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Led Zeppelin Let Us Down Again, This Time on ‘Letterman’

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones

Here’s further proof that universal prestige is the worst thing that can happen to a supposedly rebellious group of artists. First, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant responded in grumpy-old-man fashion when a press conference about the English rockers’ Celebration Day concert film turned toward the possibility of another reunion. More recently, guitarist Jimmy Page revealed a hoped-for reunion tour fizzled for the most mundane reason in the world: Plant “was busy.”

Over the weekend, Zeppelin’s Plant, Page, and bassist John Paul Jones received this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. The full awards show paying tribute to Zep and other winners will air on December 26, with Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, and Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart among those performing the band’s songs. Their host last night, David Letterman, also received an award, but unfortunately their on-air meeting turned out to be a missed opportunity.

Letterman started the show off with a lengthy monologue that came across something like one of those Oscars thank-you speeches where the orchestra starts playing, naming off all of the comedians who honored him over the weekend and recapping President Barack Obama’s jokes about the frigid Late Show set. His conversation with Plant, Page, and Jones followed suit. Their talk covered Zep’s blues influences, Jack Black’s awards-show joke about Viking sex, how exactly Letterman should describe Zep’s music (the answer: an unpronounceable rhythmic phrase), and, painfully, “the drummer [who] dies.” Also, breaking: Zeppelin’s members now wear shirts when they fly on airplanes.

CBS has posted three clips from the interview, which you can watch here. To check out the full thing, fast-forward to about the 16-minute mark in CBS’ post of the full episode. Or while it lasts, try the video on the Audio Perv.