TIME Music

Led Zeppelin Loses First Round in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Lawsuit

Led Zeppelin File Photos
Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page, John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant) in 1969. Chris Walter—WireImage / Getty Images

The British rockers must confront allegations that it ripped off the rock group Spirit

For decades, Led Zeppelin has faced claims that they plagiarized their iconic 1971 hit “Stairway to Heaven” from the rock band Spirit. Now it looks like Zeppelin is headed for a difficult legal battle.

Back in May, family members of Spirit frontman Randy Craig Wolfe (a.k.a Randy California) filed the suit against Zeppelin, seeking monetary damages and a writing credit for the now-deceased Wolfe, NBC Philadelphia reports. Wolfe’s family claims that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page ripped off the chords for “Stairway to Heaven” from Spirit’s 1968 tune “Taurus.” (The two bands at one point toured together and had thus become familiar with each other’s music.)

Now, Zeppelin and their music companies have requested that the case be dismissed, as the “individual defendants are British citizens residing in England, own no property in Pennsylvania and have no contacts with Pennsylvania, let alone ties sufficient to render them essentially at home here,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The judge, however, said no to that request — so the band will now be forced to move forward with the suit.

In the meantime, if you’ve never heard the song that Zeppelin allegedly ripped off, listen to it here, followed by “Stairway to Heaven” for comparison’s sake:

Read next: Led Zeppelin Is Getting Sued Over ‘Stairway to Heaven’

TIME Arts

Hundreds Protest Met’s New Opera for ‘Romanticizing Terrorism’

Protestors Hold Vigil, Rally Condemning "Klinghoffer" Opera Outside Lincoln Center
A protestor holds up a sign outside the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center on opening night of the opera, "The Death of Klinghoffer" on October 20, 2014 in New York City. The opera, by John Adams, depicts the death of Leon Klinghoffer, a Jewish cruise passenger from New York, who was killed and dumped overboard during a 1985 hijacking of an Italian cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists. Bryan Thomas—Getty Images

"The Death of Klinghoffer'' is about the murder of a disabled Jewish man by Palestinian extremists

The Metropolitan Opera House’s opening night of 1991 opera The Death of Klinghoffer received a standing ovation in New York City Monday. But the noise made by crowds outside of Lincoln Center before the curtain rose may have rivaled the cheers inside the opera house.

Hundreds of protesters, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, railed against the John Adams opera about the 1985 murder of disabled cruise passenger Leon Klinghoffer by four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front, on charges that it is anti-Semitic and glorifies terrorists who shot a 69-year-old Jewish man in his wheelchair and then pushed him overboard.

“If you listen, you will see that the emotional context of the opera truly romanticizes terrorism,” Giuliani told crowds across the street from Lincoln Center. “And romanticizing terrorism has only made it a greater threat.”

The Met disagreed that the opera, which premiered in Brussels more than 20 years ago, glorifies terrorism.

“There’s no doubt for anyone who sees this opera that… it’s not anti-Semitic,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, told the BBC. “It does not glorify terrorism in any way. It is a brilliant work of art that must be performed… At the end of the day, anyone with any sense of moral understanding knows this opera is about the murder of an innocent man.”

The AP reports that there were a some orchestrated disruptions, including shouts of, “The murder of Klinghoffer will never be forgotten!” from the balcony, during the show, though the heckling was muffled by cheers when the cast took a bow.

TIME Bizarre

Russian Artist Cuts Off Earlobe in Government Protest

He previously nailed his scrotum to the stones in Red Square

Less than a year after nailing his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square, a Russian artist cut off his earlobe Sunday in protest of the Russian government’s treatment of dissidents.

The artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, was hospitalized following the incident and will be released from the hospital soon, The Guardian reported.

In a Facebook post, Pavlensky said that he was protesting the government’s alleged detention of dissidents under the false pretense of insanity.

“Armed with psychiatric diagnoses, the bureaucrat in a white lab coat cuts off from society those pieces that prevent him from establishing a monolithic dictate of a single, mandatory norm for everyone,” he wrote, according to the Guardian.

[Guardian]

TIME Arts

Hello Kitty Exhibit to Open in L.A.

Everything from original art to the body massager that looks like a vibrator

Hello Kitty lovers, grab a writing implement from your Hello Kitty pencil case, and mark your calendars. The first large-scale exhibition of objects from the Sanrio archives and original art inspired by the iconic character opens Oct. 11 at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles. The show, pegged to the 40th anniversary of the brand, will run through April 26, 2015.

