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    DUENDE; writing; all things theatre; all things Shakespeare; use of space, light and sound; sweet grooves and melodies; movies new and old; the great outdoors; wolves; reading; friends; solitude...

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  1. "What about David Coverdale?" HA! It's endearing how Dave's completely unconvincing as the navelgazing tool going solo in his new enlightened state. He just doesn't seem to have that kind of air about him at all. Glad they're together, but hoping for some TCV side projects as well . I've been watching their Sonic Highways series (about half way through) and am very much enjoying the musical journey. Interesting idea well done.
  2. HA! Have you tried it?! Sounds like great fun, BUT only if it doesn't have to be preceded by a naked roll around in the snow. Now a streak across the snow to the sauna in the dead of night maybe... Compared to the last time I posted here, it's a balmy -1C with some 'wintry mix' setting in later this morning. Far too warm for any Finnish shenanigans
  3. A couple of shows have been booked for August: Meersburg Schlossplatz, Meersburg, Germany (2-8-2016): 02.12.2016 LED ZEPPELIN SINGER ROBERT PLANT IS IN SUMMER IN MEERSBURG BE SINGLE GERMANY CONCERT! Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant are in the summer in Meersburg his only concert in Germany! All good things come in threes: Meersburg Open Air was first expanded this summer to a total of three concert days. Besides Sarah Connor (3:08.) And Rea Garvey (04:08.) Will be his only concert in Germany in the summer of 2016 on the Palace Square, the legendary Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant (02:08.). Robert Plant gained with the hard rock band Led Zeppelin world fame. From its foundation in 1968 to 1980, he was the lead singer of British rock band with more than 300 million albums sold the most successful groups of hard rock era. Song classics like "Whole Lotta Love", "Black Dog", "Looking For Love" and "Stairway To Heaven" set the benchmark in rock history. After dissolution of the band Robert Plant launched a versatile solo career, during which he was repeatedly awarded prizes, including five Grammys 2009 for collaboration with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss. Next summer, the exceptional singer, who is known for his distinctive vocal style, present in Meersburg alongside his new songs of course unforgettable Led Zeppelin classic. MEERSBURG OPEN AIR - Meersburg, Schlossplatz ROBERT PLANT - The only concert in Germany! Tue, 02 August 2016 | 20:00 | 62, - Euro - TICKETS AVAILABLE http://www.koko.de/de/news/842 Tickets available either via http://www.koko.de/de/event-details/639/robert-plant or http://www.robertplant.com/#road Check out Meersburg Open Air Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meersburgopenair/ (It's in German). and Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, UK (runs August 4 -7, 2016): Robert Plant, The Flaming Lips and Crystal Fighters to headline Oxfordshire's Wilderness festival - while Raymond Blanc cooks for punters Tim Hughes, Features and Music Editor / Tuesday 23 February 2016 LED Zeppelin star Robert Plant and American alternative rock band The Flaming Lips have been named as headliners of this year’s Wilderness festival. They join an impressive line-up at the music gathering, held at Cornbury Park, Charlbury, which also includes electro-folk band Crystal Fighters, Grammy-nominate soul-pop singer Lianne La Havas, jazz-house artist Parov Stellar, Oxford’s Glass Animals, and drum and bass DJ Goldie – who performs with the Heritage Orchestra – famous for performing rave and dance classics on classical instruments. Also unveiled for the four-day event, which takes place from August 4-7, are singer-songwriter Matt Corby, Shura, Tourist, Georgia, Rosie Lowe, Elias and the Hackney Colliery Band. As in previous years, there will also be a strong culinary line-up, with banquets catered by Oxford’s Raymond Blanc of double Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons at Great Milton, Skye Gyngell and Virgilio Martinez. More intimate chef’s table dinners will be presided over by Christian Puglisi (of Relae, Copenhagen), Robin Gill (The Dairy), Tomos Parry (Kitty Fisher’s) and Lee Westcott (Typing Room). Late night parties will be hosted in the festival’s secluded valley by Andrew Weatherall, Chjcago