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(TMZ)   41 years later, Jake Holmes takes Led Zeppelin to court for ripping off his version of "Dazed And Confused." Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Spirit, Bobby Parker and Howlin' Wolf want to know where the line forms   (tmz.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Zeppelin, TMZ Staff, Led Zeppelin, Jake Holmes, Sonny Boy Williamson, DB's, The Secret Goldfish  
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1548 clicks; posted to Music » on 29 Jun 2010 at 5:40 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



46 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2010-06-29 05:43:28 PM  
Aren't they all just ripping off some poor black guitarist from the 1920's who never made an album but toured every gin joint in the South?
 
2010-06-29 05:47:36 PM  
paging bert jansch!
 
2010-06-29 05:56:08 PM  
Geez, now?
 
2010-06-29 06:11:49 PM  
"Waaaaaahhhh!!! Led Zeppelin were so damned talented they took my song that would have sat in some drawer somewhere for endless years after it was released and included their completely different version on an album of theirs that sold millions of copies!!!!"

"Give me some money!!!!!"

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!"
 
2010-06-29 06:15:13 PM  

Certainly You Jest: "Waaaaaahhhh!!! Led Zeppelin were so damned talented they took my song that would have sat in some drawer somewhere for endless years after it was released and included their completely different version on an album of theirs that sold millions of copies!!!!"

"Give me some money!!!!!"

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!"


Are you really sticking up for Zeppelin here? Wow. They are the biggest sue-happy douches in the biz. I hope they get a huge taste of how it feels.

/Likes the music
//hates the business decisions
 
2010-06-29 06:16:57 PM  
oh they ripped that song off too? Sure sounds like it.

/still enjoys be some Zep. They have some great material.
 
2010-06-29 06:24:15 PM  

Certainly You Jest: "Waaaaaahhhh!!! Led Zeppelin were so damned talented they took my song that would have sat in some drawer somewhere for endless years after it was released and included their completely different version on an album of theirs that sold millions of copies!!!!"


Certainly you jest.

No, really, you're joking, right?
 
2010-06-29 06:26:11 PM  
Actually, Led Zep stole it from the Yardbirds, who stole it from Holmes.

Learn your rock history, morans.


/looking for bites
 
2010-06-29 06:29:37 PM  
Even though "Hammer of the Gods" has it's holes, this always stood out:
"..what the hell. Let him have it!"
-Jake Holmes, when asked about Zep's version
of "Dazed and Confused"
 
2010-06-29 06:40:12 PM  

Tantrum: Certainly You Jest: "Waaaaaahhhh!!! Led Zeppelin were so damned talented they took my song that would have sat in some drawer somewhere for endless years after it was released and included their completely different version on an album of theirs that sold millions of copies!!!!"

"Give me some money!!!!!"

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!"

Are you really sticking up for Zeppelin here? Wow. They are the biggest sue-happy douches in the biz. I hope they get a huge taste of how it feels.

/Likes the music
//hates the business decisions


Yes, I'm sticking up for Zeppelin here.

While I would never agree with wholesale ripping off of original work, taking something as a germ and totally making it your own is as old as art. When the form is 12-bar blues music, the history is fairly short, particularly if you start in the late 1960s.

Led Zeppelin was one of the greatest groups of rock musicians to ever take a stage or enter a recording studio together. Thanks to their manager, Peter Grant (not a savory guy, I concede) touring rock musicians today make decent money when on the road.

Before Grant and his demands for Zeppelin live performances, touring rock musicians were routinely financially eviscerated.

Yes, there are a few musicians who have legitimate complaints about how their music wound up on Zeppelin recordings, and I believe those people should be appropriately compensated--but there are many, many more musicians who are very wealthy people now because of the trail that Peter Grant and Led Zeppelin blazed.
 
2010-06-29 06:49:30 PM  
Now they know how Little Roger and the Goosebumps felt


Link (new window)
 
2010-06-29 06:50:53 PM  
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but given that this all occurred pre-1978, isn't this beyond jurisdiction to go after Led Zeppelin as an entity? The infringing act of Zep "writing" and recording the song occurred in England, so the only action could be for the distribution of the song?

And even so, granted that he's bringing it NOW, after we have a compulsory license for such recordings, wouldn't it be based on the statutory rate at the time of recording, which was probably 2.1c per minute or something infinitely small?
 
2010-06-29 06:55:34 PM  
Also, good luck showing access even if you have substantial similarity. And I think, based on the age of this, they might even have to show that even if there was access, the accessed item had to have the required notice affixed properly
 
2010-06-29 06:58:10 PM  

El Chode: Correct me if I'm wrong here, but given that this all occurred pre-1978, isn't this beyond jurisdiction to go after Led Zeppelin as an entity?


