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Howard Stern Exposes Led Zeppelin As A Farce

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Magic Sam......as you probably already know....Zep is villified because they are Zep....and their fans are rabid, outspoken, and loyal to the bone. Zep was shot out of a cannon as a supergroup and took the world by storm. They drew a line in the sand that demanded you either love them or hate them. There is no..."oh, they're ok"....it's either your favorite band or you can't stand them. I personally know many (what I call Blues Nazis) people that like to nitpick about Zep's borrowing practices. I keep telling them that if you go to a BB King concert today, 3/4 of the audience are white 40+ yr olds that once upon a time were wearing levis jean jackets covered with Zep patches. Zep turned on more people to traditional blues than they took from it. But at the same time, being an musician myself, I still don't agree with their not at least giving partial credit on many of those early songs. IMO, it was all about $$$$ I'm not one to think Zep owes anyone a single dollar...but moreso printed credit. Besides, if you were to follow the $ path of many old black traditional blues artists, you'll find the offspring of some white record label owner that took advantage of these wonderfull artists many many years ago. Back in those days, when you went in to make a record.....it then belonged to the label....the artist was payed a flat fee for the song and all record sales and publishing went to the label owner.

I'm content w/ the credit changes Zep made on the latest releases.

and btw...I listened to the Stern show when it aired and was screaming at the radio at that asshole (not Stern, the other guy... who wrote the book)......not because of what he was saying....but because he called himself an expert...and had the nerve to bring up Babe I'm Gonna Leave You when every Zep I album since 1969 has the song credited "Traditional, arranged by Page" . Some expert!! :rolleyes:

Edited by Honeydripper

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Here is a YouTube link where you can listen to Taurus:

Spirit- Taurus

I hear what people are referring to, the arpeggiated chords, they are similar to the guitar part in Stairway- but Jimmy changed the end of the chord sequence. Ultimately Taurus has no more to do with Stairway than Fleetwood Mac's Drifting and Albatross have to do with the Beatles' Sun King. Again, why is it different when Zep does it?

I don't necessarily agree with that. But, it was a traditional- she got it from somewhere else too, Zep just claimed it.

And if claiming traditionals isn't fair game, again there are more examples of other major artists doing it. Paul Simon claimed authorship of Scarorough fair when a traditional arrangement already existed put together Martin Carthy. In between Carthy's and Simon's versions, Bob Dylan put out Girl of the North Country with some of the same lyrics and claimed the writing credit solely for himself.

Again and again- why is it different when Zep does it? :rolleyes:

absolutely true, Sam. well said.

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Howard Stern is a smart guy. The problem he has idiots listening him. Howard Stern steals more shit then a gypsy, but he always says it was his idea. I think his show is funny, but i never take anything seriously. The reason he's attacking Zeppelin is Money. Thats what makes him smart. No one is going to cancel the subscription because of the attack on Zep. But stupid people will think he uncovered the great secret of music.

This Guy Denny Somach is selling a book, just like Stern is selling a show.

Edited by Pb Derigable

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All great blues bands did exactly that. Took what had been done and redid it in their own unique style. To not expect a band with roots buried as deeply in the blues as Led Zep was is to have no understanding of musical history and evolution.

And yeah as for Howard Stern and joke show or no. The man was involved in the whole Anna Smith debacle. How much credit am I going to give him as a decent human being deserving of even being listened to. >< should about cover it.

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People will point out that Zep were sued successfully for plagarism.

And even then, the tales of lawsuits were greatly exaggerated.

The real question is: why is it thought of differently when Zep does it than when these other artists do it? Why is there such a backlash against this band?

You get caught once and then suddenly all of your songs come under fire. Example: the writing credits for WTLB are absolutely justifiable, yet Zep gets bashed for them simply because Zep failed to give proper credit on other songs.

I find it ironic that if all the Zep songs were properly credited, then all the critics would be hailing Zep the same way they hail Hendrix for his version of "All Along The Watchtower".

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All great blues bands did exactly that. Took what had been done and redid it in their own unique style. To not expect a band with roots buried as deeply in the blues as Led Zep was is to have no understanding of musical history and evolution.

And yeah as for Howard Stern and joke show or no. The man was involved in the whole Anna Smith debacle. How much credit am I going to give him as a decent human being deserving of even being listened to. >< should about cover it.