house maestro Derrick Carter, Jackmaster, PBR Streetgang, last year’s star DJ Tom Middleton, and the aforementioned Goldie. There will also be performances by Rambert, Ronnie Scott’s and the Wilderness Orchestra – who will present a tribute to David Bowie, along with special guests. Vocalist Robert Plant will play the festival with his Sensational Space Shifters on what will be the only UK date on his 2016 tour. He said: “In recent times The Space Shifters and I have found a natural home for our music in beautiful places that often carry their own unique resonance. “I know the Wilderness Festival is one of those places and I’m really looking forward to summoning our madness there.” The Flaming Lips will be performing their seminal album The Soft Bulletin. Sebsatian Pringle, frontman of Crystal Fighters said he was also looking forward to playing the picturesque site: “Wilderness is the quintessential English countryside music festival, done properly,” he said. “There are amazing bands, art, food, drink, comedy and so much more. Crystal Fighters played there in its inaugural year, and you could just tell it was the beginning of something so magical. I have been checking out the poster every year since and the each time the line-up is unquestionably brilliant. Viva Wilderness!” Mr Blanc's banquet was one of the highlights of last year's festival. He said: "Last year I presented two bustling banquets at Wilderness. We had over 800 lively guests, with smiles on their faces and costumes at the ready. "What a fabulous experience and an awesome way to party! Cooking up a flavour: Raymond Blanc OBE "It was a first for me, and I can't wait to come back. It is such a fantastic way to bring together music lovers who celebrate food. "For me, Wilderness is where you can spend time with family and friends, with so much to see, hear and taste. A brilliant way to spend a weekend in Oxfordshire.” More names are still to be announced. Tickets cost from £164+booking fee from ticketmaster.co.uk/wilderness http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/14295347.Robert_Plant_and_The_Flaming_Lips_to_headline_Wilderness_festival____and_look_who_s_doing_the_cooking_/?ref=rss In fact, more names have been announced, and there's a more detailed write-up about the performers and events here: http://www.efestivals.co.uk/news/16/160223a.shtml From the Wilderness Festival site: Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters The Main Stage One of a generation of British kids, drawn without rhyme or reason, to sounds from a far away world. A world of field holler, despair, Levee camp and chain-gang moans; of Saturday night fish-fry and Juke Joint foot stomp. A million miles lay between the brooding pulse of Mississippi Delta life and the sanitized shelter of the timid English boy, circa 1962. 50 years on – drawing from a lifetime of adventures, tracking the dark, beautiful resonator, Plant follows his heart and lifts his voice higher and joyous ever away and beyond. A voice of experience and learning from the sounds of Southside Chicago Electric Blues; of Griot mantras from West Africa; from Louisiana Dance Halls; Greenwich Village Folk hangover; Haight Ashbury indulgences; Moroccan medina breakbeat; the early English radical techno materials, Texas two-step and Bristol dubstep. Before his recent projects in Nashville with Alison Krauss and Band of Joy, Plant worked alongside the very interesting force, “Strange Sensation”, recording the critically acclaimed, multi-Grammy nominated albums – “Dreamland” and “Mighty Rearranger”. From this platform, Sensational Space Shifters has developed. Now together these confederates and conspirators dig deeper and more intensely, always twisting and turning, bringing the past into a brilliant technicolour present. https://www.wildernessfestival.com/product/robert-plant/?location=43390# Wilderness Festival 2016 Programme listing performers and activities: https://www.wildernessfestival.com/2016-programme/ (A Shakespeare play will be performed!) TICKETS: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/wilderness Wilderness Festival Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wildernessfestival/ and YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WildernessHQ The article states that this is their only UK stop (though I wonder whether that just means up to this point? Seems like more dates keep sprinkling the summer tour here and there...).
