Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy to get Kennedy Center Honors

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now. It’s just a spring clean for the May queen. Or something.

Led Zeppelin’s lyrics may mystify occasionally. But there’s no doubting that the British heavy-metal gods knew how to wring pure dramatic power out of Jimmy Page’s intricate guitar fingerings, Robert Plant’s tenor shrieks, John Paul Jones’ ferocious basslines and the late John Bonham’s brilliant baroque drumming.

So there’s a certain poetic justice in the fact that Led Zeppelin is being honored this December by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts alongside another musician known for his primal urgency, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy. Whether loudly bemoaning his woman troubles or bringing his guitar down to a hushed confessional, Guy has been praised by Page himself (among many others) as “an absolute monster” and master of the genre.

Led Zeppelin and Guy are among the class of 2012 that will receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, joining Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman and Natalia Makarova, a former Kirov Ballet dancer during the Soviet era who later joined the American Ballet Theatre.


The honorees will receive their medals Dec. 1 at a State Department-sponsored dinner, followed by a next-day White House reception and Kennedy Center performance.


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