Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin, visited David Letterman’s “Late Show” Monday night, a first time appearance for Page and Jones to the late night host.
The band admitted that they didn’t know what was in store for them at the Honors, that others would be performing their music as they watched. The usually reserved Page bubbled over while describing the rendition of “Stairway to Heaven” launched by Ann and Nancy Wilson playing guitars, culminating with an appearance by Kid Rock at the climax of the song.
“Kid Rock was fantastic,” said Page. “They did a version of Stairway that had a choir and an orchestra. Ann and Nancy Wilson started it up and it was building and building. Then a scrim goes up and it started really rocking, it was great.”
Led Zeppelin and Letterman were feted Sunday in Washington, D.C. at the annual Kennedy Center Honors. At a White House reception before the main event, President Obama praised the band, but also said he was thankful he had the Secret Service and three-inch glass in the windows. He warned the three Brits, whose reputation for hotel mayhem and groupies in the ’70s was legend, to “settle down” and behave at the White House.
On the Letterman show, the host had fun with Jack Black’s description of Led Zeppelin, referring to it as “something like ‘sex, and Vikings, and Vikings having sex.’” Bassist Jones replied, “You forgot, having sex with ‘The Hobbit.’”
Other 2012 Kennedy Center honorees included blues guitarist Buddy Guy, actor Dustin Hoffman and dancer Natalia Makarova.
The Kennedy Center Honors airs Dec. 26 on CBS.