Blues, all early R&R (Elvis etc) did it.

Be glad they did, otherwise R&R would be a Pat Boone album on volume 2

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kashmir - (not a direct rip off) gets its inspiration from kaleidoscope's song egyptian gardens (they also taught page about bowing the guitar)

i thought bowing the guitar was being done in the U.K. in the early 60's by the guitar player in "creation"...

somebody?

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... good thing no one ever "borrowed from Zeppelin"... you can hear their influence on a lot of music.. it's called "being influenced".. and it hapens all the time in music..

Also, Howard Stern is an AssClown.. can't stand him!!

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... good thing no one ever "borrowed from Zeppelin"... you can hear their influence on a lot of music.. it's called "being influenced".. and it hapens all the time in music..

Influence and copying lyrics verbatim are two entirely different things. Oasis is a Beatles "influenced" band. Yet they don't have to credit the Beatles because there isn't one single line from a Beatles song in their lyrics. Zep on the other hand used many many verses taken directly from songs published well before them....and Jimmy has taken riffs from other sources dating back to his time with the Yardbirds. W/ Zep, The song structures have been altered, the feel is not the same....but some of the ones they credited themselves for on the early albums were definitely plagerized. No if, ands, or buts about it. Just look at the credits of the original vinyl lp's vs the credits given on BBC,The Complete Studio Sessions box, HTWWW, etc...

**Imagine if Hendrix had credited himself alone with All Along The Watchtower. His version was nothing like Dylan's...and was also superior to the original......would that make it ok?? Nope!!

This is definitely not news to many old school fans....and we're still here loving Zep.....so what's the hangup? :rolleyes:

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The Spirit / Taurus thing is funny to me. Sure the opening chords are the same - an arpeggiated, descending Am chord. That progression / sequence is used in so many other songs it's laughable. Gilmour uses the same sequence in Shine On You Crazy Diamond - and there are many other songs that use this as well. Taurus is not even a good song - it starts out nice, but goes nowhere. Of course this could have been an influence for Stairway - especially since Page was aware of this tune, but Stairway is much more developed and dressed up, and it resolves much better imo.

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being an musician myself, I still don't agree with their not at least giving partial credit on many of those early songs. IMO, it was all about $$$$ I'm not one to think Zep owes anyone a single dollar...but moreso printed credit.

I wouldn't mind if someone took my own personal creation, musical or not, and transformed it into something different. The problem is that because we are in the realm of culture, there is no science to determine whether one version holds the quality of being "different enough".

Led Zeppelin took previous works and made something completely new. Words and music are tools of the common man. Which arrangements of both are we allowed to say are ours? This is an age old question of ownership.

Influence and copying lyrics verbatim are two entirely different things. Oasis is a Beatles "influenced" band. Yet they don't have to credit the Beatles because there isn't one single line from a Beatles song in their lyrics. Zep on the other hand used many many verses taken directly from songs published well before them....and Jimmy has taken riffs from other sources dating back to his time with the Yardbirds. W/ Zep, The song structures have been altered, the feel is not the same....but some of the ones they credited themselves for on the early albums were definitely plagerized. No if, ands, or buts about it.

check out my "but"

but it all depends on your definition of plagiarism.

are simply taking lyrics plagiarizing?

are simply taking riffs plagiarizing?

I don't think so. I think there is more to a song than those dimensions. But as a culture, we are only able to put into words certain dimensions of songs. Notice how we can't stop people from copying the "feel" of a song. This is what Led Zeppelin didn't do. They changed the feel, as you noted, and I think that's enough to make it a different work altogether.

Just look at the credits of the original vinyl lp's vs the credits given on BBC,The Complete Studio Sessions box, HTWWW, etc...

Perhaps the worldly accepted definition of plagiarism changed with the times of the releases? These things are not static. What is acceptable in a culture is ever changing, just some at different rates than others.

**Imagine if Hendrix had credited himself alone with All Along The Watchtower. His version was nothing like Dylan's...and was also superior to the original......would that make it ok?? Nope!!

I don't think I've heard Dylan's version, but if it's as different as you describe, then I think Hendrix should have taken full credit.