  4. Somehow I forgot to add extra info about the July 1 show which will be part of the Rock Werchter Festival in Belgium (June 30 - July 3, 2016): Robert Plant will always be known as Led Zeppelin’s frontman. From 1968 until 1980 the British foursome was the ultimate rock band; successful, influential, and loud. In his solo career, Plant has chosen adventure as often as possible. His life mantra: ‘Dig deep and celebrate the past. But beware of nostalgia and keep it fresh’. No sooner said than done. ‘Raising Sand’ (2007), a collaboration with American singer and violinist Alison Krauss, was reckoned to be one of the best country albums of the century, and won six Grammy Awards. With The Sensational Space Shifters, Plant delves into African music, Delta blues and gospel. He also comes up with new interpretations of Zeppelin classics. Standards include ‘Black Dog’, ‘Going to California’ and the eternal crowd-pleaser ‘Whole Lotta Love’. The Sensational Space Shifters have accompanied Plant since 2012 on a pretty much uninterrupted world tour. Various ticket options available here: http://www.rockwerchter.be/en/tickets Extra ticket info: http://www.rockwerchter.be/en/practical-info/tickets Check out the other eclectic acts throughout the festival: http://www.rockwerchter.be/en/line-up
  5. I'm having 'submit reply' issues. The first time was in the 'Stairway lawsuit' thread where I posted two replies but the second (an article) ended up being a copy of the first (response to two posters). Just now I was in the 'classical music thread' and upon pressing the reply button ended up in the 'Rival Sons' thread with nothing posted in the classical one. In both instances a repost was necessary. Just a head's up for people to save their wordier posts lest they lose their thoughts.
  6. Decades Later, 'Stairway to Heaven' Still in Dispute Commentary by James G. Sammataro, Daily Business Review February 19, 2016 Randy California always said so. A guitar virtuoso discovered by Jimi Hendrix at age 15, California plucked a distinct guitar line on his band's 1968 instrumental "Taurus" that reminds some of a guitar line from Led Zeppelin's 1971 smash hit "Stairway to Heaven." Until his death in 1997, California refused to sue. He just wanted an artist's fair recognition: a liner credit, a thank you and a significant footnote in rock 'n' roll lore. Unconstrained by his quaint magnanimity, California's estate sued Led Zeppelin for infringement in 2014. Can the estate climb this stairway to a judgment in its favor? It's a steep climb. The estate's first step was to overcome a seemingly preposterous delay of 43 years before filing suit. They made it thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's 2014 "Raging Bull" decision in Petralla v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which eliminated the defense of laches (undue delay) from copyright cases and sanctioned a revolving three-year look back in copyright infringement actions. The estate's next step is to demonstrate it has enough of a case to survive a summary judgment motion. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has set forth an unforgiving substantial similarity test, but the estate appears capable of marshaling some favorable facts. In 1968, a then-unknown Led Zeppelin opened for and shared the bill with California's band, Spirit — a pioneer of the psychedelic rock sound that incorporated delay and distortion effects to bend minds and alter moods. Zeppelin covered Spirit's tune "Fresh Garbage" during their sets. In early interviews, Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page stated how Spirit's music moved him "on an emotional level." Further, Zeppelin, long accused of boosting classic blues songs, is no stranger to infringement actions, having settled at least six claims involving "Dazed & Confused," "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" and "Whole Lotta Love" (a prejudicial fact unlikely to be presented to a jury but likely to embolden plaintiffs counsel). Summary Judgment Yet compelling evidence of access and copying will not be enough. To prevail, the estate must prove that any copying was quantitatively and qualitatively sufficient to support the legal conclusion that infringement has occurred. Inspired parrotting is one thing; misappropriated piracy is another. The latter requires more than a subjective "I know it when I hear it," but an objective examination of protected and copyrightable elements of expression. The estate, likely aided by a musicologist's expert testimony, must identify specific and independently protectable notes, chord progressions, tone and structure that were pilfered. In order to survive summary judgment, the estate will likely need to prove more than merely a shared A-minor chord and a descending bass line, conspicuously present in earlier works including Zeppelin's "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" and George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps). If the estate can survive summary judgment, it needs to convince the jury that protected expression was infringed. Given the human element, this is often easier than surviving summary judgment as evidenced by the 2015 "Blurred Lines" jury verdict. There, Marvin Gaye's estate prevailed based on perceived similarities between Robin Thicke and Pharrell William's "Blurred Lines" and Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give