VIDEO: President Obama salutes Led Zeppelin at Kennedy Center Honors

John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy and Robert Plant alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington for the Kennedy Center Honors
(Image: © Ron Sachs/dpa/Corbis)

Washington is often a place of strange bedfellows, and this was especially true last night, when President Barack Obama recognized Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and ballerina Natalia Makarova at the Kennedy Center Honors.

The awards ceremony is an annual event to salute those who have influenced American culture.

"I worked with the speechwriters - there is no smooth transition from ballet to Led Zeppelin," Mr. Obama quipped while introducing Messrs. Page, Plant, Jones and the late John Bonham in the White House East Room.

After citing Led Zeppelin's contributions to music, Mr.Obama noted the band's legendary hard-partying past. "Of course, these guys also redefined the rock 'n' roll lifestyle," the president said, "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. So, guys, just settle down."