A generation of acolytes including Jack Black, the Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Heart paid hard-rocking tribute to Led Zeppelin in Washington D.C. on last Sunday night december 2 as the band received the Kennedy Center Honors in the annual gala tribute, that was broadcast on CBS December 26th. Other honorees included blues trailblazer Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova, David Letterman and Dustin Hoffman.
Zeppelin’s three surviving members, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, sat down the row from President and Michelle Obama in the balcony, next to the other honorees, all wearing the rainbow-colored sash and medal that had been given at a White House ceremony hours earlier. The Zeppelin tribute, the night’s longest, was saved for last.
Jack Black took the stage, describing Led Zeppelin as “the greatest rock and roll band of all time” and noted his completion of the “rock & roll haj” – listening to all nine Zep albums back-to-back. He described how Derek Skanky gave him a Zeppelin mixtape in high school and the combination and power and beauty moved him and changed his life forever, as did the wide-ranging lyrics about “love, Vikings, Vikings making love and The Lord of the Rings.”
Then an appropriate stony castle backdrop emerged and it was time for the performances. The Foo Fighters, with Dave Grohl on drums and Taylor Hawkins on rather strained vocals, took “Rock and Roll.” Kid Rock, in gold-sequined cowboy shirt and chaps, did a better job on “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and “Ramble On.” Next was Lenny Kravitz doing a spot-on Plant impression on “Whole Lotta Love.” Finally, Jason Bonham, son of original drummer John and the drummer for the band’s 2007 reunion show, joined Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart for a show-ending version of “Stairway to Heaven” that gradually grew to include a string section, a horde of backup singers and the Joyce Garrett Youth Choir.
Through it all Page and Jones grinned with what seemed to be genuine pleasure, while Plant occasionally looked slack-jawed at the proceedings. At one point, between songs of the tribute to their band, the three huddled together in discussion. One can only wonder what they were talking about and hope against hope that the show gave them the urge to get back onstage with those songs and give the world what it wants: a Led Zeppelin reunion tour.
Source: The Rolling Stone Magazine
Tribute to Led Zeppelin (35th Kennedy Center Honors)
The John F. Kennedy Center
December 02, 2012
broadcast by CBS on Decmber 26, 2012
01. Intro by Jack Black
02. Foo Fighters – Rock and Roll
03. Kid Rock – Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – Ramble On
04. Lenny Kravitz – Whole Lotta Love
05. Heart (with Jason Bohnam) – Stairway to Heaven
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