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As Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham opened the Led Zeppelin reunion show - a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, the late founder of Atlantic Records and mentor to many music icons - they launched into Good Times Bad Times against a 28-meter by 10-meter backdrop featuring video mixed on a Snell & Wilcox Kahuna SD/HD multiformat production switcher.

For this, the first song on the band's 1969 debut album, and the next 15 songs that rocked London's O2 arena on Dec. 10, 2007, Concert Video Director Dick Carruthers used the Kahuna to create the visual spectacle envisioned by the legendary troupe for its stage return.

"Led Zeppelin songs vary massively from gentle, tender blues to knock-your-head-off songs like Kashmir and Whole Lotta Love, and to reflect this the Kahuna allowed us to create and apply a variety of beautiful textures perfectly suited to what each song was about," said Carruthers, who mixed video from the Front of House position. "The Kahuna is unparalleled in terms of its quality and what it can achieve technically, and that's only half the story because we also had the support of Snell & Wilcox behind us. We programmed layers of effects and mapped them into 20 or 30 buttons, subdivided by song, so that I could recall each one instantaneously. It was a 'Wizard of Oz' kind of thing, and the resulting pictures on stage were mind blowing."

Officially titled the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert, this first full Led Zeppelin concert in 27 years not only recognized Ertegun, who died in 2006 at age 83, but also served as a benefit for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which will offer music student scholarships to universities in the United States, England, as well as Turkey, Ertegun's homeland. In building the images displayed behind the band's three surviving members - Plant, Page, and Jones - and drummer Jason Bonham, son of late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Carruthers used a 4-ME Kahuna to switch graphic material, live slow-motion playback, and eight live HD camera feeds through the switcher DVEs.

Carruthers specifically sought out the Kahuna for production of this Led Zeppelin concert. Though the on-screen result was at times subtle, the effects Carruthers applied with the Kahuna ranged widely from heavy colorization (blue or red in the blacks) to black and white with heavy contrast ratios to color washes and film effects such as strobing, smears, and jiggles.

Carruthers' team captured the whole event using 12 cameras recording in HDSR and also with three film cameras. Though Carruthers worked at a switching surface at the front-of-jouse, the Kahuna mainframe was located in a CTV OB unit 150 meters away. The high quality of the uncompressed HD images and uncompressed processing allowed Carruthers to get the best out of each look.

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

September 07, 1968 - The band fulfills some old Yardbirds dates in Scandanavia
September xx, 1969 - Jimmy Page is reported saying the second album will be harder than the first
September 19, 1970 - Led Zeppelin gross over $100,000 for two performances at Madison Square Gardens on the same day
September xx, 1971 - Jimmy Page is furious over a live Yardbirds release. It was forced off the shelves
September xx, 1971 - The band vacations in Hawaii
September xx, 1972 - Discussions to play various countries ends with a decision to play Japan again
September xx, 1973 - Jimmy Page considers a live release of material before releasing a new album
September 14, 1974 - Led Zeppelin and CSN&Y jam at an after party
September xx, 1975 - Jimmy meets up with Robert in Malibu, where he is staying on a tax exile
September 12, 1976 - Page and Bonham return to Switzerland and record a drum piece title Bonzo’s Montreux
September 08, 1977 - Page takes to the stage with other well knowns at a WEA records sales conference
September 15, 1978 - Zep road manager Richard Cole and Bad Company’s Simon Kirke get married in a double ceremony
September 17, 1979 - Promoter Fred Bannister forced into liquidation over Knebworth Sales with Led Zeppelin
September 18, 1980 - Jimmy reviews a new stage set up and technical details for the Eighties Part One tour at Swan Song offices
September 25, 1980 - John Bonham is found dead in Jimmy Page’s Windsor mansion by sound technician Benji Le Fevre
September 12, 2007 - It was announced at a press conference by Harvey Goldsmith that the remaining members of Led Zeppelin would reunite with Jason Bonham on drums.
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