This is definitely not news to many old school fans....and we're still here loving Zep.....so what's the hangup? :rolleyes:

good question. I think that Led Zeppelin's popularity is ever growing and that every Led Zeppelin fan has to discover these controversies at some point. This thread is a recent incantation of those newer fans.

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The Spirit / Taurus thing is funny to me. Sure the opening chords are the same - an arpeggiated, descending Am chord. That progression / sequence is used in so many other songs it's laughable. Gilmour uses the same sequence in Shine On You Crazy Diamond - and there are many other songs that use this as well. Taurus is not even a good song - it starts out nice, but goes nowhere. Of course this could have been an influence for Stairway - especially since Page was aware of this tune, but Stairway is much more developed and dressed up, and it resolves much better imo.

No wonder why i love that song. I did a little more research, to the STH question and i found alot of other songs are question to be the inspiration to the begining of STH, hell i heard the chord sequence for the solo is the same as in All Along of the Watchtower. now im just repeating of what i read, i dont do chords. it why im a bassist with no band.

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i thought bowing the guitar was being done in the U.K. in the early 60's by the guitar player in "creation"...

somebody?

Yes it was done before (Eddie Phillips, guitarist for The Creation, in January 1966). Jimmy did many things with a guitar that had been done before.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about the subject.....

Allegations of plagiarism

When Led Zeppelin's debut album was released, it received generally positive reviews. However, John Mendelsohn of Rolling Stone magazine criticized the band for stealing music, notably "Black Mountain Side" from Bert Jansch's "Black Water Side" (though Jansch himself acknowledges the song as being traditional[69]) and the riff from "Your Time Is Gonna Come" from Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy". He also accused the band of mimicking black artists, and showing off, which is not exactly plagiarism. This marked the beginning of a long rift between the band and the magazine, with Led Zeppelin rejecting later requests for interviews and cover stories as their level of success escalated.[33]

One song from the album, "Dazed and Confused", was a song originally written by Jake Holmes and appears on his 1967 album "The Above Ground Sound" of Jake Holmes. The Yardbirds, Jimmy Page's old band, had made a version called "I'm Confused", and Page reworked the song again for Led Zeppelin's debut recording, though Holmes having never received any royalty payments for their recording.[70] Holmes did not file suit over the song, although he did send the band a letter stating "I understand it's a collaborative effort, but I think you should give me some credit at least and some remunity." He received no reply to his letter and he did not follow up on it.[70] Holmes is however also reported to have said "what the hell, let him


have it [Dazed and Confused]".[16]

The credits for Led Zeppelin II's were also the subject of debate after the album's release. The prelude to "Bring It on Home" is a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Bring it on Home" and drew comparisons with Willie Dixon's "Bring It on Back". "Whole Lotta Love" (sample (info)) shared some lyrics and an overall pattern with Dixon's "You Need Love/Woman You Need Love", though the riff from the song was an original Jimmy Page composition. In the 1970s, Arc Music, the publishing arm of Chess Records, brought a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over "Bring It on Home" and won an out-of-court settlement.[71] Dixon himself did not benefit until he sued Arc Music to recover his royalties and copyrights. Years later, Dixon filed suit against Led Zeppelin over "Whole Lotta Love" and an out-of-court settlement was reached.[72] Later pressings of Led Zeppelin II credit Dixon. Similarly, the "Lemon Song", from the same album, was a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor". The band was successfully sued for copyright and forced to give credit to the original author of the song.[73]

Two songs from the album Physical Graffiti have also come under scrutiny. "Boogie with Stu" is simply the Richie Valens song "Ooh! My head" retitled (although it was also credited to Mrs. Valens, his mother. See Boogie with Stu) and "In My Time of Dying" is a traditional blues number (covered by Blind Willie Johnson and Bob Dylan among others), yet it is credited to Page/Plant/Jones/Bonham.[74].

The intro to "Stairway to Heaven" is argued to have been inspired from the Spirit song "Taurus" written by Randy California in 1968.[75].

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Here is what Wikipedia says about the subject.....

Let's count the mistakes, shall we?

However, John Mendelsohn of Rolling Stone magazine criticized the band for stealing music, notably "Black Mountain Side" from Bert Jansch's "Black Water Side"

Wrong.

The Yardbirds, Jimmy Page's old band, had made a version called "I'm Confused"

Wrong.

The prelude to "Bring It on Home" is a cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Bring it on Home" and drew comparisons with Willie Dixon's "Bring It on Back".

