The Kennedy Center Honors, bestowed over the weekend, gave taxpayer-certified propers to a characteristically wide and divergent cast of cultural presences: Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, and Led Zeppelin. The three surviving members of the latter entity appeared together, though they maintained their whole not-performing thing. Instead, a bunch of younger acts paid tribute: the Foo Fighters played “Rock & Roll,” Kid Rock covered “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and “Ramble On,” and Heart, with Jason Bonham sitting in, played “Stairway To Heaven.” (Also, Jack White sweatily ranted.) But the one moment most worth YouTubing was President Obama’s light, playful dedication to the band, during which his speechwriters implied some familiarity with Hammer Of The Gods. Watch Obama’s speech below.
It would’ve been nice if the President had attempted an “Immigrant Song” wail, but I’ll take what I can get. (Also, apparently Kid Rock has excellent taste in Zeppelin songs.)