it Up," despite never proving Gaye owed any of the borrowed elements: a shared baseline and the use of percussions, hand claps, falsetto signing and party sounds). The final step is proving damages. Too bad for California's estate, the lookback is only three years: as of last count in 2008, "Stairway to Heaven" had earned $562 million. Nonetheless, real dollars could still be in play as "Stairway to Heaven" was included on a recent re-release album, a battle of the experts would be likely. The estate's damages expert would testify for a generous share of those album sales on the rationale that Stairway's iconic status drove profits not merely for that single song but for the entire re-released album, Zeppelin merchandise and perhaps any gold that glittered down upon Zeppelin subsequent to Heart's stirring rendition of Stairway at the band's Kennedy Center Honors. For counterarguments, Zeppelin's damages experts would advocate for modest damages based on a handful of musical notes constituting a small fraction of the song's popular virtues, which include Robert Plant's lyrics, the song's other layered tidbits and Zeppelin's enduring success. Because this is the first meaningful copyright claim over a work thought to be legally dead until resuscitated by the "Raging Bull" decision, many in the music industry will be watching this case scheduled for a May trial, wondering if a new day will dawn for those who stand long. James G. Sammataro is an entertainment lawyer, managing partner of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan's Miami office and the author of "Film and Multimedia and The Law." http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202749946973/Decades-Later-Stairway-to-Heaven-Still-in-Dispute?slreturn=20160118180247 It doesn't matter whether Spirit's music moved Jimmy on an 'emotional level' or that Zep lifted songs from others in their tunes. These may be used to influence perceptions, but they don't have anything to do with this specific case concerning STH. "The estate, likely aided by a musicologist's expert testimony, must identify specific and independently protectable notes, chord progressions, tone and structure that were pilfered. In order to survive summary judgment, the estate will likely need to prove more than merely a shared A-minor chord and a descending bass line, conspicuously present in earlier works including Zeppelin's "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" and George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps)." And there's the rub. They have to prove that 'Taurus' note sequences are 'independently protectable' and this is specious given that so many other songs that preceded it have them, too (and Zep lawyers could argue, influenced the creation of 'Taurus' as well. Too bad they can't ask Randy California...). As TheGreatOne noted, the huge time span that has passed also works against the plaintiffs, as does the fact that Randy California never sued. Given these points, this suit should be exposed for exactly what it is - an attempt at a money grab based on weak evidence. A familiar tactic, but based on familiar notes not 'protectable' or exclusive to any of the songs that have them. That STH reached a pinnacle speaks to the ingenuity of what could be done with this note sequence.
  7. Thanks for the suggestions, I will. There's a video posted a couple of times in this thread that chronicles that progression going back to classical music compositions, I just don't have the time to peruse and find it at the moment. But it speaks to your point and that of several others who have given examples of similarities not only with this particular note sequence, but others as well, none of which drew law suits. Even Randy California himself didn't sue, but he thought he ought to have been given some form of recognition, which, with all due respect, I still disagree with given that sequence's repeated appearance in music history. When Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" was released, fans immediately pointed to Madonna's "Express Yourself" - LG's was FAR more similar to Madge's, so much so that Madonna incorporated "Born This Way" seamlessly into "Express Yourself" when she performed it live. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, she said, tongue firmly in cheek. She was above suing, even though this was blatant. On the opposite end of the scale, you have a few notes in sequence appearing throughout many compositions, easy to display, and even though Randy flattered himself with credit, sorry, these were around for a long time already, even if 'Taurus' was one of the places he heard it. I'm not sure Spirit will get the attention they maybe think they will get, certainly not the coin. People tend to put down such attempts at money grabs. If 'Taurus' a rather monotonous tune gets more airplay, they should just send a fruit basket with a thank-you note. There's no comparison in it to the greatness that is "Stairway to Heaven". Here's the thing, too. Jimmy may have heard it from Randy and went, hey that's interesting, and gone off and worked on whatever his imagination dictated, or said to himself, hey that reminds me of... and went off composing. But lawsuits don't legislate what's in someone's heart; the fact remains that even if it sounds similar to a layman's ears, it's not nearly enough to sue for credit. More similar songs have lost in court.