Way off.

"Whole Lotta Love" (sample (info)) shared some lyrics and an overall pattern with Dixon's "You Need Love/Woman You Need Love"

Not quite.

the "Lemon Song", from the same album, was a cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor".

Not quite.

The band was successfully sued for copyright and forced to give credit to the original author of the song.

Partial credit.

"Boogie with Stu" is simply the Richie Valens song "Ooh! My head" retitled

Wrong.

(although it was also credited to Mrs. Valens, his mother.

Wrong.

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The Yardbirds' song called "I'm Confused" is right; and "Boogie With Stu" was indeed partially credited to Mrs. Valens, Ritchie's mother. The beginning of "Bring It on Home" is a deliberate send-up of Williamson's version, and most lyrics to "Whole Lotta Love" are identical to "You Need Love" by Willie Dixon (as recorded by Muddy Waters). It was blues tradition to use words from other songs; many bands at the time did it, and it didn't become an issue until this convention fell by the wayside and Zeppelin's popularity hadn't waned.

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I think the guy was just having a laugh .............I mean some people should lighten up

You only have to watch "Private Parts" to see where Howard Sterns coming from

Personally i think he's hilarious and at the end of the day who gives a Flip , we could all get wound up at people having a pop at Zep but it's not worth it ..........I remember years ago being outraged when fu*kin Rolf Harris released his version of Stairway but then you realise i ain't worth it .

Anyway ......Zeps ""Cover"" versions ...were better than the Originals :P

Remember .................If they don't talk about you .................They don't like you ! :D

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What I never get is that ALL the big bands back then borrowed from the great blues artists....the Stones, the Who, the Dead, the Doors, etc......yet no one dogs them because they gave credit to them...so if Zep had originally given credit, would we even be discussing this BULLSHIT....and BTW, I used to love Howard...now I realize he's nothing but a jerk...hasn't been funny in years!!!

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If you haven't seen the DVD - Origin of the Species, you should check it out. It's a pretty detailed study of the forming of the band, their early influences, and discusses the material on the 1st 2 albums. There is a pretty good amount of time spent on the subject of 'borrowing', crediting, and where some of the early Zep material originated from. It was very interesting - I've watched this DVD numerous times, so pick it up if you get the chance. The consensus on the DVD was really that Zep rubbed a lot of people the wrong way by crediting themselves instead of crediting others on some of the songs and themselves on the arrangement. For example - BlackMountainSide is a ringer for Jansch's version of BlackWaterSide which is an old folk song. So Jimmy could have listed this as "Traditional, arr. Jimmy Page" and no one would have batted an eye. There was also a piece on Steve Marriot and his version of 'You Need Love' (which he 'borrowed' with Small Faces), which Plant was seriously 'influenced' by ('Woman - You Neeeeeeed Loooooooooove').

Regardless of where you stand on this issue - it cannot be argued that in all cases, Zep's 'version' is far superior to the original. None of this has managed to sway my opinion on the band at all.

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I wouldn't mind if someone took my own personal creation, musical or not, and transformed it into something different. The problem is that because we are in the realm of culture, there is no science to determine whether one version holds the quality of being "different enough".

Led Zeppelin took previous works and made something completely new. Words and music are tools of the common man. Which arrangements of both are we allowed to say are ours? This is an age old question of ownership.

check out my "but"

but it all depends on your definition of plagiarism.

are simply taking lyrics plagiarizing?

are simply taking riffs plagiarizing?

I don't think so. I think there is more to a song than those dimensions. But as a culture, we are only able to put into words certain dimensions of songs. Notice how we can't stop people from copying the "feel" of a song. This is what Led Zeppelin didn't do. They changed the feel, as you noted, and I think that's enough to make it a different work altogether.

Perhaps the worldly accepted definition of plagiarism changed with the times of the releases? These things are not static. What is acceptable in a culture is ever changing, just some at different rates than others.

I don't think I've heard Dylan's version, but if it's as different as you describe, then I think Hendrix should have taken full credit.

good question. I think that Led Zeppelin's popularity is ever growing and that every Led Zeppelin fan has to discover these controversies at some point. This thread is a recent incantation of those newer fans.

