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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

Videos



Photos

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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


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January 09, 1944 - James Patrick Page was born in Heston, Middlesex
January 03, 1946 - John Baldwin was born in Sidcup, Kent
January 02, 1946 - Led Zeppelin Tour Manager Richard Cole was born in Kensal Rise, London, England
January 05, 1967 - Jimmy Page begins recording Little Games with The Yardbirds at De Lane Lea Studios in London.
January 17, 1969 - Led Zeppelin released in the US
January xx, 1970 - Led Zeppelin now play without support acts in order to perform longer sets
January 09, 1970 - Royal Albert Hall gig filmed and recorded for documentary that is eventually scraped. (But was recalled for 2003’s DVD)
January xx, 1971 - Recording continues at Headley Grange
January xx, 1972 - Page has a studio built into his home
January 02, 1973 - Plant’s car breaks down and Bonham and he barely make the Sheffield City Hall gig
January 22, 1973 - Led Zeppelin record a live gig at Southampton University
January xx, 1974 - Recording Physical Graffiti at Headley Grange
January xx, 1974 - The band resigns with Atlantic and forms their own label
January 03, 1975 - Jimmy breaks a finger at Victoria Station just a week before the European warm up shows
January 17, 1975 - The band rehearses in Minneapolis for the upcoming US tour. Bootleg "Johnny Kidd And The Pirates" evolves out of this rehearsal
January xx, 1976 - Jimmy contemplates the release of The Song Remains The Same film but, continues work on the soundtrack
January 01, 1976 - In Paris, Robert takes his first unaided steps since his car accident
January xx, 1977 - Rehearsals for US tour take place at Manticore Studios in Fulham
January 24, 1977 - Bonham and Plant watch The Damned perform at the Roxy in London
January xx, 1978 - Media still claims Led Zeppelin have broke up
January 21, 1979 - Robert Plant is now proud father to son Logan Romero
January xx, 1980 - Zeppelin donate Candy Store Rock to a benefit album to benefit children
January 31, 1995 - Jimmy Page escaped being knifed when a fan rushed the stage at a Page and Plant gig at Auburn Hills, Michigan. The fan was stopped by two security guards, who he knifed instead. After his arrest, he told police that he wanted to kill Jimmy Page because of the Satanic music he was playing.
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