There’s no getting around the impact that Led Zeppelin had on the history of rock and roll.
The guys in Pearl Jam will be the first to tell you they have a love for Zeppelin, with Jeff Ament talking about wanting the band to have a similar career path, saying “I think we wanted to be more like Zeppelin, like more eclectic sounds at the time.”
As Pearl Jam was working on their latest album Yield, Mike McCready brought the beginnings of the song ‘Given to Fly’ to the table. When Robert Plant first heard the song though, he had thought it sounded a little too similar to the Zeppelin tune ‘Going to California,’ even joking about the similarities when speaking with McCready later, saying:
“Being an entertainer, outside of skill, craft, experience and whatever else it is you grow into, repetition is a hell of an evil bedfellow. To repeat yourself as regularly as we do as entertainers — you know this. I mean, how many times have you played ‘Going to California’? Oh sorry. Whatever your song is called.”
Zeppelin isn’t necessarily safe from plagiarism either. From their first few songs, Zeppelin was already cribbing from blues bands for their hits like ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘The Lemon Song.’
Mike didn’t even attempt to make a retort either, owning up to it when he brought up the time that Robert saw the band play, saying:
“When you came to see us in Sweden, we did the song. Eddie [Vedder] said, he dedicated it to you I think, and acknowledged you, and said ‘Given to California.”
As of right now, neither Robert nor Led Zeppelin have decided to pursue legal action or anything, but they don’t really have to either.
So next time you throw on ‘Given To Fly,’ listen a little closer and see if you can hear the similarities.