Talk:Spirit (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography / Musicians (Rated B-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Musicians (marked as Mid-importance).


Spirit was one of my favorites in the late 60s. All that I've read seems to indicate that Ode Records felt that Woodstock would not be significant enough exposure and that a promotional tour for the "Clear" album would. Of course, only somewhat later did it sink in just how significant Woodstock was. I was 16 at the time and only remember just hearing about it. It did not seem a big thing to me, either. Only when the word started spreading afterwards and the movie was released in 1970 did people start to say, "Wow". --Phyllis1753 (talk) 16:55, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

"Record company managers felt that the festival would not be significant, which it did not seem so at that time." Could someone rephrase that in English? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Stairway To Heaven[edit]

I have been told that the song "Stairway to Heaven" as performed and made famous by Led Zeppelin was in actual fact strongly plagiarised from one of the songs as written and performed by Spirit (please note the music and not the lyrics). Can anybody shed some light on this? Anybody with intimate knowledge on Spirit care to comment?

The song to which they're referring is entitled "Taurus". It was featured on Spirit's first, full-length album Spirit. As this album's publication preceded Led Zeppelin IV by a couple of years, there is no dispute over which ensemble first copyrighted a song on which the guitar riff common to both was featured. The two works are sufficiently dissimilar, however, to not warrant further controversy. The riffs in question, however, are nearly identical; and the contexts into which they fit are almost verbatim matches (both introducing the songs and running as themes throughout). Earthliberator 22:19, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Plus the fact that Led Zeppelin backed up Spirit for some time... I'm not sure, but I don't think Spirit has received any credit for that song, which has sold more than a million copies and which Spirit actually wrote the music for! I'll think I'll add something about this on the Stairway to Heaven article. –The Phoenix 16:17, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I played in SPIRIT for 3 tours and asked Randy about "Taurus". He said that "he and Jimmy Page spoke about it, Jimmy half-way apologized, and they shook hands",,,and "it was over", to quote Randy. Personally, I think they could at least give a co-writer credit to Randy. - [Dave Waterbury] . .

what else, i just feel so sad.....just another great musician left us. words are useless....remains the music. Thank you Mister Locke. signed: a Spirit admirator since ......pfff−

Tour Of '73[edit]

I met Spirit in 1973 when they toured in the UK and I'm sure the bassist was Larry Knight. Can anyone clarify his dates with the band?

BTW: At this time the band were carrying round an acetate of Potatoland which was supposedly for Epic release.

Delverie 11:05, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

You could try asking the Spirit group on Yahoo (, I believe they have an accurate list. Fnorp 12:24, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Offensive and slanderous information.[edit]

Come on, dude. That's just stupid. It's gone. Jack Meihoffer 22:22, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


Though this record was self-produced, first pressings of Ode single #ZS7 128 (of which I have both a promo and stock copy in my collection) credited Lou Adler as producer. I am inquiring as to where this factoid would fit in to the story of this number. –Wbwn 11:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

I have added


tags to the article, after having spent some time sub-editing. Despite the information contained therein, and the time that has obviously gone into putting it all together, I am at a loss to know how this article has a Wikipedia 'B' rating. Frankly, a lot of it is meandering POV, fancruft, bollocks.

Derek R Bullamore 00:12, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Major editing suggested[edit]

This page has plenty of information, but could use serious help. That would involve a lot of editing. jj137 18:01, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm personally hoping to start working on revamping the album stubs for Spirit and Randy California in the near future (I did some work on the album stub for RC's "Kapt. Kopter" album yesterday). The major issue, however, will be finding verifiable sources for Spirit. Even though people have written about them, I don't know of a large amount of published materials on the group. Simply put, work on the related Spirit articles will take a lot of work in order to fully conform to NPOV. Kevinloy (talk) 15:16, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

There is no way Stairway to Heaven is plagiarism[edit]

I understand that the chord progression in Taurus sounds quite similar to that in Stairway to Heaven, but let's look at this with some reason and also from a musical standpoint. Anyone with musical education will tell you that the introductory chord progression in Stairway to Heaven is a chromatic bass progression. The bass of each chord moves down a half-step each time. Additionally, the style of the guitar is arpeggiated finger-picking. This progression and style are very commonly used in folk and classical music. Considering these points, why would it even matter that the two songs are similar? Frankly, out of the sheer fact, not opinion--you can argue with me on that all day--that Stairway to Heaven is a better song (for several reasons) I would say for sure that even if it was entirely stolen from Spirit, it doesn't matter. It really does not matter at all. Plus, if it was plagiarized, doesn't anybody think that maybe, just maybe, any of the four members of Led Zeppelin at the time would have the dignity to admit that it was taken? There wasn't even a legal dispute: ever. So why would it be so hard to admit? I know why. It was not plagiarized.