  8. Here's an article with some examples of how fore-edge paintings are revealed: Secret Fore-Edge Paintings Revealed in Early 19th Century Books at the University of Iowa by Christopher Jobson on September 2, 2013 Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa Autumn by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa Winter by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa Spring by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa Summer by Robert Mudie / Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa A few days ago Colleen Theisen who helps with outreach and instruction at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared an amazing gif she made that demonstrates something called fore-edge painting on the edge of a 1837 book called Autumn by Robert Mudie. Fore-edge painting, which is believed to date back as early as the 1650s, is a way of hiding a painting on the edge of a book so that it can only be seen when the pages are fanned out. There are even books that have double fore-edge paintings, where a different image can be seen by flipping the book over and fanning the pages in the opposite direction. When I realized the book Theisen shared was only one of a series about the seasons, I got in touch and she agreed to photograph the other three so we could share them with you here. Above are photos of Spring,Summer, Autumn and Winter which were donated to the University of Iowa by Charlotte Smith. How much fun are these? Keep an eye on the University of Iowa’s special collections Tumblr as they unearth more artificats from the archives. UPDATE: Because this post is getting so much attention, here are some more amazing fore-edge paintings found on YouTube. http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/09/fore-edge-book-paintings/
  9. Back to books for a moment, here are some examples of those with beautiful fore-edge paintings: Fore Edge Painting - An Introduction by Anne C. Bromer From the earliest period when books began to be printed and accumulated, artists and bookbinders embellished their covers with designs and illustrations. The painting of book edges developed later, but few readers have ever seen these decorations. They are an obscure art form, hidden beneath a surface of gold. When revealed, there is only wonderment! It is as if you discovered magic on a book before you even read its opening lines. The story of how this idea began and the extraordinary collection of these edge paintings at The Boston Public Library follows. When you hold the covers of a book in your hands, you will see three edges and a spine. The top edge and bottom edge are obviously named, but the edge at which you open the book has an unfamiliar title. It is referred to as the FORE-EDGE. Originally this edge of the book was titled in ink for the purpose of identification. Then the old books were stacked one on top of the other with the edge facing outwards in order to read its title. In the beginning, there was no effort to beautify the fore-edge. Diana with a Handmaid By the sixteenth century, a Venetian artist, Cesare Vecellio, devised a way to enhance the beauty of a book by painting on its edges. The images, mostly portraits, were easily viewed when the covers of the book were closed. A century later in England, Samuel Mearne, a bookbinder to the royal family, developed the art of the “disappearing painting” on the fore-edge of a book. “Imagine a flight of stairs, each step representing a leaf of the book. On the tread would be the painting and on the flat surface would be gold. A book painted and gilt in this way must be furled back before the picture can be seen.” (Kenneth Hobson, 1949). This is how a fore-edge painting works. When the book is closed, you do not see the image because the gilding hides the painting. But, when you fan the pages to show the painting at its best and hold them between your fingers or in a display press, the colorful picture appears as if by magic. Harvest Landscape In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, fore-edge painting reached its height in England. The famous bookbinding firm, which is always referred to with “the territorial suffix” Edwards of Halifax, was responsible for this surge of interest. Artists were employed to paint landscape scenes with country estates on the fore-edges of books, which were then handsomely bound in painted vellum covers or in exotic leather bindings. Most fore-edge painters working for binding firms did not sign their work, which explains why it is difficult to pinpoint and date the hidden paintings. A few binders did leave their marks. Taylor & Hessey, working in the early nineteenth century, stamped their name on the edge of the binding. The binder/painter from Liverpool working at the end of the century, John Fazakerly, combined colorful decorations with gold embossing on the edges of his bindings, which in themselves are works of art and easily identifiable. In the early