Manic Street Preachers have won the songwriting prize at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour awards, while the Foo Fighters were named band of the year.
Ex-Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck was named a living legend and performed with Joss Stone and Chrissie Hynde at the awards in north London.
"All I can say is everybody in the village take note, I'm a legend," Beck said afterwards.
The Scorpions, The Who, Queen, Lemmy and Deep Purple were among winners.
The ceremony, at The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, was hosted by Kiss frontman Gene Simmons.
Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire - who co-wrote hits including Design For Life and Everything Must Go - said accepting the award in front of rock luminaries was one of the most nerve-wracking moments of his life.
He added that delivering the best man's speech at the wedding of the band's singer, James Dean Bradfield, was scary "and that was up there with it".
Classic Rock magazine editor Chris Ingham said the night's winners had "proved themselves with long and illustrious careers, bringing pleasure to millions".
"And this year, we welcome the Manic Street Preachers as first time winners, proving that there are still artists who can stand the test of time and constantly innovate and create at the highest level."
"Living legend" Jeff Beck, who led his own band in the 60s and 70s, said: "It's a little bit overblown isn't it? It's a little bit over the top."
He added: "I'm me and I'm never ever going to forget who I am and I'm proud of being rooted on the ground.
"My mum would never tolerate any of that rubbish."
Roger Waters' The Wall Live tour was event of the year, Deep Purple won the innovator award, Steve Winwood scooped the maestro prize and Jethro Tull took the spirit of prog gong.
The late Steve Marriott, of the Small Faces and Humble Pie, picked up the inspiration award, rock photographer Baron Wolman won the VIP award and rock producer Bob Ezrin took the outstanding contribution prize.
Of the contemporary awards, Black Country won breakthrough act of the year, Vintage Trouble were named best new band, and Michael Monroe's Sensory Overdrive won the album of the year award.