Pete Townshend picked up the Les Paul award on Friday night at the 28th annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards in Anaheim, California.
The Who guitarist and songwriter was selected for the prize, named after another pioneering guitar player, Les Paul, to mark his achievements in audio technology and production.
Townshend’s award was presented by film producer and humourist Martin Lewis and Jeff Salmon of the Les Paul Foundation.
Accepting the award, Townshend said: “Before accepting this award I had no idea what kind of event it would, or even how far Anaheim was from anywhere, but I’m so glad I accepted. When I was 17 or 18, I got a couple of tape machines at home, and in the tradition of the great, great, great Les Paul and a couple of other people who did the same thing, I took these machines into my home and took these machines into my home to write music.
“From that moment on, I waited and waited and waited, and every idea that I ever had, or every hope that I ever had for a device that would do something that I wanted to do, you fabulous people made it for me.
“I’ve been lucky that I could afford expensive equipment and eventually a studio, and you can see me at home fiddling with different machines. But out on the road now, with iPads and other bits and pieces, I’m very capable of doing things with those things as well. I just need to carry my guitars, keyboards, and cables, my mic stands,” he joked.
“But I can record it all on my iPhone. It’s such an honour to be here.”
The TEC awards were set up to acknowledging sound engineers, editors and producers as well as professionals who work in recording, sound and live music.