US President Barack Obama praises Led Zeppelin @ Kennedy Ctr Honors

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While President Obama doesn’t strike me as much of a Led Zeppelin fanatic himself, he nevertheless paid the surviving members of one of rock’s greatest bands a warm, endearing tribute at last night’s Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, celebrating the annual awards bestowed for “exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts.”

Obama—who also paid tribute to David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova—praised the band’s then-and-still revolutionary sound, massive and ongoing popularity and, of course, their penchants for partying. “There were some hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around,” he noted amusing, “So it’s fitting that we’re doing this in a room with windows that are about three inches thick and Secret Service all around.”

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones—scheduled to appear but not, alas, perform on Letterman tonight—respectfully behaved themselves… though, in my mind’s eye, I can totally imagine a scenario circa ’79 when Zeppelin and Barack would’ve thrown one hell of a party together.

Congratulations to Led Zep! The greatest rock ‘n’ roll band ever!

Check out the president’s Led Zeppelin tribute below.

President Obama’s tribute to Led Zeppelin