The Kennedy Center Honors – With Led Zeppelin

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John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova, Dustin Hoffman were the honorees at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. (Provided photo)

John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova, Dustin Hoffman were the honorees at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors. (Provided photo)

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Led Zeppelin fans, had the moment they’ve been waiting for. Wednesday night the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony finally aired on CBS (9 p.m. ET/PT), at which point the Zep tributes from Heart, Foo Fighters, Jack Black and Kid Rock were revealed for all the world to see.

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about Zeppelin’s fellow recipients, Buddy Guy, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and ballerina Natalia Makarova. All honorees have made an indelible on American culture as we know it.

This year’s ceremony was a departure for the Kennedy Center Honors. Now in its 35th year, the ceremony started out by paying tribute to cultural icons like Fred Astaire, Ella Fitzgerald and Tennessee Williams. In recent years, rock has been represented more and more at this prestigious event, with Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen all collecting the Kennedy Center medallion. But past ceremonies probably never got as loud as this year’s.

We were there earlier this month when the ceremony took place. From Jeff Beck and Bonnie Raitt respecting their elders (ie, blues legend Buddy Guy), to Tina Fey recollecting her earliest memory of Letterman (on daytime TV!), the show was packed with memorable moments. Check out our full recap from this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. 

We also scored a few minutes on the red carpet with none other than Mr. Robert Plant, at which point he updated us on his 2013 plans. “I think I might just chill for a while, to be honest,” he said. “I’m enjoying life and spending more time in America now. I really enjoy it. I’m becoming way more aware and opinionated and stimulated by these new adventures. Everybody says I’m workaholic, and I just keep going and going. And I will do that [again]. But I want to explore more. When I think about how I was writing when I was a kid, when I was 20 or whatever, it was all about travel and journey and stimulus. I’m getting on a bit now, but I have to look at more stuff to be able to write cohesively.” Read more from our interview with Plant to hear what he said about President Obama.

We also caught up with the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, who performed Zep’s “Black Dog” and “Rock and Roll” at the ceremony, on the Kennedy Center red carpet. He recounted his collaboration with Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones in the short-lived supergroup Them Crooked Vultures as “one of the highlights of [his] life.” Read more from our interview with Grohl.

Finally, CBS This Morning sat down with Zeppelin’s three surviving members – Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant –  to discuss the band’s beginnings out of the ashes of the Yardbirds.

The 2012 Kennedy Center Honors aired December 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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