Dreppelin tears down the stairway myth

By A. Finn Moss | Beacon Unhealthy Obsessions Reporter

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John Philip Sousa inspired Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” according to a local music enthusiast.

Local Led Zeppelin fanatic and self-proclaimed expert Ned Dreppelin remembers with horror the first time he stumbled across a record in his grandfather’s attic. The album, an old 78-rpm disc, had a picture of a marching band on the jacket and the name John Philip Sousa splashed across the front in a jaunty fashion.

Dreppelin took his find to the old record player in the living room and put it on. What he heard changed his life.

“Something went wrong from the beginning when I started playing this record,” he said. “The record player ran backward at slow speed. The song sounded familiar. Then I realized it was the middle section of ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ where the tempo picks up a bit. I couldn’t believe my ears.”

The famous song by Led Zeppelin has already brought an outcry of plagiarism from Zeppelin critics who claim the opening guitar bits were taken from a song by the band Spirit.

“Now this,” Dreppelin said. Dreppelin, the 18-year-old son of Bass Lake High School basketball coach Zeb Dreppelin, played the Sousa song ,  “Semper Fidelis” for some friends and they agreed.

“They agreed,” Dreppelin said. “I’m going to report this to the head of the Led Zeppelin Fan Club and see if I can get an autographed t-shirt out of the deal.

Dreppelin said his discovery has not diminished his love for the long-retired quartet but it has increased his appreciation of patriotic marches.

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