Led Zeppelin's attorneys in the "Stairway To Heaven" copyright case are firing back at their oppositions attempts to get a judge to order Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to attend next month's trial -- by pointing out that the two had already said they're going to be there.
Page and Plant are being sued for allegedly stealing the opening of "Stairway" from Spirit's 1968 instrumental "Taurus." In a new brief, Zep's legal team says that the petition by Francis Malofiy -- who's representing the trustee managing the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy California -- is "a PR stunt in the hope of tainting the jury pool."
The Zep brief points out that Malofiy had already been told that Page, Plant and bassist John Paul Jones, who was dropped from the suit, "fully intend to appear at the trial."
Plant, in fact, has canceled a scheduled appearance at Britain's Meltdown Festival in order to attend.
The plaintiff's motion, Zep's team contends, "is so devoid of merit it can only be seen as playing to the press."
Malofiy has previously said that the case could be settled for $1 and a songwriting credit for California (nee Wolfe) that would insure royalties from all future sales and uses of "Stairway," but Page and Plant have maintained they're not guilty of plagiarism.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.