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Dave Grohl Drums Led Zeppelin Songs During Kennedy Center Honors

Dave Grohl
Jeff Kravitz, Getty Images

Foo Fighters‘ frontman Dave Grohl returned to the drum kit during a Led Zeppelin tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors on Sunday (Dec. 2). Grohl switched places with his drummer Taylor Hawkins, who sang ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Rock and Roll’ while Grohl filled a chair that made him famous with Nirvana.

Grohl tells the Washington Post his band made the switch because he knew he could recreate John Bonham better than he could Robert Plant. The late Zeppelin drummer had a heavy influence on him. “I knew that I would never be technically able to do what he did. But I wanted to see if I could crack open his instinct and see why he did the things that he did,” Grohl says.

“As any musician or producer will tell you, John Bonham’s feel was legendary. Just the way that he held down a back beat was something that no one had ever heard. And no one has been able to recreate since.”

Grohl says the decision was made a few days prior to the performance. Producers questioned the move, but didn’t object. Hawkins more than held his own as a frontman, even receiving a warm embrace from Robert Plant afterward. Of course, Grohl joined forces with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones in the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures.

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Lenny Kravitz and Kid Rock also took part in the Led Zeppelin tribute. Also honored were David Letterman, Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman and Natalia Makarova.

Next: Top Led Zeppelin Sex Songs

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