Of course it has to do with the times we live in. The modern era has stacked up quite a nice bit of recordings in the last 50 yrs. Some shred of decency has to be upheld for the sake of original art. Just because someone plays a different version of the song...the chords, the arrangement, the lyrics...they are present. What you are saying about Hendrix giving himself credit is not even thinkable. It's just the same song in a different genre. What if it were a reggae version, or a big band. Still the same song....even if it sounds different.

Let's remember, when you write your college thesis, and you copy anything without giving credit, you are promptly expelled. If you publish a book and are found guilty of plagerism, the book gets pulled and all monetary advances are owed back to the publisher.

It's just a matter of modern ethics. Look at the Beastie Boys.....they sampled actual Zep material......and it was fine.....until James Brown went to court and laws were changed again to protect the artist from his/her work being ripped for someone elses gain.

Just listen to P&P at Montreux's Sun Records Tribute concert where Plant introduces How Many More Years. They have always been open with their blues sources......at least Robert has.

Listen, I've got no problem with them having taken from others....it was a trend back then....but this is now.....what is right is to list your sources for the sake of an honest music history. To give yourself credit for lyrics written before you is just ethically wrong in modern music. In the old days blues artists learned these songs from generation to generation, front porch to front porch, juke joint to juke joint. And as it traveled, lines were changed and song titles were changed. They were really folk songs...and if you can site multiple versions from various blues artists....even if they gave themselves credit....the song should IMO be considered "traditional". And I have always been perfectly fine with <"traditional, arranged by "______">. It's when lyrical phrases are copied verbatim...and not even a footnote is cited......I have more integrity than that. (and yes, I am a musician....and have been in and out of the business for 25 yrs. From bandmember/songwriter to tour manager, to lighting and sound, to studio work for a record company doing digital transfers and editing......but I feel this way about all art. It's classless to take from others and not site your sources. Even old time classical composers wrote pieces titled "Variations on "insert composer here". Not that there was such thing as recordings and publishing and everything internet related...from tabs to complete scores to lyrics to easy guitar chord charts. At least they were true to the art.

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Influence and copying lyrics verbatim are two entirely different things. Oasis is a Beatles "influenced" band. Yet they don't have to credit the Beatles because there isn't one single line from a Beatles song in their lyrics. Zep on the other hand used many many verses taken directly from songs published well before them....and Jimmy has taken riffs from other sources dating back to his time with the Yardbirds. W/ Zep, The song structures have been altered, the feel is not the same....but some of the ones they credited themselves for on the early albums were definitely plagerized. No if, ands, or buts about it. Just look at the credits of the original vinyl lp's vs the credits given on BBC,The Complete Studio Sessions box, HTWWW, etc...

Hold on there, padner! I've got some ifs, ands, or buts! Borrowing is one thing, plagerism is another. Borrowing is a well established musical tradition, particularly within the blues. Plagerism is established by a successful lawsuit. If we don't adopt an innocent until proven guilty policy with borrowing in music, then every musician is guilty.

As I've pointed out in this thread and other threads, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan are just as guilty as Zep in not crediting black blues artists; and John Lennon and George Harrison were both successfully sued for plagarism as Zeppelin was; and Paul Simon took credit for traditional arrangements that had been popularized others as did Zeppelin.

As for Jimmy stealing riffs, this is an even bigger grey area. The riff for Rage Against the Machine's "Bulls on Parade" is nothing but "the Immigrant Song" riff slowed down. Bottom line: most riffs that there are have already been played in some form by someone. The guitar is an ancient instrument. The only thing that is different is time and context.

But the real important thing to note here is that, again, EVERYONE DOES IT. THE BEATLES DID IT, DYLAN DID IT, CLAPTON DID IT.

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT WHEN ZEP DOES IT?

ANSWER: IT ISN'T, REALLY, BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF ZEP HATERS WITH SMALL PENISES OUT THERE.

'Nuff Said. B)

Edited by Magic Sam

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yes many of them "took" from...as in were heavily influnced by...and even nicked passages from song structures /chord patterns....but Clapton credited Robert Johnson 100% for Crossroads.....yet I have a sneaky feeling Page would probably had credited himself for Traveling Riverside Blues, had they released it when it was recorded.

What lyrical passages directly taken from previously written songs by the above artists you listed....and credited solely to themselves can you really cite? :whistling:

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