twentieth century, Miss C. B. Currie painted and signed her fore-edges, which are often found on bindings with painted ivory insets by Miss Currie. These are the exceptions, as most paintings are recognized only by their design. The “Dover” painter and the “Thistle” painter, for example, are twentieth century fore-edge artists whose paintings are presented unsigned. Through observation and study, we are able to learn the style of each. Le Petit Triagnon Hidden paintings hold broader interest today and include more subjects than the early landscape and architectural scenes. Some of the themes depicted on fore-edge paintings are outdoor sports, such as fox hunting and angling, and indoor sports, such as chess and billiards. Biblical tableaus, historic sea battles, views of American cities, exotic depictions of “the Orient,” and even erotic scenes are shown beneath the gold. In the twentieth century, the single fore-edge painting was expanded to include double fore-edges, an astounding feat of craftsmanship, where two different paintings can be viewed by fanning the pages in first one direction and then the opposite. Neither painting interferes with your view of the other. Another technique is to use all three edges of the book – top, bottom, and fore-edge – to paint a continuous picture, which surrounds the book. In recent times, miniature books less three inches in height have been used as palettes to paint a fore-edge. The smallest of these are the three volumes produced in 1929, 1930, and 1932 by the Kingsport Press in Tennessee. In a fore-edge space of less than one inch, the portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, and George Washington are painted to accompany the text related to each of the presidents. The collection of fore-edge paintings of The Boston Public Library is outstanding; one of the finest in the country. The nucleus of 258 books was first given to the Library by Albert H Wiggin in 1951. Since that time it has been a hidden treasure of the Library. This virtual exhibition is the first time the books have been publicly viewed. These magical paintings have come to light and are now able to be shared through this exhibition to be enjoyed by everyone. References cited: Hanson, T.W. “Edwards of Halifax,” A Family of Book-Sellers, Collectors and Book-Binders. 1912. Hobson, Kenneth. “On Fore-Edge Painting of Books”. In The Folio. 1949. Weber, Carl J. Fore-Edge Painting, A Historical Survey of a Curious Art in Book Decoration. 1966. This online collection was made possible through a generous gift from Anne and David Bromer. http://foreedge.bpl.org/node/923
  10. A glimmer of hope... Why ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Lawsuit Poses ‘Uphill Battle’ for Plaintiff By Tim Kenneally on February 15, 2016 @ 2:53 pm “I think it’s less than 50 percent” that Michael Skidmore will prevail in copyright infringement case against Led Zeppelin, entertainment attorney offers The man suing Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over their iconic song “Stairway to Heaven” is going to have a tough time proving his case in court, according to one legal expert. Entertainment attorney James Sammataro, managing partner of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan’s Miami office, told TheWrap that Michael Skidmore will face “an uphill battle” and “a steep hurdle” as he tries to prove that the classic 1971 tune infringes on the 1968 Spirit song “Taurus.” Led Zeppelin is being sued by Skidmore, trustee of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, who claims that “Stairway” infringes on the earlier song. (Randy Craig Wolfe was the birth name of Spirit frontman and “Taurus” author Randy California, who died in 1997.) Sammataro told TheWrap, “I definitely think there’s a hint of familiarity [between the two songs] to a layman’s ears.” And Zeppelin opened for Spirit on one of the former’s early tours, meaning that there was a decent chance that Jimmy Page and his bandmates had heard “Taurus.” But, Sammataro told TheWrap, that doesn’t necessarily tilt the case in Skidmore’s favor. Sammataro cautioned that it isn’t a matter of proving whether the two songs are similar, but rather how similar they are. “You can copy. Not all copying or parrotry is piracy,” Sammataro said. “You have to take enough [to constitute infringement]. … Is it just that they borrowed a couple of chords and it sounds alike? Did they borrow a progression that sounds similar? Or is this really a wholesale quantitative lifting that’s going to give rise to a claim?” Venue is another factor working against Skidmore. While the suit was initially filed in Pennsylvania, it has since been transferred to California, specifically to a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles — where, Sammataro said, the threshold for establishing grounds for an infringement case is higher than average. “It’s a studio-friendly jurisdiction,” Sammataro said. “As a consequence, when