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Racism, Thievery & general Skullduggery

Hi there,

1.  A few posts back there was a brief discussion about Robert Plant 
racism in which it was noted that Plant used the word "Nigger" during 
3-7-70 Montreux show.  I recently got that show (Thanks Mike!) and 
discovered that yes indeed, he did sing this during the HMMT medley.  
actual song was "Bottle Up and Go."  It goes:

A N*** and a white man playing Seven-up
The N*** beat the white man,
'Scared to pick it up.

A couple of questions:  Could you not say that this story of a 
gambling deal 
gone wrong tends to underscore the injustice of racism - and that the 
use of 
the N-word was not meant as a slight?

Chances are, Plant was making this up as he went along - it was the 
medley, right?  So he was singing a (half-remembered?) blues tune.  
Do any 
blues fans out there have a copy of this song with those lyrics?  
Context is 
everything; I doubt that anyone would call foul if Samuel Jackson was 
recite those lyrics.  I wonder if that song was ever discussed by 
like Robert Palmer?  (BTW, I know that Lightnin' Hopkins, Leadbelly 
and John 
Lee Hooker all did this song.  The '70 JLH version with Canned Heat 
different lyrics.)  Any other ideas or interpretations?

2.  A long time ago I heard a song by the band Spirit that pretty 
contained the first 3 minutes of Stairway to Heaven.  I was told at 
the time 
that this lp came out before LZ 4, and therefore this was yet another 
of music stolen by Page & Plant (Robert was into that West Coast 
stuff). I also heard that perhaps a financial settlement was reached 
at the 
time.  I don't know the name of the song - does anyone know the story