BLOG: Classic Rock Awards 2009

"It's quite an experience to be in a room packed with almost every one of your heroes" said Joe Bonamassa in accepting the Breakthrough gong at last night's Classic Rock Awards. It's a sentiment we have to admit to sharing.

On arrival at last night's awards – hosted at London's regal Park Lane Hotel – MusicRadar was greeted with an awesome barrage of celebrity the likes of which we'd never seen.

Look, there's Slash! There's Ronnie Wood! Pete Townshend! Brian May, Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, Ginger Baker! These were people whose music we'd grown up listening to – bona-fide rock legends we'd idolised as kids, now all together under one roof.

The atmosphere was genuinely electric. An hour in and all the star guests had arrived - the party was now in full swing. Drinks were being quaffed, old bandmates reunited and glamorous young women apparently hired to look glamorous, young and, well, like women were being, erm... politely accosted by a '60s rock 'n' roller we shan't name. (His girlfriend kept an eye on him though – we guess you can't always get what you want.)

Ronnie Wood wearing a shirt he painted himself.

We used the reception drinks time to corner a few celebs with a Dictaphone, quizzing rockers on their favourite riffs of all time (the fruits of which will feature in MusicRadar's upcoming Riff Week). Far from the brusque or even plain rude rockstar stereotype, we found Billy Gibbons, Tony Iommi, Jeff Beck and the others we interviewed to be genial and charming. Brian May in particular was a gent, musing carefully on our riff-based enquiries with all the intellect and eloquence we'd expect from the learned rock legend.

While it was a real thrill to meet our heroes face-to-face, the headline attraction was, of course, the ceremony itself. So with rockstars shepherded to their tables, the awards kicked off proper, hosted by the ever-articulate Danny Bowes from Thunder.

Iggy Pop scooped the Living Legend award (sounds weird, but we almost didn't recognise him with his shirt on - although he did take it off later for a photo), presented by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders.

Iggy Pop - officially a living legend

Other high-profile awards went to Chickenfoot for Best New Band and AC/DC for Best New Album with Black Ice. Ronnie Wood picked up the Outstanding Contribution gong, presented by The Who's Pete Townshend (there was a rather bizarre moment when Townshend 'handled' Ronnie's hair) while Iron Maiden won Best Band.

Aside from awards, there were also several strong performances. Joe Bonamassa treated the audience to an astoundingly good acoustic blues set (his vocals and guitar playing as strong as ever) and Billy Gibbons delivered a great anecdote – the best of the entire evening.

The story goes that Gibbons decided to use public transport to get to his gig at Wembley last week, and bumped into a fan apparently on the way to the concert too. Strange thing is – the fan didn't actually recognise him. Amazing given Billy's 'unique' appearance – that is, he's got a bloody great beard and sunglasses. Look:

And yes, he's the one on the left.

Don't forget to head over to Classic Rock's website for all the rest of the gossip, photos and video of the event, and stay tuned for MusicRadar's Riff Week where we'll be revealing the all-time favourite riffs of Brian May, Joe Bonamassa, Jeff Beck and more!

Marshall Classic Rock Roll Of Honour 2009 – full list of winners

Best New Band
Voted for by readers of Classic Rock magazine
Sponsored by Mean Fiddler
Winner: Chickenfoot

Album Of The Year
Voted for by readers of Classic Rock magazine
Sponsored by Universal Catalogue / Lost Tunes
Winner: AC/DC Black Ice

Band Of The Year
Voted for by readers of Classic Rock magazine
Sponsored by Guitar Hero
Winner: Iron Maiden


Next page: winners list continued

Best Reissue
Voted for by readers of Classic Rock magazine
Sponsored by Live Nation
Winner: Black Sabbath Reissues

DVD / Film Of The Year
Voted for by readers of Classic Rock magazine
Sponsored by Play.com
Winner: Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Event Of The Year
Voted for by readers of Classic Rock magazine
Sponsored by Alchemy
Winner: Download Festival

Outstanding Contribution
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Monitor Audio
Winner: Ronnie Wood

Tommy Vance Inspiration Award
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Rhino
Winner: John Bonham

Innovator
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Eagle Rock
Winner: Ginger Baker

VIP Award
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Dannoff Premium Vodka
Winner: Doc McGhee

Metal Guru
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Bravado
Winner: Biff Byford

Spirit Of Prog
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Planet Rock
Winner: Dream Theater

Marshall 11 Award
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Marshall
Winner: Billy Gibbons

Childline Rocks Award
Winner: Steve Harley

Classic Songwriter
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Sony Music
Winner: Paul Rodgers

Classic Album
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Provogue
Winner: Aerosmith Rocks

Breakthrough
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Rock Radio
Winner: Joe Bonamassa

Comeback Of The Year
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by EMI Music
Winner: Mott The Hoople

Living Legend
Chosen by a Classic Rock Judging Panel
Sponsored by Marshall
Winner: Iggy Pop

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