Classic Rock Roll of Honour as it happened
10.27: Showman – Nikki Sixx
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Bassist, bandleader, songwriter, photographer, author, radio presenter… there seems to be no end to Nikki Sixx’s talent. He’s been the driving force in Motley Crue since they formed in 1981. He’s fought off the near-collapse of the band several times and his own addiction issues – most memorably becoming clinically dead in 1987, inspiring the Crue track Kickstart My Heart. He’s not stopping yet – the band have confirmed they’ll tour Australia as very special guests of Kiss, with Thin Lizzy alongside. Find out more.
10.28: Controversy continues in the Slash vs Rush camp… sadly it’s starting to become less of a pro-Slash and more of an anti-Rush attitude. Ah well.
10.30: And now we’re running fashionably late. Not too fashionable, though.
10.30: Musicians’ Union Maestro – Phil Manzanera
He’s known as lead guitarist with Roxy Music and producer for John Cale, Nina Hagen, David Gilmour and many others. Phil Manzanera has a career studded with great achievements, not least of them his work with Roxy – a gig he nearly didn’t get. He’s also released eight solo albums and collaborations, the most recent being Nth Entities with poet Anna Le. Did you know his hands appeared in an episode of Red Dwarf, in which main character Dave Lister appeared to be able to play guitar for real? Find out more.
10.39: Outstanding Contribution – The Damned
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Accepting their award, Dave Vanian and Captain Sensible say: “Punk was a necessary revolution and it was a fucking good party as well. Now fuck off!”
The Damned have carved their name in music history by being the first punk band to release a single, New Rose. But the long-lived have contributed a lot more to the world of music. They developed in a multitude of directions including gothic, psychedelic rock and cabaret. Only frontman Vanian has remained constant in the changing lineup, with one or or the other of Sensible and Rat Scabies also in attendance. Their most recent album was 2008′s So Who’s Paranoid, but The Damned are still breaking barriers – this year they played South America for the first time. They’re touring the UK starting at the end of November. Find out more.
10.43: Lemmy takes the stage to present the Metal Guru Award. The room is suitably awed.
10.44: Metal guru – Anthrax
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“TV has soap operas, literature has Shakespeare, and metal – well, metal has Anthrax…”
Anthrax’s very presence in the music scene is something of a miracle after their recent tumultuous years. Following a reunion with classic-era singer Joey Belladonna in 2005, his replacement John Bush decided not to return. They hired Dan Nelson instead – then on the eve of the release of their Worship Music album, they sacked him. Bush returned temporarily, and fronted the band for their Big 4 shows with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth; but he didn’t want to make it a full-time gig, Eventually Belladonna was brought back, Worship Music was re-recorded, and Anthrax have regained their place as one of the most respected, powerful, and surprisingly creative bands on the planet. The band are currently touring the UK supporting Motorhead – but without drummer Charlie Benante, who’s dealing with personal issues. Find out more.
10.44: @charlottebush2: “I’m not sure I can understand a word Lemmy is saying #classicrockawards but Metal Guru award goes to Anthrax!”
10.46: More congratulations for Ginger… @Sheepytfc: “@Gingernyc go get smashed – you deserve it – all the team, not just those there tonight x #classicrockawards #555%”
10.52: VIP –Tony Smith
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Tony Smith is credited with turning Genesis into a professional band. With no intention of becoming their manager he began to help them organise their affairs after a technical fault left them unable to perform at the Glasgow Apollo in 1973. He was so successful that he continued managing the careers of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks outside the band, and in 2007 became co-manager of Pink Floyd alongside Paul Loasby. His Hit And Run Music Publishing has extended its operations to making movies and he manages a host of bands across the world. In 2000 the Music Managers Foundation presented him with the Peter Grant Award for services to the industry.
As award presented John Giddings observes: “A manager is a person who can turn an artist into a bigger artist than they are capable of being on their own.”
Smith himself says: “The role as a manager is to defend the artist against the rest of the world.”
10.53: @Arthurlee74: “#ClassicRockAwards Bravo! I love The Damned, absurdly underrated, they fused so many musical genres.”
10.58: More praise for Ginger’s award – it’s the feelgood moment of the Twitterati’s night. @markmcdsnp: “Glad to hear @gingernyc pledge campaign won Event of the Year at Classic Rock awards. As someone who pledged I am now putting it on the CV!”
11.00 Last year’s Living Legend, Jeff Beck, comes on to present the final award of the night to a little ol’ band from Texas…
11.03: A message from Rush, who left James Dean Bradfield to collect their awards for them: “Sorry we couldn’t be there, playing in Seattle but thanks to @ClassicRockMag readers for the Album of the Year and Band of the Year awards!”
11.04: A message from Nikki Sixx: “Thank you @ClassicRockMag for the award. What a GREAT day and evening. #classicrockawards”
11.05: Living Legend – ZZ Top
Humble ol’ Billy Gibbons describes his band thusly: “We’re the same three guys playing the same three chords.” Just proves there’s more to it than some might think.
That li’l ol’ band from Texas have achieved some big ol’ things. Currently riding high with their long-awaited album La Futura, they have a 43-year history behind them. Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard got together in 1969 and released their first record two years later. They broke through with 1973′s Tres Hombres then achieved the heady heights of megastardom in the 80s with Eliminator and Afterburner. They’ve never stopped. Earlier this year Gibbons revealed to Classic Rock that recent single Gotsta Get Paid was based on a 1990s Houston hip-hop record – and they’d been waiting for years to make use of the idea. Find out more.
11.08: Maybe the Slash/Rush thing is calming down a little with the passage of time. After mutterings of unsubscribing, fixes and scandals, there’s this voice of reason from @guitarmanlee: “@ClassicRockMag Even though I disagree with Album of the Year your magazine still rocks and helps keep rock alive in UK. #classicrockawards”
11.12: The gongs are all handed out, the pudding plates all tidied away. To play us out we have an exclusive 30-minute set from Lynyrd Skynyrd. A suitably voluminous end to the gala evening, rounding off with Sweet Home Alabama and Freebird.
Same time next year? See you then.