At a Dec. 1 State Department Dinner, Kennedy Center Honorees John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and robert Plant of Led Zeppelin joke around with blues guitar legend Buddy Guy as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on.

At a Dec. 1 State Department Dinner, Kennedy Center Honorees John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin joke around with blues guitar legend Buddy Guy as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on.

By Lori Spencer

Yahoo! Music Featured Contributor

The surviving three members of Led Zeppelin arrived in Washington last month to be honored by the Kennedy Center — along with Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova, and Buddy Guy — but the legendary British rockers didn’t quite expect to be the center of quite so much official attention.

Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones were given the royal treatment during a weekend of festivities in Washington, D.C., including a State Department dinner on December 1 hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former president Bill Clinton.

Secretary Clinton described the honorees as “a group of legends and icons as diverse as they are talented. We have in our group of honorees tonight a broad cross section of talent and energy from comedian to chameleon, ballerina to bluesman, and three men so synonymous with rock and roll they need no more description than Page, Plant, Jones,” Clinton said.

The following night, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, sat down the row from President and Michelle Obama in the box tier of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. All of them wore the Kennedy Center Honors rainbow-colored sash and medal that President Obama had presented them in a White House ceremony that afternoon.

Naturally, the show’s producers at CBS saved the Led Zeppelin tribute segment for last and pulled out all the stops. The Foo Fighters, with Dave Grohl behind the drum kit again and Taylor Hawkins tackling Robert Plant’s screams on “Rock and Roll.” Kid Rock did “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” (which was unfortunately cut from the CBS telecast Dec. 26) and “Ramble On.” Next up was Lenny Kravitz and his band funking up “Whole Lotta Love.”

“It was quite exhilarating to hear the different approaches that people had to the songs,” Page said later.

(Story continues HERE.)

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