The art on display ranges from a sculpture of the character covered in desserts, illustrating her reputation for being sweet, to “Kittypatra,” a sculpture of Hello Kitty as Cleopatra that’s reminiscent of cats’ religious significance in ancient Egypt (but, remember, she’s a girl, not a cat). Jamie Rivadeneira, one of the exhibit’s curators and owner of Japan LA, a boutique that sells Japanese pop culture merchandise, argues there are endless ways for artists to depict Hello Kitty because “she’s a blank canvas. She doesn’t have a mouth, so she can be whatever you want her to be.”

Pop culture fans will recognize Katy Perry’s Hello Kitty-inspired corset, Lady Gaga’s dress made out of Hello Kitty plush dolls and a skirt decorated with Hello Kitty lunch boxes featured on America’s Next Top Model. Other unusual objects on display include Hello Kitty motor oil, Hello Kitty toilet paper and the infamous Hello Kitty body “massager,” which went viral on the Internet because many people thought Sanrio had released a vibrator.

Christine Yano, an anthropologist and one of the exhibit’s curators, describes the massager controversy and other unexpected appropriations of the cutesy character on display as the kind of “OMG moments” that have made the brand last for 40 years: “It became a sensation. Even if there might be some controversy, that’s more people paying attention and maybe more people buying the product.”

 

TIME Books

Drunk Poetry Fans and the First Reading of ‘Howl’

Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg in 1965 Jim Johnson—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Oct. 7, 1955: Allen Ginsberg reads 'Howl' for the first time, at San Francisco’s Six Gallery

Before Allen Ginsberg invoked the ire of authorities with the frank (and frequent) depiction of sexual acts in “Howl” — “in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too” — he stunned a crowd of drunk poetry fans at San Francisco’s Six Gallery.

On this evening in 1955, Oct. 7, Ginsberg performed the piece in public for the first time at a poetry reading which had been advertised by a postcard proclaiming: “Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.”

The wine and the satori — deep understanding, in the zen sense — went hand in hand. In his novel The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac fictionalized the event with a description of circulating gallon jugs of California burgundy among the increasingly raucous crowd, “getting them all piffed so that by eleven o’clock when Alvah Goldbrook [Ginsberg's stand-in in the novel] was reading his wailing poem ‘Wail’ ['Howl'] drunk with arms outspread everybody was yelling ‘Go! Go! Go!’”

Those who were there said the reading felt like a revolution — poet Michael McClure said that it pushed the art form past the “point of no return” — but critics gave the poem mixed reviews. The poet James Dickey called it “a whipped-up state of excitement,” but scolded that “it takes more than this to make poetry.” Poet and critic Paul Zweig was more reverential, saying that “Howl,” “almost singlehandedly dislocated the traditionalist poetry of the 1950s.”

Government officials, meanwhile, found it intolerably vulgar. When it was published about the year after that first reading, U.S. Customs agents seized Howl and Other Poems when it arrived from its London-based printer on grounds that it was indecent and obscene; San Francisco police arrested Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who published it, and Shigeyoshi Murao, manager of City Lights Books, who sold it.

Mid-century America simply wasn’t ready yet for Ginsberg’s offer of free satori, it seemed. In 2007, on the 50th anniversary of the poem’s obscenity trial, Ferlinghetti told the New York Times he believed the charges were related less to the poem’s four-letter words than to the revolutionary ideas it expressed.

A San Francisco judge (and Sunday school teacher) later exonerated both the men and the poem, ruling that Howl had “redeeming social importance.” He may not have supported its ideas, but he was a stickler for self-expression: “Would there be any freedom of press or speech if one must reduce his vocabulary to vapid innocuous euphemism?” the Times story quotes from Judge Horn’s 1957 opinion. “An author should be real in treating his subject and be allowed to express his thoughts and ideas in his own words.”

Hindsight would confirm the judge’s wisdom. In 1985, TIME’s R.Z. Sheppard noted that, “the man once feared as a weevil in the nation’s moral fiber is in a disarming state of equilibrium. Cultural norms have adjusted in Ginsberg’s favor since 1956, when he disturbed the peace with Howl.

Read the 1985 piece about the poet, here in TIME’s archives: Mainstreaming Allen Ginsberg

TIME Arts

Artist Creates 88 Mind-Bending Versions of a Hotel

This Munich building got some eye-popping computer makeovers

Munich’s Deutscher Kaiser hotel looks like any sleek modern building. But re-imagined through the mind (and lens) of artist Víctor Enrich, the structure becomes something mind-bendingly crazy — Salvador Dali meets Inception.

