Sting Thinks Lawsuit over Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" Was Silly

It appears Sting thinks it's pretty silly that Led Zeppelin got sued for allegedly plagiarizing "Stairway to Heaven."

The singer/bassist did not mention Zeppelin or "Stairway" by name, but he seemed to refer to the case during a new interview with Bass Player magazine while discussing the bass line on his song "If You Can't Love Me" from his latest album 57th & 9th.

The former frontman for The Police described the part as a simple, common harmonic technique.

"That's a descending bass line, and they've been around a long time," he said. "Some bands get sued for them [laughs]. But they work every time."

Led Zeppelin's plagiarism trial took a major step forward last year due to the fact that the bass lines in "Stairway to Heaven" and Spirit's "Taurus" were nearly identical descending parts.

Lawyers for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant argued that the chord progression they used on "Stairway" has been in use for at least 300 years

Zeppelin won the lawsuit early last summer, though an appeal was filed this past March.

On why the descending bass line can be so effective, Sting explained:

"There’s a profundity to them. You’re going down, and the song becomes more intense and profound the deeper the bass line goes. Here, the chords get more dissonant and the tension grows."

Elsewhere in the interview, Sting discussed when he first fell in love with the bass guitar and how players like Paul McCartney and Jack Bruce inspired him to learn to sing and play at the same time.

Read the full interview here. You can view Sting's tour dates here.

Photo: Getty Images

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