Posted by
• 11.20.11 05:08 pm

Led Zeppelin are often criticized for ripping off the blues and it is weird hearing Robert Plant sing, “A-you need coolin’ / Baby, I’m not foolin'” but they also ripped off white music.

Led Zeppelin are often criticized for ripping off the blues and it is weird hearing Robert Plant sing, “A-you need coolin’ / Baby, I’m not foolin'” but they also ripped off white music. Bert Jansch is a Glaswegian guitarist who died last month and I highly reccommend his musical meanderings on a Sunday afternoon. One thing you’ll notice when you listen to Jansch is how shamelessly he was ripped off by Jimmy Page. I don’t mean Page was loosely trying to sound like someone else. I mean he lifted Jansch songs note-for-note. Take this ditty for example.

Page stole the entire intro for his song and even had the audacity to name it “Black Mountainside.”

When Jansch heard the song he was pissed and said, “The accompaniment was nicked by a well-known member of one of the most famous rock bands, who used it, unchanged, on one of their records.” He tried to take it to court but British law said he’d have to handle at least half the lawyer’s fees himself and he simply didn’t have the money. Though the original song is traditional, the Page version hijacked the licks Jansch had added himself. This was as clear to anyone who heard it as it was expensive to pursue. Eventually Jansch said, “he ripped me off, didn’t he? Or let’s just say he learned from me” and gave up the fight. Today, Google-image-ing “Scottish Jimmy Page” brings up dozens of Jansch photos.

Led Zeppelin were well aware of how expensive it was to sue them and regularly “sampled” other artists without so much as a liner note. They were basically a mash up cover band as documented nicely here. Fuck those guys.


  1. I'm awesome, and I fuck dolphins says:

    …. So?

  2. Lady friend says:


  3. Stephen Hyde says:

    You can suck my 1970’s bush of a cock.

  4. Goat My Sampson says:

    that’s business i guess. they’re cunts obviously but that is business.

  5. Dynamo says:

    “His fretwork itself is unassailable.”

    Revenge of the session guitarist, bro.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Zeppelin…sloppy hacks and an annoying voice. They bum me out.

  7. Jimminy Paycheck says:

    Zeppelin are fuckin boring.

  8. Zippy says:

    I had a roommate in college that played Led Zeppelin from morning to night at full blast every goddamn day. Forget the band, fuck that guy.

  9. LizT says:

    “Led Zeppelin were well aware of how expensive it was to sue them and regularly “sampled” other artists without so much as a liner note”

    More amazing evidence-free crack internet journalism. Ask any famous and not so famous guitar player what they think of Jimmy Page….and then rewrite this absurdity. Let me end with a Frank Zappa quote that you might consider taking to heart:

    “Most rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read”

  10. alex says:

    Page was great in The Yardbirds, but Led Zeppelin sucked just like Iron Butterfly.

  11. RazzleDazzle - fag says:

    @LizT “evidence-free”?
    There’s a link with tons of examples in the next sentence and you’re accusing people of not reading?

  12. This nonsense needs to stop says:

    Sorry LizT but it’s all true. Stairway to Heaven, a riff by riff rearrangement of a song called “Taurus”, by a band named Spirit. Dazed And Confused was written by a black blues musician from Queens NY. The Yard Birds, particularly Jeff Beck, who has more cred than you, blew that spot up. They were with Page when he bought the record at Bleecker Bob’s and then they covered the song, which Paged began passing off as his own. Ask any famous guitarist who knew and was a peer of Page, from Clapton, to Blackmore, to Beck and they’ll all tell you. Not to mention the litany of settled lawsuits with the estates of dead blues men, for songs that both Page and Plant filled the first three records with. They were just straight up uncredited covers, that they gave themselves song writing credits for. Sometimes without even changing a title or lyric, let alone rearranging the song itself. Now bitch and moan about sampling in hip hop some more white people…

  13. C and the MS-13s says:


    Agree 100%

  14. Anonymous says:

    “Stairway to Heaven,” makes me see red
    Bonzo’s buried, only three more left

  15. Dynamo says:

    still, his fretwork is unassailable.

  16. kyle h says:

    I think the meaning of this article is gavin will attack anything he doesn’t like no matter how many people he alienates, I have never seen anyone from the same demographic as him and that’s pretty impressive

  17. ez says:

    Page can play, certainly. He also borrowed liberally and tried to salt it up with his own style, which is understandable. It’s more just insulting when you hear Muddy Waters “You Need Love” up next to “Whole Lotta Love” and even the lyrics are almost identical.

    I know Steve Albini said very little of working with Page and Plant, except enough to infer that they like to “indulge” like “rock stars” do. Which is to say, I imagine them as douche bags who think they possess magic boners. Like Gene Simmons.

