Peter Frampton will receive the coveted Les Paul Innovation Award on January 26th in Anaheim, California at the 34th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards. According to the press release, "The award is given to those individuals who personify the innovative thinking of Les Paul, the Father of Modern of Music. The Les Paul Foundation partners with NAMM each year to honor the individuals that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of recording technology, which also celebrates the legacy of the late, great Les Paul."

Previous Les Paul Innovation Award recipients include Pete Townshend, Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Slash, Steve Vai, Todd Rundgren, Jackson Browne, and producer Don Was, among others

Frampton, a longtime Gibson Les Paul player -- and a fan and friend of the late-guitar icon, said in a statement: "It is a distinct honor to receive the Les Paul Innovation Award. I would say that many of my career highlights occurred while holding an instrument in my hands that bears Les Paul's name. I was lucky enough to know him personally, and I owe him so much. He was a wonderful character as well as a genius! An incredible guitar player as well as the inventor of so much music technology. Les changed the way we record forever. I can only hope that I've been able to make a fraction of the positive impact that Les Paul made in his iconic career."

Michael Braunstein, the Executive Director of The Les Paul Foundation went on to say, "Peter Frampton remains one of the most skillful and celebrated artists in rock history. He also was a friend of Les Paul's and has played a pivotal role in helping the Foundation keep Les's legacy alive. Like Les, he is an undeniable master of his instrument and in many ways ahead of his time. We are honored to have Peter join the impressive list of Les Paul Innovation Award recipients."

Peter Frampton told us that back during the original Frampton Comes Alive era, his legendary black Gibson Les Paul was a warhorse onstage and unlike today -- when due to various tunings, he can go through half a dozen guitars during a single show -- the guitar had to handle everything Frampton threw at it: "We didn't have more than one guitar in those days, y'know. If you wanted another guitar, you sold the one you had to get another one (laughs). So it was only. . . I think I had a white backup Les Paul -- that was about it. And nobody really had backups of things -- that was it. I think if there was different tuning for 'Nowhere's Too Far (For My Baby)' I would do it before the number onstage by myself. I don't tune myself anymore; I have someone I pay to do that (laughs) -- fancy schmancy, yeah!"

Peter Frampton will next perform on New Year's Eve -- December 31st -- with Keith Urban in Nashville at Jack Daniel's Music City Midnight: New Year's Eve in Nashville.

AUDIO: PETER FRAMPTON ON 1976 ROAD GEAR