Stephen Colbert on Led Zeppelin Trial: 'They're Screwed' - Rolling Stone
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Stephen Colbert on Led Zeppelin Trial: ‘They’re Screwed’

“Guys, take your money and hide it in Panama,” ‘Late Show’ host tells rock legends, who are being sued for copyright infringement

Stephen Colbert has bad news for Led Zeppelin, who are currently defending their 1971 epic “Stairway to Heaven” in court against plagiarism accusations. “They’re screwed,” the host told the band. “Guys, take your money and hide it in Panama.”

At first, Colbert said he wasn’t so sure. “The lawsuit has been dragging on for nearly two years, almost enough time to listen to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ … I’ve listened to both songs, and I’m not sure Zep ripped them off. But I gotta say, ‘It makes me wonder,'” he cracked, screeching a high-pitched Robert Plant impression.  

His tone changed after playing audio samples of the opening acoustic riff from “Stairway” and the main guitar progression of Spirit’s “Taurus.” 

“There’s worse news,” Colbert said. “There’s a second lawsuit being filed by the estate of 1930s Grammophone star ‘Tuxedo’ Jim Broadway.” He then triggered a snippet from a fake crooner’s hilarious, rambling tune, which ripped off “Stairway” lyrics like “bustle in your hedgerow.”

Jimmy Page testified on the second day of the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright infringement trial. Watch here.


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