Photo of the Year – 2012 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards
If a picture's worth a thousand words, then 2012 has been the equivalent of an epic Tolstoy novel for classic rockers. Now you get a chance to vote for your favorite photo of 2012.
Do you prefer Sammy Hagar chillin' and grillin' with an unusually relaxed James Hetfield, or Gonzo the Muppet taking over for Ted Nugent? Or maybe you'd rather see Kiss' new costumes or Eddie Van Halen hanging backstage with his son? Take a look at these pictures that capture the last year in classic rock, and then let us know which one's your favorite in the form at the bottom of the page.
You can vote in each Ultimate Classic Rock Awards category once per hour as many times as you want between now and Jan. 15, 2013. The winner will be revealed on Jan. 16, 2013.
Aloha From Sammy Hagar and James Hetfield
Only a guy as chillaxed as Sammy Hagar -- the Yoda of rock music coolness -- could get James Hetfield to loosen up like this. The two hard rockers mellowed out and did some grilling for the 4th of July.
Eddie Van Halen, Happy and Healthy
Eddie Van Halen dropped in backstage on his son Wolfgang after turning up to see him in Kansas City with Mark Tremonti. The legendary guitarist looked healthy and rested after emergency surgery following a life-threatening bout with diverticulitis.
Joe Perry's New Mustache
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry channeled his inner Fu Manchu for this new mustache -- which, frankly (sorry Joe!) still has us scratching our heads. Is this his payback for Steven Tyler accepting the 'American Idol' gig against his wishes?
Metallica's James Hetfield Rocks Out for Garden Gnomes
When Metallica front man James Hetfield isn't on tour or hanging out with Sammy Hagar, he has a part-time gig at Disney World as one of Snow White's dwarves. Turns out, he not only likes to ride the lightning, he also likes to ride the whirling teacups.
King's X Drummer Jerry Gaskill Exits the Hospital
King's X drummer Jerry Gaskill has had a tough time in 2012. First he suffered a heart attack in March, and then he lost his home and virtually all of his possessions in Hurricane Sandy. But the resilient rocker raised his hand in triumph as he exited the hospital in March, and we feel sure he and his wife Julie will rise to their latest challenge, too.
Kiss Debut New Costumes
Never known for their restrained onstage appearance, Kiss revealed their new stage costumes at a press conference to announce their co-headlining tour with Motley Crue, and again during a live performance on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show.
Van Halen Welcome Chickenfoot Drummer Chad Smith to NYC Show
Despite their historic differences with his bandmates -- and ex-Van Halen members -- Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, Van Halen welcomed Chickenfoot drummer Chad Smith backstage at their concert in New York City.
Paul McCartney Meets Lady Gaga
Gonzo From The Muppets Takes Over Ted Nugent Album Cover
The Muppets are no strangers to classic rock, having hosted all kinds of unlikely guests on their weekly program in the '70s. But this image of Gonzo superimposed onto Ted Nugent's 'Weekend Warriors' album cover is still pure comedy gold. We wonder if Nugent -- a world-class bow hunter -- is enjoying a nice bowl of Muppet stew as we speak?
Axl Rose Travels to the Moon
Internet rumor has it that Neil Armstrong claimed to have encountered extraterrestrials when he landed on the moon -- but we're not sure there's any record of him having run into Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose. Quite frankly, we question the historical veracity of this picture, which depicts the mercurial singer seated and apparently about to enjoy a Hot Pocket while Armstrong makes his one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.