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Lasers and Live Led Zeppelin

A Coherent CR500K krypton water-cooled laser was first used on the 1975 US Tour. The beam was split and sent over Jimmy's head so he could wave his bow through it during Dazed And Confused. It was also projected on the ceiling of the arenas during No Quarter piano solos for the audience to watch.

The Coherent CR500K laser was carried over onto the 1977 US Tour with the addition of (3) 5-watt water-cooled argon lasers. One overhead to create Jimmy's pyramid, and two for Jonesy's solo.

There was a laser wave over the audience during the piano solo. Later in the tour, an audio feed from the piano was used to modulate the laser patterns. The lasers always got a crowd reaction.

For the 1979 Knebworth shows, Laser Technician Steve Jander was given a soundboard tape from a 1977 date.

He was also given a handwritten note of instructions from Jimmy Page, which is transcribed below.

"Harmonizer into Sonic Wave. Bow strobed overhead leading into first bowed chords and appearance of pyramid. Staccato repeat (pyramid turns 1/4). Repeat speed up and pyramid revolves and stops when I start on the wah wah. Smoke on the back of pyramid. More high and low wah wah notes leading to more staccato repeats ending with bow waved strobing above my head. Pyramid builds to a spin even before drum entrance."

In addition to the laser pyramid effect, Jander came up with the idea for a glowing bow from the part in The Song Remains The Same fantasy sequence where Page waves the sword over his head and it strobes colors. The violin bow could light up like neon and strobe colors as he waved it overhead. A powerful laser beam was emitted from the end of the bow which Jimmy could aim off into space. Two 100-micron diameter quartz fiber optic cables (with one spare) carried light from the 20-watt argon and krypton lasers to a tiny lens that produced the beam and to a piece of glowing lucite rod attached to the length of the bow. There was enough power coming out the end of the lighted bow to smoke the linoleum on the stage. Page almost nailed John Bonham in the face, even after he told him not to point it at anyone. Jander had his finger on the main shutter button and had to terminate the beam a couple of times.

The 1980 Over Europe was very scaled down, as compared to the 1977 and 1979 shows, so the lasers were not utilized. About the same John Bonham was found dead in Jimmy Page's house in September 1980, Steve Jander was preparing to fly to England for 1980 US Tour rehearsals, so the lasers most likely were going to be used again.

Jimmy Page continued to use the pyramid laser effect on his 1985 and 1988 solo tours and once again with the remaining members of Led Zeppelin at the 2007 O2 Reunion concert.

Some text sourced from r-o

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Jimmy Page, February 12, 1975, Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
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Jimmy Page, ca. 1977
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Laser beams on the arena ceiling, May 19, 1977, LSU Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Laser beams on the arena ceiling, May 19, 1977, LSU Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Jimmy Page, June 26, 1977, The Forum, Inglewood, California
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Jimmy Page, ca. August 1979
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Jimmy Page, ca. August 1979
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Jimmy Page, August 4, 1979, Knebworth House Grounds, Stevenage, England
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Jimmy Page, August 4, 1979, Knebworth House Grounds, Stevenage, England
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Jimmy Page, August 4, 1979, Knebworth House Grounds, Stevenage, England
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Jimmy Page, August 11, 1979, Knebworth House Grounds, Stevenage, England
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Steve Jander's handwritten laser note from Jimmy Page
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Jimmy Page, The Chase, ca. 1985
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Jimmy Page, December 10, 2007, O2 Arena, London, England
 
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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