This Wednesday, 18 October, the newest recipient of the annual Gibson Les Paul Award at the Q Awards, organized by British music magazine Q will be announced. The award, which honors guitar playing and innovation, has previously been conferred on such luminaries as The Smiths’ Johnny Marr, Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, John Martyn and Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention.

Tony Iommi by Carsten Windhorst

The 2015 winner, the legendary Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, recently spoke to Q about what it was like to join such an illustrious club of guitar innovators, saying, “very thrilled to get that award, because so many other brilliant guitarists have received it, like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, The Edge and Fleetwood Mac‘s Peter Green. It was really a surprise a to win it, and it was very unusual to win an award that was much more personal. Black Sabbath have won Grammys and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but I felt like I’d joined a great cast of guitarists. I felt very honored to be a part of that group.”

Iommi also made mention of the impact the iconic Les Paul - the musician, inventor and musical innovator – had on modern-day music: “His influence through innovation was huge, but he also inspired a lot of people with the way he played the guitar”.

The 2017 Q Awards will take place on Wednesday, 18 October at the Roundhouse in London.

Photo: Carsten Windhorst