s the same as Led Zeppelin stealing Spirit [and the song ‘Taurus’] on ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ It’s really an unfair thing that it ended up like that, but that’s way back in the Motown days and all that other stuff.
“That’s a whole other conversation about why it’s like that. If that’s true, it’s about the melody and the lyrics, then Herb Alpert gets only 50% of whatever he writes because there are no lyrics, so it doesn’t really make sense.
“What I’m saying is that was never really a fair thing. If you listen to ‘Purple Haze,’ half of the song is the riff, but that would not be included in any of the royalties.
“Anyway, Jimmy [Page] stole that from somebody else actually. Jimmy Page said Robert Plant said to him when they did ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ he said, ‘Look, we kind of stole this.’
“And he goes, ‘Just keep walking.’ It’s a famous thing. Jimmy Page knew because he understood the law.” Ultimate-Guitar transcribed Norman’s comments.