Joe Perry gets honored Tuesday (1/24) at the National Association of Music Merchants TEC Awards. The Aerosmith guitarist picks-up the prestigious Les Paul Award in recognition of his multiple decade career, much of which has been spent with a Les Paul strapped to his shoulder. Speaking with the Orange County Register shortly before receiving the honor, Perry recalled seeing Jeff Beck do a live set playing a Les Paul in a Boston club; 'I had seen pictures of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton playing them, and then I saw Jeff Beck playing one live, and I sat in front of him in this small place in Boston and watched him play it.' Seeing and hearing was believing, and Perry woke up the next day with his mind made up about getting one of his own. He says the experience of holding it for the first time remains vivid in his mind and that it felt 'incredible'.
Perry joins Slash,Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Steve Miller, Todd Rundgren and others that have received the honor since its 1991 introduction. Not limited to guitarists, the award is given in recognition of "individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio technology", according to the NAMM Foundation Technical Excellence site .