November 6, 2007

UK-based music journalist Dave Ling has posted the following report from last night's Classic Rock Roll of Honour event, which was held at the Landmark Hotel in London, England:

"Astonishingly, given that last night Classic Rock's third annual awards ceremony took place, I awake in a blissfully hangover-free state. With the event being the biggest and most lavish so far — AEROSMITH's Steven Tyler was on hand to present Jimmy Page with a Living Legend award — there simply wasn't time for boozing. The guest list was amazing. QUO's Rick Parfitt made my night by walking in with Francis Rossi, barging into me on purpose and playfully exclaiming: 'The barnet's looking good, mate — best ever, in fact!' I managed to get my photo taken with all of HEAVEN AND HELL and cogitated upon the dubious merits of current CPFC boss Neil Warnock with Sheffield United nut Joe Elliott, who along with Ian Hunter was presenting the Tommy Vance Inspiration Award to Mick Ronson's wife Suzi (for the record, when asked whether he'd like Warnock back at Bramall Lane, the DEF LEPPARD singer replied: 'You're fucking welcome to him.').

"Doing the vox-pop interviews as people came off stage meant that I saw none of the actual ceremony — I'm told Planet Rock Radio's Nicky Horne did a good job as MC. Weirdest moment was trying to grab Tyler, who wanted to visit the loo, for a chat. He hopped from one leg to another trying to control his bladder as we spoke, but was charismatic as ever. Post-ceremony, the media room developed into one huge scrum, but fortunately Ross Halfin used his influence to obtain me an audience with Mr Page. I gather that Jimmy's acceptance was preceded by a lengthy cinematic tribute that caused Jeff Beck to admit: 'I'd forgotten how much he'd done — I had to stand up and applaud.' Obviously, what was discussed during those few precious minutes must be saved for my Classic Rock story, but Page seemed genuinely overwhelmed by the reaction from so many household names of rock. My thanks to Monsewer Halfin, who despite worries voiced in this diary informs me that RUSH will **definitely** be touring again at some point in the future — this comes from the band themselves — for his invaluable role as 'mr fixer'.

"Other attendeees included Alice Cooper and Lemmy (both previous Living Legend winners),a chirpy Bruce Dickinson, Chris Squire and wife Scotland, Duff McKagan and the astonishing leggy blonde that scarcely left his side, Ian 'Unter and Mick Ralphs, Fish and his band's bassist Steve Vansis, Glenn Hughes and CHILI PEPPERS sticksman Chad Smith, Ian Paice and wife Jackie (whose barnet bore a striking resembence to my own — yes, it was that magnificent!),Scott Gorham, the delectable Joan Jett, Biff Byford, Danny Bowes and Luke Morley, Phil May of the PRETTY THINGS, Scott Ian, straight-talking Kerry King (who staying in the country to present his childhood hero, the ever-modest Tony Iommi an award for Metal Guru),Toby Jepson, Floyd London from THE ALMIGHTY, Jaz Coleman, THE ANSWER and ex-Wimbledon champ Pat Cash. I'm told that PINK FLOYD's Nick Mason was around, though sadly I didn't see him or get to thrust a tape recorder under his nostrils.

"Accepting a lift to the after-show 'do' from a Roadrunner Records posse that included PORCUPINE TREE's Steven Wilson and Richard Barbieri, the latter were very happy indeed to have exited with an Album Of The Year gong for 'Fear Of A Blank Planet'. Barbieri was also thrilled to have met Alice Cooper and renewed his acquaintance with Chris Tsangarades, recalling with amused horror how his former band JAPAN had sent the producer to hospital by setting the producer on fire during the recording of an early album. However, the Café Royale was so rammed to the hilt that I decided it was best to do a Captain Oakes and simply head home. All the same, a bloody terrific night was had by all."

Watch ITN's video report on last night's Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards below (includes interviews with Jimmy Page, SAXON's Biff Byford, Alice Cooper and AEROSMITH's Steven Tyler):

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