Yeah, because Led Zeppelin has such a great track record when it comes to acknowledging that they ripped off other artists...or maybe you've forgotten about Willie Dixon's multiple lawsuits (amongst other writers) against them.
THAT aside, as somebody who DOES have a musical education, the rhythmic and tonal similarities are more than coincidental. In all fairness, Jimmy Page's writing would (if acknowledged) constitute a theme variation as opposed to flat-out thievery, as he does add a few melodic flourishes to his version and slightly alters the ending phrase of the riff in question. Acknowledgement is the issue, however.
And the question is not, nor should it ever be, whether one piece of music is 'better' than the other. That's perhaps the most asinine defense that I've ever encountered (sort of like when I talked to somebody who claimed that, while Led Zeppelin might have ripped off a bunch of obscure blues artists, they were still taking the blues and "making it better").
It should be considered, of course, that there are only so many musical possibilities that can naturally occur within the formalized framework of western tonal principles, especially when dealing with straight 4/4 rhythmic patterns. There's likely to be more than one piece of music that resembles 'Taurus' in some manner or another, and for all we know, there could be a piece of music that predates 'Taurus' which also resembles it. But when considering the historical circumstances -- Led Zeppelin toured with Spirit in the late 60s, and Jimmy Page's acknowledgement that he had the idea of utilizing a theremin after seeing Randy California use one -- makes it clear that, even if Jimmy Page didn't literally intend to 'steal', he was very much aware of Spirit's work.
All of this having been stated, are correct in stating that it doesn't matter. Why? Because people don't care about facts and accuracy.
And in the future, please sign your posts. Kevinloy (talk) 15:17, 10 May 2009 (UTC)


It's clear this page needs work. It's a shame that some comments are unattributed, so I can't contact for information. This is strange since Sinebot usually adds signatures, even for anon IP addresses. However, to make a musical judgement about the Taurus/Stairway controversy, I need to hear Taurus, and since the only Spirit album I actually possess is "Twelve Dreams", and I cannot see Taurus on iMesh or LimeWire, I'd be glad if someone could point me to a source. If you can rip & post to alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.1960s, FAO Ivan, or upload to and give URL here, that would help. My own POV is that Spirit are an important enough band to be treated with respect, and that is why I'm prepared to take some time to get things right & sort this article out. Thanks --Rodhullandemu 01:10, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Spiritfirstalbum.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Spiritfirstalbum.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

Mitch Mitchell on Kaptain Kopter[edit]

I have corrected the sentence that says that Mitch played on Kaptain Kopter. It wasn't him, it was Leslie Sampson from Noels band Road. I have gotten this info from two people, one person who knew Randy California and one person who used to play with Leslie Sampson.-- (talk) 05:59, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

BetacommandBot (talk) 05:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Good article[edit]

I would just like to say I find the article well put together, comprehensive, and entertaining. Good job, all. Wwwhatsup (talk) 05:43, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Ed Cassidy[edit]

Over at the Ed Cassidy article, I've reverted this edit, apparently made in good faith, but completely unsourced. Does anyone has any firm evidence either that he has died, or that he is still alive? Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:57, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

The "Potatoland" album and Ed Cassidy[edit]

Although not exactly popular in the U.K. there used to be quite a lot of coverage of the band in the British Rock press at the time (the early 1970's) in the form of "The New Musical Express" (NME), "Sounds" and "Melody Maker". There was always a lot of mention about Ed Cassidy being the ALLEGED father or step-father of Randy California, but despite constant rumours, any familial relationship between the two was always denied by Messers California and Cassidy. I also have different recollections of the "Potatoland" album. As I remember it, the album was called "(A) Journey through Potatoland", aand it was recorded sometime in 1973. However, it was never released, and the Rock press asked why, as THEY had heard that it was full of innovative material. It turned out that the master fader in the studio was set to almost zero. Apparently, the band (or record label) held onto this master until the technology required to extract the music and play it at an acceptable level had been invented! When it was eventually released, interest had completely waned!

Taff Hewitt (talk) 22:27, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Do we need a disambiguation tag?[edit]

Since "Spirit" could obviously mean several other things, does this article need a disambiguation tag? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 09:18, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Could someone fix this "sentence"[edit]

Currently in the second paragraph of the 1960s section is this tortured sentence: "They also went on tour that year with support band Led Zeppelin, who were heavily influenced by Spirit—Led Zeppelin played an extended medley during their early 1969 shows that featured "Fresh Garbage" among other songs; Jimmy Page's use of a theremin has been attributed to his seeing Randy California use one that he had mounted to his amplifier; and Guitar World Magazine stated "(Randy) California's most enduring legacy may well be the fingerpicked acoustic theme of the song 'Taurus', which Jimmy Page lifted virtually note for note for the introduction to 'Stairway to Heaven'."" I assume there is supposed to be a period between "Spirit-Led Zeppelin" but the rest of it is anybody's guess. __209.179.6.200 (talk) 03:49, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

I've replaced the dash with a period (full stop). The remainder makes sense as it is. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:31, 14 February 2015 (UTC)