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Did Led Zeppelin Rip Off a Folk Singer?

6/29/2010 2:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Led Zeppelin must have been a little "Dazed and Confused" when it recorded the classic by the same name 41 years ago  -- because it sounds just like a folk song -- so says the folk singer who's now suing Zep's guitarist, Jimmy Page.

Led Zeppelin

According to the Federal lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Jake Holmes says he snagged a copyright for "Dazed and Confused" in 1967, two years before Zeppelin recorded its version that sounds suspiciously similar.

Could it be -- Zep ripped off a folk singer?  Listen to Holmes' 1967 recording.



Now take a listen to Zep's 1969 version.



The verses are different, but the music's a dead ringer.

Here's the good news for Page.  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.

As for why Holmes waited so long to sue ... who knows? His attorney had no comment.

133 COMMENTS

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1.

Phreaky    

40 years!? The case should be thrown out for that fact alone.

1555 days ago
2.

Prancy    

I'm not sure I'm buying his story. Sounds fishy to me. Why did he wait so long to file?



It's not like Jimmy needed to steal other people's music. He is a musical genius.

1555 days ago
3.

M    

Nope. Not even close. This is a joke. And whoever is saying these songs sound even remotely similar need to turn up their hearing aids!!!!!!

1555 days ago
4.

electriczipper    

I never much cared for led zepplin and now I care even less

1555 days ago
5.

Dave    

It's WELL do***ented that LZ ripped off a large amount of music. This is not new news. Especially 40some years after the fact.

1555 days ago
6.

flip[wilson    

That's a very common progression, there are probably many songs that sound similar...no case.



Plant a tree instead.

1555 days ago
7.

dd    

Love Led Zepplin...there is something called a statute of limitations isn't it?

1555 days ago
8.

WMB    

Zep is notoriously renowned for ripping off other tunes. It's been known for years. The issue here is statute of limitations; why did the plaintiff wait so long to bring legal action? Was there some type of written agreement that prevented him from filing from an earlier settlement outside of court that recently expired?

1555 days ago
9.

raven    

This makes me want to pull out my albums I have't heard for a long time. Good ol' music...we knew good music in our day eh Harvey.

1555 days ago
10.

Bob Goodden    

This is an old story. What do you do with an idea that you definatly pick up and run with. Who can remember glimpses of peoples names. Your due for what a desending chromatic run. Or blues-based sexual innuendo. Maybe pete townsend should have paid Bo Diddly for Magic Bus.

1555 days ago
11.

Bobby    

led zep also did whole lotta love which was an old blues song way before zep had poop in the diapers.they were all into that blues sound just like the stones back then so its not surprising the music would sound or be like what was already made.

1555 days ago
12.

TMZgossip    

zep is known for stealing old folk and blues songs and claiming them as their own.



everyone in here that doesn't believe it can simply use a search engine and spend about 10 seconds searching

1555 days ago
13.

Uncle Rufus    

SORRY...the "Original" song sounds NOTHING like ZEP! ROCK ON ZEPPLIN!

1555 days ago
14.

Dorinha    

Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters both filed lawsuits against Led Zeppelin. Dixon won his case, if I'm not mistaken (I'm not sure about Muddy Waters, and can't be bothered surfing the Internet to find out). These blues artists were huge influences on Zeppelin back in the day, and I don't fault Page and Plant for perhaps "over-borrowing" from their idols and repackaging their tunes. Every artist does it to some degree, and I suspect the practice was even more common and accepted during the '60...s.



In "The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon", John produced at least one old blues album from among his collection, played it for the interviewer, and explained how the tune "inspired" him to write a famous Beatles song. When George Harrison was found guilty (wrongly, IMO) in the "My Sweet Lord/He's So Fine" case, Lennon remarked that Harrison's only major crime was slipping up by using too much of the melody. None of this practice is new. It's not fair to the original artists, but they also borrowed from their own musical influences. Move along, Holmes. Nothing to see here.

1555 days ago
15.

captain chillymost    

zep ripped off all blues singers like Willie Dixon etc... They admit it in an arrogant way. F#$k Zep

1555 days ago
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