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Zeppelin get Kennedy Center Honors

RED, WHITE & BLUES: Led Zeppelin and Buddy Guy got the Kennedy Center Honors treatment in the annual tribute last night in DC, along with ballerina Natalia Makarova, David Letterman and Dustin Hoffman. In a speech feting Guy, Morgan Freeman said the bluesman "made a new music that no one had ever heard before," Rollingstone.com reports. Gary Clark Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan played Guy mainstay "The Things That I Used to Do," Tracy Chapman did the bruising, bluesy version of "Hound Dog" that Guy played with Big Mama Thornton when they toured together, and Beth Hart joined Jeff Beck to sing on "I'd Rather Go Blind," before Bonnie Raitt came out for a spot-on cover of "My Time After Awhile." All the performers came out for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-style jam on "Sweet Home Chicago." Jack Black began the concluding Zeppelin tribute, describing them as "the greatest rock & roll band of all time" and noting his completion of the "rock & roll haj"—listening to all nine Zep albums back-to-back. Performing in front of a castle backdrop, Foo Fighters, with Dave Grohl on drums and Taylor Hawkins on vocals, covered "Rock and Roll," Kid Rock handled "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" and "Ramble On," Lenny Kravitz impersonated Plant on "Whole Lotta Love," and Jason Bonham joined Ann and Nancy Wilson for a show-ending version of "Stairway to Heaven" that gradually grew to include a string section, a phalanx of backing vocalists and the Joyce Garrett Youth Choir. Through it all, Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones remained in their balcony seats near the President and First Lady; there would be no onstage reunion on this occasion. The ceremony will be telecast Dec. 26 on CBS. (12/3a)

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