“Anytime my name is mentioned in the same sentence as Les Paul, it’s a huge honor,” says Perry in a statement. “Getting an award bearing his name is the icing on the cake."
Perry certainly meets the criteria. As a founding member of Aerosmith, he’s had a hand in more than 150 million album sales, both as principal songwriter, lead guitarist and as a producer on various works.
Through a career spanning more than 45 years, the band has also collected four Grammys, six Billboard Music Awards, 12 MTV Video Awards and in 2001 earned entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Perry and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler -- a formidable partnership which earned the Toxic Twins nickname in their younger, hard-partying days -- were recipients of the ASCAP Founders Award and were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.
"Joe Perry was a friend of Les Paul's and is undoubtedly one of the most innovative and talented musicians of our time,” says Michael K. Braunstein, executive director, Les Paul Foundation, which presents the award. “His ability to push boundaries of the electric guitar with his signature sound and deft playing ability embodies the true spirit of what Les Paul and the award given in his name stands for.”
Past recipients of the Les Paul Award have included Slash, Todd Rundgren, Pete Townshend of the Who, Steve Vai and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Brian Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder and last year's honoree, Grammy-winning producer and Blue Note head Don Was.
NAMM will also fete Aerosmith producer and engineer Jack Douglas with induction into its Hall of Fame, which recognizes pioneers of audio technology, as well as the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians.
Both will be at the show and organizers are quietly confident Perry will perform on the night.
News of Perry’s honor and his planned involvement at January’s NAMM TEC ceremony should assuage concerns over the rock great’s health. Perry has made a strong recovery after collapsing on stage in July during a performance with the all-star Hollywood Vampires in Brooklyn.
Perry recently told reporters his new solo album was "in the can” and hinted at a tentative release date for some or all of the LP in the New Year.
For more information on the NAMM TEC Awards visit www.tecawards.org.