Legendary rock band LED ZEPPELIN was awarded America’s greatest cultural honor, the Kennedy Award, by President Barack Obama at The White House in Washington on Sunday, December 2. Also honored at the event were comedian and television personality David Letterman, bluesman Buddy Guy, actor and director Dustin Hoffman and ballerina Natalia Makarova.
LED ZEPPELIN was introduced by FOO FIGHTERS‘ Dave Grohl, who called the band “his teachers.”
“When Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham burst onto the musical scene in the late 1960s, the world never saw it coming,” Obama said in his tribute.
“There was this singer with a mane like a lion and a voice like a banshee, a guitar prodigy who left people’s jaws on the floor, a versatile bassist who was equally at home on the keyboards, a drummer who played like his life depended on it,” he continued.
He added: “It’s been said that a generation of young people survived teenage angst with a pair of headphones and a ZEPPELIN album … but even now, 32 years after John Bonham’s passing — and we all I think appreciate the fact — the ZEPPELIN legacy lives on.”
The president then thanked band for behaving themselves at the White House given their history of “hotel rooms being trashed and mayhem all around.”
He finished his speech, saying: “We honor LED ZEPPELIN for making us all feel young, and for showing us that some guys who are not completely youthful can still rock!”
You can watch video footage of Obama‘s tribute ebelow.