Over the weekend Dave Grohl dropped a bomb on the audience at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City, noting that it was the last show on the Foo Fighters‘ schedule. “Without making a big deal out of it, we don’t have any shows after this… honestly, I don’t know when we’re gonna do it again,” he said.
Grohl has since clarified that he was referring to a hiatus, but it does seem like Grohl’s schedule is pretty open for the next few months. And given that he’s a huge Led Zeppelin fan, we figure that it’s a given that he’ll return to the stage to perform at the Kennedy Center Honors event in December where Zeppelin will be honored, alongside Buddy Guy, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and ballerina Natalia Makarova. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones have confirmed that they will attend the ceremony… but unlike the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, at the Kennedy Center Honors, the honorees don’t perform; instead, other artists pay tribute to them as they watch from a balcony. So, allow us to make our case, point by point, why Grohl will be there to serenade his heroes.
1. The Kennedy Center and Dave are well acquainted. Grohl performed The Who’s “Who Are You” at the ceremony in 2008, paying tribute to Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. In 2010, he returned to duet with Norah Jones on Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
2. When Led Zeppelin reunited for a one-off gig in 2007 (which will be released as Celebration Day on November 19), Grohl was heavily rumored to be in the running for the drumming position. The stool ultimately went to the late drummer John Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham. But Grohl was a great sport, telling NME after the show, “Jason Bonham was fantastic on drums. I think he was even better than me.” Of course, he also said that he would always play for the band if called upon to do so: “I am at their beck and call, but Jason should be the one.” So far he has yet to perform Zeppelin songs with Plant, Page and Jones, but at least he can perform one of their songs for them.
3. The Zeppelin guys love Dave! Back in June of 2008, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones joined the Foo Fighters onstage at Wembley Stadium in London to perform “Rock and Roll” and “Ramble On.” Drummer Taylor Hawkins took over on lead vocals with Grohl playing drums for the first song, and they switched places for the latter. You can watch both performances on the 2008 DVD Live At Wembley Stadium.
4. Dave Grohl is one of the few who can call John Paul Jones “bandmate.” Other than Page and Plant, Grohl and guitarist/singer Josh Homme are the only other living musicians to make that claim. Grohl, Homme and Jones played together in a supergroup called Them Crooked Vultures who released a self-titled album in 2009. (While Jones has worked with many other groups, he hasn’t actually been a member of any other than Zeppelin and TCV).
5. Finally, Grohl is a super fan. He has not one, but three tattoos of John Bonham’s three-circle symbol from the Zeppelin “IV” album. Apparently, it made for a bit of an uncomfortable moment when he first met Page and Plant, as he interviewed them for Raygun magazine when they were promoting their Walking Into Clarksdale album in 1998. Kinda like if you interviewed William Shatner and you had a Spock tattoo.
Grohl is currently working on Sound City, a documentary about the legendary Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. Grohl directed the film, and interviewed a number of icons from several genres for the film, including Tom Petty, Lindsey Buckingham, Lars Ulrich of Metallica, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Rick Springfield. The film has no release date (the website says “coming soon”).
— Brian Ives, CBS Local