Dee Snider and Michael Schenker brought the rock royalty to a riotous HRH Awards as legendary musos mingled with key industry figures and VIP guests on a special night in North Wales.
The inaugural HRH Awards recognised every aspect of rock and metal – honouring proven players, rising stars and the people who make things tick behind the scenes.
Driven by the HRH community, fans voted for the majority of the top prizes with several categories simply too tight to call.
Twisted Sister frontman Snider delivered an impassioned speech just days after his elderly mother was placed in an induced coma. After accepting the HRH Legend award, the singer insisted that on stage was where he belonged after one of the toughest weeks of his life.
And Snider will fly back to the US to be with his brain damaged mother immediately after tonight’s headline show at HRH XI.
The HRH Mjolnir award – created to recognise an unsung hero at the heart of the rock and metal community – went to X-Ray Touring chief and super agent Steve Strange.
“Steve was there at the very start of the HRH journey and has been by our side ever since,” said HRH boss Jonni Davis. “I can’t think of a more deserving winner.”
Schenker beat off stiff competition from Zakk Wylde, Bernie Marsden and Tracii Guns to land the HRH Axeman award and took time out to thank current members of the touring Michael Schenker Fest line-up – Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley, Steve Mann Chris Glen and Ted McKenna.
Airbourne – set to headline HRH XI on Friday – will pick up their HRH Global Heroes award at Camp HRH tomorrow after Spinefarm Records label boss Dante Bonutto accepted the honour on their behalf last night.
Skindred pipped Anthrax, Black Label Society and Saxon to the HRH Metal Maniacs award. And Download bagged the HRH Summer Solstice prize as the HRH community recognised its favourite summer event.
Spinefarm were pipped at the post as Nuclear Blast lifted the HRH Brothers In Arms gong – recognising a label that goes the extra mile to keep the rock and metal flag flying.
And Sheffield’s O2 Academy – the city centre home to a slew of HRH festivals – clinched the HRH Live award.
Girlschool duo Enid Williams and Jackie Chambers picked up the HRH Angels Of Rock award ahead of fellow nominees Tequila Mockingbyrd, Rock Goddess and JoanOVarc.
And Stone Broken picked up the HRH Young Blood gong ahead of Dead Man’s Whiskey, Ryder’s Creed and Bad Touch.
Massive Wagons – newly signed to Earache – celebrated a landmark year by clinching the HRH Rising Stars award and went on to close a star-studded event with a stunning mini set.
Idlewar, Killcode and Black Aces completed the live entertainment and Davis added: “This is just the start.
“The HRH Awards will be back in 2018 – bigger, better and noisier than before!”