The Spanish native spent months turning out these 88 startling computer-aided distortions of the four-star urban lodging. Why? Recent emigrant Enrich had passed the Deutscher Kaiser daily while job-hunting in the German city and quickly tired of looking at it. What started off as novel way to motivate himself, turned into a fully realized passion project.

Speaking to TIME from Barcelona, Enrich says “I always try to express myself as much as I can. If I’m not having fun, I will never do anything!”

We’ve picked some of our favorites, but you can see Víctor’s full series here.

TIME viral

Watch Two People Casually Perform a Beautiful Dance on the Side of a Building

They make it look easy

This new GoPro video shows two dancers suspended in the air, performing perpendicular to Oakland’s City Hall.

These daring dancers are Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeber and are part of BANDALOOP, a group that specializes in vertical dance performance

They move so gracefully that you almost forget how scary this must have been.

MORE: Watch a Toddler Expertly Choreograph a Dance to Sia’s ‘Chandelier’

MORE: Dad and Daughter’s Goofy Dance to ‘All About That Bass’ Will Make You Smile

(h/t Mashable)

TIME Books

Forgotten Dr. Seuss Stories Find a New Audience

In 'Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories,' familiar characters like Horton and the Grinch appear in new predicaments

Dr. Seuss fans will have a chance to read four of the famed cartoonist’s long-forgotten stories in a new volume, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories, out today. The book features beloved characters as Seuss (whose real name is Theodor Geisel) rendered them for Redbook magazine in the 1950s. Though Seuss died in 1991, a collector and biographer, Charles Cohen, helped catalyze the new Horton after finding archival material in the magazine.

An illustration from Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
Marco in an illustration from Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss Courtesy of Random House

In “Marco Comes Late,” Marco, from his first children’s book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, makes up a fantastical story to explain why he was really late to school.

An illustration from Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
Horton and the Kwuggerbug in an illustration from Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss Courtesy of Random House

In “Horton and the Kwuggerbug,” a demanding insect called a Kwuggerbug sends Horton, the elephant best known for hearing a Who, on a wild mission that involves climbing mountains and standing up to crocodiles to find Beezlenuts—a delicious, sought-after dessert.

The Grinch is still as grouchy as ever and preaches about the pitfalls of consumerism in “The Hoobub and the Grinch,” reflecting the author’s “feelings about his history in advertising,” according to the book’s introduction written by Charles D. Cohen, a dentist who collects Dr. Seuss memorabilia.

An illustration from Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss
Officer Pat in an illustration from Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss Courtesy of Random House

And the extremely paranoid policeman Officer Pat from “How Officer Pat Saved the Whole Town” was meant to be a book unto himself, but Random House opted to publish Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories instead.

The original illustrations live in the archives of the Dr. Seuss Collection at the University of California at San Diego.

TIME politics

Watch John McCain Dance The Robot Like No Politician Has Danced The Robot Before

ABC, we have your next cast members for Dancing with the Stars.

If there was ever a case for Dancing With the Stars: Politicians Special, it was Saturday night’s Apollo in the Hamptons benefit, where showstoppers John McCain and Chris Christie could have danced all night. And if you’re watching the above video of McCain doing the robot with an in-awe Jamie Foxx, you’ll wish they had.

While the Senator pulled off stellar Mr. Roboto moves, getting most literally down in front of high rollers ranging from Bon Jovi to Harvey Weinstein to AmEx CEO Ken Chenault.

Christie, meanwhile, went a little more Electric Slide/Chicken Dance fusion.

“Christie really held his own,” Jack Nicholson told the Post. “I told him, as he walked back to his seat, ‘Governor, you can’t let New Jersey down.'”

Apparently Apollo in the Hamptons is the event of the season. Last year, Foxx reportedly got Colin Powell to sing “Blurred Lines.” While that magical moment wasn’t caught on video, at least we have the former Secretary of State’s DWTS audition tape to make up for it:

TIME Arts

Reddit User Makes Greco-Roman Statues Look Like They’re Taking Selfies

The future of art?

In case you were curious, that is the face of a Greco-Roman statue, modeled after those at the Vatican Museum, “posing” for a selfie.

Thanks to some careful camera angling, Reddit user “jazsus_ur_lookin_well” took these photographs of statues at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, Ireland, as a way to join old art with new… art. (Is a selfie art? What would Kim Kardashian say?)

“The staff in that art gallery were giving me some strange looks,” the user wrote on Reddit.

At least this person didn’t break any of them.

(h/t Bored Panda)

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