Gibson once again proudly sponsored the Mojo Les Paul Award at one of the U.K.’s most prestigious Music Awards ceremonies, The MOJO Honours List. The annual event held at The Brewery in London’s East End (16th June) saw the cream of British artists walk the events red carpet such as Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Lemmy, Johnny Rotten, Paul Weller, Genesis, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, John Martyn, Richard Hawley, Edwyn Collins, Duffy, The Arctic Monkeys Alex Turner, Graham Coxon, My Bloody Valentine, and the Specials to name a few. International stars who were there to collect their Mojo Award included Neil Diamond, John Fogerty, and Grammy award winning New Orleans-based blues and soul singer Irma Thomas.
A Gibson ES-335 guitar was signed backstage by many of the MOJO Award winners and will be auctioned off for the War Child charity at a later date.
Duffy, Led Zeppelin, Paul Weller, Sex Pistols, Neil Diamond, and the Specials led the way at the MOJO Honours List 2008 after winning awards at the prestigious ceremony. The Mojo awards are dedicated to celebrating the very best in modern music old and new, consisted of key awards voted for by readers of MOJO magazine, and its website www.mojo4music.com.
Representing the rise of great British females this year is Welsh singer-songwriter Duffy who scooped the MOJO Song of the Year Award for her smash hit single ‘Mercy’. Phil Alexander MOJO magazine’s Editor-in-Chief said “It’s a timeless song which is exactly why MOJO readers voted for it. It could really have come from any period in time over the last 50 years. At the start of the year she was one of the artists in our 8 For 08 feature but we didn’t expect her to sell a million albums in the UK in six months!” She was, however beaten to the MOJO Best Breakthrough Act by Arctic Monkey’s front man Alex Turner’s side project the Last Shadow Puppets and to the prestigious MOJO Best Album Award by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds for their offering Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
With a career spanning more than three decades and hailed as one of Britain’s finest heavy metal bands Motorhead were honoured with the MOJO Hero award. Phil Alexander paid tribute to them saying “This category recognises an act or artist that we at MOJO truly admire and love, and whose achievements we feel have been grossly overlooked. Lemmy and Motörhead have proved time and again what a unique force they are. They have remained true to the basic spirit of rock and roll and continue to astound us with the sheer volume of their performances. They’ve influenced everyone from Metallica to Primal Scream. The reason: well, there’s simply no better way to go deaf than by listening to Motörhead.”
Having re-united for an unforgettable one off show at the O2 Arena last December the mighty Led Zeppelin picked up the MOJO Best Live Act Award. Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were both present to collect their deserved award. As one of pop music's most enduring and successful singer-songwriters the MOJO Classic Songwriter Award went to Neil Diamond and was presented by fellow musician Richard Hawley.
The definitive riotous English punk band the Sex Pistols were presented with the exalted MOJO Icon Award. “As punk’s standard-bearers, the Sex Pistols truly redefined modern music in the space of one solitary album. Who else has managed that? They also influenced every aspect of popular culture–from fashion to the media, film and literature and on to the music industry itself. They remain totems for rebellion in a manner that is totally unique and which we are proud to salute with this award” said Phil Alexander.
Dancing their way into the MOJO Hall Of Fame was English 2 tone ska band the Specials with Phil Alexander commenting, “Everyone wishes that the Specials were still around now. Not only was their music terrific but they stood for something in terms of what they had to say. Their lyrics might have reflected their surroundings but there was also a sense of optimism that emanated from them. In four short years they united subcultures and made a lasting impact. Seeing the Specials at this awards show is thrilling but we hope that there’s more to come from Jerry Dammers and his gang.” They join previous winners such as the legendary Elton John and the Doors.
Genesis were awarded The MOJO Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding career that positions them as one of the top 30 highest-selling recording artists of all time with approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide. The MOJO Special Award went to Grammy award winning soprano singer Judy Collins.
True musical pioneers were also acknowledged with John Fogerty receiving the MOJO Inspiration Award for his contribution to rock music and England’s very own Modfather Paul Weller receiving the MOJO Outstanding Contribution to Music Award, presented to him by Graham Coxon.
Other winners of the night included folk legend John Martyn picking up the MOJO Les Paul Award sponsored by Gibson Guitar and the Fall’s front man Mark E. Smith was awarded the MOJO Maverick Award for his John Peel-approved brand of post-punk.
The MOJO Vision Award went to Julien Temple for his documentary The Future Is Unwritten about the life of Joe Strummer. Juno Original Soundtrack won the MOJO Compilation of the Year Award collected by Belle & Sebastian.
For more information on the Mojo Honours List 2008 and full list of winners please visit www.mojo4music.com.
For more information on War Child please visit http://www.warchild.org.uk/.
Photo Credit: Dean Fardell