For generations of middle-class youth, the song is the 8-minute soundtrack of adolescent romance—or at least the anticipation of it. Stairway is slow dancing, the last song played at high school proms, sweet-16 parties, and summer camp mixers across a broad swath of the late 20th century.
Stairway’s stature—financially, culturally, and musically—is towering. By 2008, when Conde Nast Portfolio magazine published an estimate that included royalties and record sales, the song had earned at least $562 million.
But what if those opening notes weren’t actually written by Jimmy Page or any member of Led Zeppelin? What if the foundation of the band’s immortality had been lifted from another song by a relatively forgotten California band?
You’d need to rewrite the history of rock ’n’ roll.
Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven vs. Spirit’s Taurus: A Reckoning? – Businessweek