I came here to make that point too. I'm no lawyer, but I thought there was something called "latches" or something along those lines that basically said, you had to file when you became aware of it. I thought this guy was on the record long ago saying, "Yeah, but whatever".
 
2010-06-29 07:03:09 PM  

Farkomatic: I came here to make that point too. I'm no lawyer, but I thought there was something called "latches" or something along those lines that basically said, you had to file when you became aware of it. I thought this guy was on the record long ago saying, "Yeah, but whatever".


Laches is an equitable defense, so basically it's used when their argument is "well, there's no real legal reason I should win, but it's really unfair" and then Zep says "yeah, but your slowness has caused me harm as a result"

If he's on the record saying "yeah whatever" then Zep/Page/Atlantic might be able to make a case for abandonment of copyright.
 
2010-06-29 07:12:51 PM  

El Chode: And even so, granted that he's bringing it NOW, after we have a compulsory license for such recordings, wouldn't it be based on the statutory rate at the time of recording, which was probably 2.1c per minute or something infinitely small?


Nevermind, the compulsory license provides that when the person who re-records the music doesn't provide notice of their intent to re-record and distribute the music, the original artist may elect the §504 statutory or actual damages.
 
2010-06-29 07:36:12 PM  

El Chode: Nevermind, the compulsory license provides that when the person who re-records the music doesn't provide notice of their intent to re-record and distribute the music, the original artist may elect the §504 statutory or actual damages.


Also if you're not getting your hair cut, you don't have to move your brother's clothes down to the lower peg. You simply collect his note before lunch, after you've done your scripture prep, when you've written your letter home, before rest, move your own clothes onto the lower peg, greet the visitors, and report to Mr. Viney that you've had your chit signed.
 
2010-06-29 07:38:14 PM  
Stairway to Heaven is just parts of Spirit's "Taurus" (new window) and to make it even more glaringly obvious, Led Zep toured as support act for them in 1968

Obscure artist comes up with something new, someone comes along, commercialize it, and turns it into a marketable commodity. That's pop music for you. But Some were better at hiding it than others... Led Zep, not so much
 
2010-06-29 07:42:07 PM  
If Jake Holmes had Allen Klein to represent him, he could have had all the money that Led Zeppelin made on their first album.
 
2010-06-29 07:43:48 PM  
I was hoping it was a Ron Decline link.
 
2010-06-29 07:46:41 PM  

HappyHarryHardOn: Obscure artist comes up with something new, someone comes along, commercialize it, and turns it into a marketable commodity. That's pop music for you. But Some were better at hiding it than others... Led Zep, not so much


Some were better at hiding it than Led Zeppelin but Led Zeppelin is better.
 
2010-06-29 07:48:23 PM  
FTFA: The verses are different, but the music's a dead ringer.

Well, no, it's not. There's the bassline, which is straight quarter notes on the Zep recording, but broken up on Holmes'; the vocal melody is only really similar on the "Been dazed and confused for so long" part.

Randy California's Taurus, which was ripped off for Stairway to Heaven, is more of a "dead ringer".

Zeppelin: great band, one of the very best ever
Jimmy Page: plagiarist and sorta-scumbag for the way he's dealt with this over the years
 
2010-06-29 07:52:39 PM  

HappyHarryHardOn: Stairway to Heaven is just parts of Spirit's "Taurus" (new window) and to make it even more glaringly obvious, Led Zep toured as support act for them in 1968

Obscure artist comes up with something new, someone comes along, commercialize it, and turns it into a marketable commodity. That's pop music for you. But Some were better at hiding it than others... Led Zep, not so much


Never heard that before. Cool song. Glad Jimmy half remembered it and turned it into pure awesome.
 
2010-06-29 08:01:56 PM  
HappyHarryHardOn beat me to it. It's kind of sad how obvious that example is.

The bizarre thing to me is the example of Zep's terrific Travelling Riverside Blues. The song has nothing in common musically at all with Robert Johnson's song, that killer riff is all Page, it only used 4 or so lines of lyrics from the original (plus other "Johnson" lyrics like "She studies evil all the time"), but it was properly credited when it was first released on the box set, yet songs that are straight lifts, like Taurus or Black Mountain Side never got the proper credit.

ELP ran in to the same kinds of deal when they adapted classical pieces. When they did The Barbarian on the first album, it originally didn't credit Bartok, because Emerson didn't think he had to as he thought it was out of copyright (it wasn't and he should have out of courtesy to one of his heroes), but that was soon corrected.

FTFA: Even if a court decides Page ripped off Holmes, the folk singer can only sue for damages from the last 3 years, because of that pesky statute of limitations

So, Page basically faces minor monetary damages.
 
2010-06-29 08:21:55 PM  
Led Zeppelin is the Microsoft of the music world.
 
2010-06-29 08:22:12 PM  

Henry Holland: So, Page basically faces minor monetary damages.