there’s had to be a benefit of the doubt, courts have typically erred on the side of big businesses.” Sammataro is skeptical that the case will make it past the summary judgment phase. Much of that will depend on whether Skidmore’s music expert can pinpoint precise and substantial similarities. “That will be key,” Sammataro said. “If that all gels together, then I’d say they have more than a puncher’s chance.” Sammataro doubts that the parties will settle in this case. For one thing, the iconic status of the song, possibly Zeppelin’s most famous, will up the stakes for Page and his bandmates. “There may be a little bit of, ‘I need to protect my integrity and credibility on this one,'” the attorney said. The financial stakes are also high — as of 2008, the song had generated an estimated $562 million in revenue. The sheer dollar volume itself could make it difficult to reach a settlement, according to Sammataro. So how much money could be involved if the lawsuit goes forward? According to Sammataro, infringement cases of this nature typically have a three-year statute of limitations period, meaning potential damages would go back to three years before the filing of the complaint. While “Stairway to Heaven” surely isn’t selling like it did in the ’70s, the album containing the track, unofficially titled “Led Zeppelin IV,” was reissued in 2014. And the song is still a prominent presence on classic-rock radio stations’ playlists. Skidmore’s legal team will also probably argue that the popularity of the song generated peripheral revenues — say, by boosting the group’s profile overall and leading to increased album sales for the rest of its catalog. “Would I be shocked if they came up with a damages model that was north of $50 million? No,” Sammataro said. Which doesn’t mean that they’d get that, by a long shot. As Sammataro noted, if he were to be presented with a 10-figure settlement amount, “I would say, ‘See you at trial.'” However, he said, he’d “maybe start listening at $2.5 million.” And the chances of Skidmore prevailing in the case are still against him, according to Sammataro. While the attorney believes that “ultimately this is a case that comes down to experts,” he added, “I still think its an uphill battle. I think it’s less than 50 percent. I just don’t know where on that less-than-50-percent spectrum.” Presumably, that will depend not just on whether the songs remain the same, but just how much the same a jury determines them to be. http://www.thewrap.com/why-stairway-to-heaven-lawsuit-poses-uphill-battle-for-plaintiff/ I really hope that Zep's lawyers have musicologists who can prove definitively that that sequence of notes has appeared in many songs and melodies even before 'Taurus'. I was thinking it's too bad Randy California passed away because he can't be asked about where he heard it from (and maybe check his record collection for influences), but that isn't necessary even if a temporal relationship between Spirit and Zep existed, even if Jimmy potentially heard 'Taurus'. None of that matters as much as proving that a ) Jimmy heard that sequence of notes in several other compositions that were created and recorded before 'Taurus' and b ) the musicologists showing the differences between 'Taurus' and STH. Hopefully there's no settlement of any sort; even though it may be a tactic to just make this all go away, it can be perceived as a tacit admission of influence. It would be a shame for a song of such iconic stature to be tarnished in this way. But it's not only about appearances; this is not a just suit and should be proven as such conclusively.
  11. HA! Yes well it was 'nippy' in that 'keep calm and carry on' sort of way. I was meeting someone so I had to get out there, but other times I like to go for walks just to experience what different weather feels like. Plus keep in mind that it's relative to what one's used to. -1C is BBQ weather here . We've done outdoor hot tubs at -20C (the worst was the soaked sprint across the deck to get inside). It WAS cold but when the wind was calm, it was actually sort of pleasant if you walked briskly and blinked quickly so your eyeballs didn't get all cold and dry lol. Anyway, the cold snap has passed and we're back to normal -6ish temperatures. Thanks, Kiwi!
  12. Patrycja


    You know, that's a good idea, TOWTF. I was on a steering committee that sought RFPs for a new theatre that had to incorporate a historical structure, and there were so many creative ideas proposed, including using just a facade (which, unless this is rebuilt exactly, is probably all they could use). If there's the will, it could be a B&B / guest house or an artist retreat / historical centre of both Boleskine and the area. I'd just like for it to be transformed into something constructive and commemorative rather than it being razed and forgotten should nothing else or something completely different replace it.
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