  18. paul says:

    what i never understood is why they would take black mountainside, considering that it isn’t even that good a song. why rip it off? i love zep though. There are tons and tons of artists that rip people off, but they don’t usually sound as awesome as zep

  19. Best band ever (next to Kraftwerk). Yes, they shamelessly ripped off lots of other artists but they did it better. Zep were so incredibly wide in their range of styles. Just listen to the break on “How Many More Times” to see the funk that came from them and that led to many of Bonzo’s beats being sampled in hip hop.

  20. alex says:

    Robert Plant is without doubt the worst vocalist in rock ever.

    overplaying guitar is not an attribute. Rock ‘n roll at its best is simplicity.

  21. JohnPaulJohnPaul says:

    Yawn……arguments you have in the car are not articles. This is lazy writing and piss poor ‘journalism’.

  22. chester says:

    Oh no a band that people love ripped off some gross and boring Scotsman. I guess I’d better not like any of their popular and fun songs by downloading them off Mediafire or wherever.

    I don’t know about UK law but here in the Stars ‘n Bars, adding some bullshit to a traditional song in the public domain is called a derivative work – and it only receives a “thin” copyright – meaning that it is only protected from what is essentially verbatim infringement, and also meaning that Bert’s case sucks because the Zep could just say the whole shmear was traditional and dick around in court for years.

    Maybe in his next life Bert should add some sweet Puff Daddy rap lyrics to his riffs and then we’d all pay attention.

  23. Uncle Wah Wah says:

    It’s that Scottish guy’s fault for not having a cooler name. I don’t want to rock out to some guy named Bert Jansch; I want him to do my estate planning. HAHAHAHA

  24. JimmyFuckingCarter says:

    You stole a mustache from a 1930’s pugilist.

  25. Anonymous says:

    yeah and fuck the beatles too!

  26. Who the fuck is Bert Jansch? If Zep hadn’t release “Black Mountain Side” no one would hear and learn this melody. Fuck it. Led Zeppelin is awesome.

  27. Broi says:

    This post is so alt.

  28. the real jimmy page says:

    u mad?

  29. Neeko says:

    Who gives a fuck. Everyone rips off everyone, it’s what makes new ideas better. Zeppelin just had a better way of marketing themselves.


  31. Tool says:

    If you listen really closely, you can definitely hear the resemblance.

  32. Robert Plant says:

    Who got more pussy? Me or fucking Bert, here? The true acid test. THAT’S why you join a band, dickheads. I could have been singing with a fucking monkey grinding an organ as long as I got a blow job and some girl bent over for me at the end of the night. WAY DOWN INSIDE……

  33. Katrick Pay says:

    @ niccolo and donkey: fuck you for just making me listen to “How Many More Times”. Distinctly underwhelming and I couldn’t even identify a hip-hop sounding break.

    Led Zeppelin are a bit like cats. In themselves they’re fine, blah, whatever – 5/10, nothing I care about but I don’t despise them. But for some reason people who like them are always odd, socially retarded, annoying assholes who whimper when they masturbate and are scared of life.

  34. internetguy says:

    so who would you rather listen to? I’d rather listen to Zeppelin, case closed.

  35. luke says:

    I don’t want to blow everyone’s minds, but I never particularly cared for this specific rock band myself either.

  36. Waaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    The blues was handed down from artists to artist through generations. They’re just an extension on that you dumb dip shit. Plus, Bonham is the greatest drummer ever. End of story.

  37. This nonsense needs to stop says:

    Waaaaaaaaa just says this until his favorite band gets sampled on a beat blasting in the club that everyone is shaking a doodoo maker to…

  38. Waaaaaaaaaaaa says:

    @This nonsense needs to stop

    I don’t go to “urban” clubs so I guess I’ll survive.

  39. bollocks to this says:

    so what you’re saying is that this Jansch chap played fuck awful music too and therefore is also a boring fucking cunt but he did it first? right, gotcha

  40. Mike says:

    Jimmy Page is the Carlos Mencia of rock ‘n roll. I hope he gets trampled underfoot.

  41. max fader says:

    hating on led zeppelin. YES. now THIS is edgy !

  42. gospel stomper says:

    at the GOP debate last night the musak/metal/thumping intro they used sounded mighty familiar, then it hit be -whole lotta love-
    i don’t know what it means since they’re all so filled with hate, except for Ron Paul the peace candidate.

  43. Anonymous says:

    People steal shit.
    Zeppelin fucking ROCKS.

  44. CharlesMartel says:

    All the evidence in the world will never make the insufferable flibberdegibbet Wilson sisters,of Heart,or Pheart, from using every excuse under the sun from worshipping them.

  45. […] He was (is?) a great guitarist though so we let it slide. Even if he did steal his best stuff from Bert Jansch. Anyway, Call me old fashioned but I don’t like it when adults rape […]

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