You were expecting the Gallows Pole?
 
2010-06-29 08:22:30 PM  

Henry Holland: FTFA: Even if a court decides Page ripped off Holmes, the folk singer can only sue for damages from the last 3 years, because of that pesky statute of limitations

So, Page basically faces minor monetary damages.


For the past three years...and on into the future, I'd imagine.
Why Holmes didn't call a lawyer back in the 1960s, I have no idea. I mean, if George Harrison can lose all the money he made off of "My Sweet Lord" because of its resemblance to "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons, then how much would Jake Holmes have been due?
 
2010-06-29 08:23:39 PM  

bglove25: HappyHarryHardOn: Stairway to Heaven is just parts of Spirit's "Taurus" (new window) and to make it even more glaringly obvious, Led Zep toured as support act for them in 1968

Obscure artist comes up with something new, someone comes along, commercialize it, and turns it into a marketable commodity. That's pop music for you. But Some were better at hiding it than others... Led Zep, not so much

Never heard that before. Cool song. Glad Jimmy half remembered it and turned it into pure awesome.


I always thought that Stairway wrote itself.
 
2010-06-29 08:33:23 PM  

AdolfOliverPanties: Henry Holland: So, Page basically faces minor monetary damages.

You were expecting the Gallows Pole?


Maybe the Whipping Post?
 
2010-06-29 08:56:24 PM  
I've stolen Led Zeppelin's mud shark idea in a hotel a couple times, so who am I to throw stones?
 
2010-06-30 01:07:57 AM  

Midnight Rambler: I've stolen Led Zeppelin's mud shark idea in a hotel a couple times, so who am I to throw stones?


Yeah, but they stole it from The Vanilla Fudge.
 
2010-06-30 08:33:21 AM  

AdolfOliverPanties: Actually, Led Zep stole it from the Yardbirds, who stole it from Holmes.


Actually, LZ were the last incarnation of the Yardbirds; Page had been in the band and everyone quit. They had a contractual obligation to tour Scandinavia, so he put a band together and went out as "The New Yardbirds". Once that was done, they changed their name to LZ.
 
2010-06-30 08:34:04 AM  

www.ishootporn.com

R.I.P

 
2010-06-30 09:14:01 AM  

Certainly You Jest: While I would never agree with wholesale ripping off of original work


Great. We're all in agreement then.
 
2010-06-30 09:22:24 AM  

dictyboy: Midnight Rambler: I've stolen Led Zeppelin's mud shark idea in a hotel a couple times, so who am I to throw stones?

Yeah, but they stole it from The Vanilla Fudge.


After a meeting, a chance meeting, in the Chicago O'Hare airport.
 
2010-06-30 10:08:03 AM  
They're assholes for stealing it but I'm glad they did. They turned a forgettable song into epicness.
 
2010-06-30 11:53:49 AM  
Led Zeppelin is nothing more than a cover band.
 
2010-06-30 12:41:31 PM  

AdolfOliverPanties: Actually, Led Zep stole it from the Yardbirds, who stole it from Holmes.

Learn your rock history, morans.


/looking for bites


Led Zep even seems to have stolen their guitarist. Because here he is (new window) with the Yardbirds doing this song.

/sarcasm
//knows Zeppelin were basically The Yardbirds version 4.0
///interesting factoid: Chris Dreja was in Zep at first, but decided to do photography instead. Enter one John Paul Jones.
 
2010-06-30 12:55:24 PM  
'Course he's suing Zeppelin - more money there than The Yardbirds.
 
2010-06-30 03:10:15 PM  
British bands from the 60's ripped off black R&B artists???
 
2010-06-30 04:17:29 PM  

MtnByker: Led Zeppelin is nothing more than a cover band.


That's true because every single one of their songs was written by somebody else.

/thanks for contributing
 
2010-06-30 09:12:59 PM  
I like pina coladas.

/not the same Holmes.
 
2010-07-01 03:10:40 AM  
After hearing some of the original songs that Zeppelin ripped off, I just want to know...did zeppelin write any actual music?
 
2010-07-01 12:17:45 PM  

csxtrainwreck: MtnByker: Led Zeppelin is nothing more than a cover band.

That's true because every single one of their songs was written by somebody else.

/thanks for contributing


Its different when they basically stole there whole catalog.
 
2010-07-01 01:35:55 PM  
Anyone got a lead on any wholly original Zeppelin songs? I mean, nice chops and all but jesus.
 
2010-07-01 02:52:04 PM  

WTF Indeed: Aren't they all just ripping off some poor black guitarist from the 1920's who never made an album but toured every gin joint in the South?


True that, and he assuredly got it from some old slave work-song.

If i paint a picture of a brunette gal smiling at the camera, does that mean i'm copying the Mona Lisa? All art is influenced by earlier art.
 
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