Video: Behind the scenes at the Classic Rock Awards in Tokyo

Behind the scenes at rehearsal
Behind the scenes at rehearsal
(Image: © Brad Merrett)

In 2005 the first Classic Rock Awards was a humble affair at the intimate Cafe de Paris in London. When the food turned up late, Lemmy ordered out for MacDonalds. We hadn’t thought about organising an aftershow, so Lemmy got us all into Stringfellows and when the free champagne ran out, we went to a pub in Camden for a lock-in.

Jesus, how times have changed.

The show has grown every year. It’s been hosted by Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Duff McKagan, Sammy Hagar and WWE star Chris Jericho. It’s graduated from the Cafe de Paris via a series of hotel ballrooms to find a regular home at the 1700-capacity Roundhouse. We’ve presented prizes to everyone who matters in rock, from Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to Queen and Pink Floyd.

Two years ago we shifted the whole shebang to Los Angeles and took over the historic Avalon Ballroom in Hollywood. Rival Sons played live, a slot that so impressed the watching Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne that the band were booked to play Black Sabbath’s final tour. It ended with a riotous set from Kings of Chaos, featuring Sammy Hagar, Joe Elliott, Billy Gibbons, Glenn Hughes and lots of cowbell.

After returning to London in 2015 we upped the ante yet again, taking the 2016 show to Tokyo for an unforgettable night of award giving and superstar jams. After a solid year of planning we took over the 13,000-capacity Ryogoku Kokugikan, the home of Japanese sumo wrestling. Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine hosted. And we invited the stars.

Jeff Beck? Check. Jimmy Page? Check. Joe Elliott and Phil Collen? Check. Joe Perry? Cheap Trick? Richie Sambora? Orianthi? Rudolf Schenker? All check. Johnny fucking Depp? Check.

Here’s what it looked like from behind the scenes.

The 2016 Japanese Classic Rock Awards Blog