Veteran alternative musician Robert Wyatt and Shadows guitarist Hank Marvin were among those honoured at the 36th annual Gold Badge Awards, presented in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) in association with PRS For Music.
The event, held today (Oct. 28) at London’s Park Lane Hotel, celebrates contributions to the British music and entertainment industries and recognises artists, broadcasters, writers, publishers and music industry professionals.
Alongside Wyatt and Marvin, new recipients of the Gold Badge of Merit included seasoned producer Hugh Padgham, English soul chanteuse Ruby Turner, songwriters Bill Martin and Phil Coulter and broadcaster and vocalist Aled Jones.
Concert promoter Raymond Gubbay, classical violinist Tasmin Little, former BASCA chief executive Chris Green and Warner/Chappell Music U.K. managing director Richard Manners were also honoured, as were music copyist Vic Fraser and Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker.
Highlights of the occasion included Turner’s spontaneous live rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and humorous speeches by, among others, Marvin and Wyatt.
Marvin, who owned the U.K.’s first Fender Stratocaster, recalled how he became a guitar player after early enthusiasm for the banjo. “There’s only two things worse than a banjo,” he observed, “and that’s two banjos.”
Wyatt said his advice to emerging musicians was simply to “keep going. I never had a plan, and I’m not the remotest bit competitive.” He added that he felt sorry for kids on ratings-busting TV talent show “The X Factor.” “Like my dad used to say,” he noted, “it’s real plastic.”
Aled Jones, meanwhile, was notable by his absence, which event host Guy Fletcher said was due to a “work commitment” and made him the first winner in the 36-year history of the event not to collect their award in person.