Robert Plant says that he can no longer "relate" to LED ZEPPELIN's 1971 masterpiece "Stairway To Heaven". During an appearance on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, Plant spoke candidly about his feelings regarding the "Led Zeppelin IV" classic. "Of course, it was a good song," he said. "The construction of the song, the actual musical construction is very, very good. It's one of those moments that really can stand without a vocal — and, in fact, it will stand again without a vocal, I'm sure, because it's a fine, fine piece of music."
Plant went on to say: "Lyrically, now, I can't relate to it, because it was so long ago. I would have no intention ever to write along those abstract lines anymore. I look at it and I tip my hat to it, and I think there are parts of it that are incredible. The way that Jimmy [Page] took the music through, and the way that the drums reached almost climaxed and then continued... It's a very beautiful piece. But lyrically, now, and even vocally, I go, 'I'm not sure about that.'"
Several years ago, LED ZEPPELIN had to defend itself against a copyright lawsuit alleging "Stairway To Heaven" was stolen from an obscure 1960s instrumental. Jurors in the 2016 trial, which included testimony from Plant and Page, decided that "Stairway" did not infringe on "Taurus", written by the late Randy Wolfe and performed by his band SPIRIT.
During the trial, Plant recalled how he and Page had worked on "Stairway To Heaven" at Headley Grange, a former poorhouse in Hampshire, England. He said: "One evening, Jimmy Page and I sat by the fire, going over bits and pieces." He recalled leaving the rest of the band to work on the song while he went to his bedroom to write the song's lyrics, which he told the court were based on Celtic mythology and "the pastoral areas of Britain I love."
Ozzy Osbourne later said that he couldn't believe the members of LED ZEPPELIN had to defend themselves against the lawsuit. "It's fucking crazy, actually," the BLACK SABBATH singer told Rolling Stone. "That should have never gone to court. I heard the original thing, and there's just a slight similarity. It's like saying any fucking song with that kind of a guitar on it is a rip-off. It's not fair. There's only so many fucking notes on a guitar, and it wasn't that much like 'Stairway To Heaven'. I'm amazed it lasted so fucking long, you know?"