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Led Zeppelin Receive Kennedy Center Honor
By: Gary Graff

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin received their Kennedy Center Honor over the weekend in Washington, D.C. -- and were thanked by President Barack Obama for behaving themselves.

Given the group's history of "hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around," Obama noted at Saturday's (December 1) ceremony that "It's fitting that we're doing this in a room with windows that are about three inches thick and Secret Service all around."

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones all laughed at the comment, according to reports. The trio -- along with fellow inductees Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman and ballerina Natalia Makarova -- were feted on Saturday with speeches and performances by admirers; in Led Zeppelin's case it was Heart sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson performing "Stairway to Heaven."

Ann Wilson tells us that the Wilsons were honored to get the call because Led Zeppelin is such a deep part of their musical influences:

"They said, 'Well, you guys have covered Led Zeppelin ever since back when,' and, yeah, they were who we cut our teeth on in bars way back in the 80s. When I was first learning to sing rock and Nancy was learning how to also play electric guitar, they were sort of our masters. We sat at their feet for a while."

Heart, in fact, released an EP of Led Zeppelin covers earlier this year as an exclusive extra with its "Euphoria" box set.

The Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast on December 26 on CBS, while Led Zeppelin makes a rare TV appearance Monday (December 3) on CBS' "The Late Show with David Letterman."

CLICK HERE to learn out more about Gary Graff and his award-winning music journalism including the books he has written on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

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