It’s been a long time since Led Zeppelin’s tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors awards show. On December 2, Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, and Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson joined by late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason Bonham saluted the band with performances in Washington, D.C. The other musician being honored was Buddy Guy, whose tributes came from Gary Clark Jr., Tracy Chapman, Bonnie Raitt, Jeff Beck, and others. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were in attendance.
The 90-minute awards show, which also recognized ballerina Natalia Makarova, actor Dustin Hoffman, and late-night TV host David Letterman, finally aired last night on CBS. The network has posted scant official footage from the broadcast, so first below you’ll find a few unofficial YouTube clips while they last, followed by the non-performance footage straight from CBS. Jack Black handled the intro, during which he called Zep “the greatest rock’n’roll band of all time” and noted they wrote songs about “love, Vikings, and Vikings making love.” At the top is the full show, including blazing super-jams on Guy’s “Sweet Home Chicago” and Led Zep’s “Stairway to Heaven.” (The Zep portion starts just after the 1:08:15 mark.) When there’s a bustle in your online search activity, don’t be alarmed, Zep.
Key moments: Taylor Hawkins taking over on vocals while Dave Grohl mans the drums on “Rock and Roll”; President Obama mouthing the words to “Whole Lotta Love” and tapping out a guitar solo on Michelle’s arm; Robert Plant getting weepy at the big finale, which featured a choir belting out the end of “Stairway.”