Although Peter Frampton's days hitting the stage are slowly winding down, he spoke in depth with Guitar World about his current state of affairs. Frampton suffers from a degenerative muscle disease called Inclusion-Body Myositus (IBM) that slowly weakens the body's muscles. Although he was set to play a final farewell to Europe this spring, due to the coronavirus pandemic, those dates might be postponed — or scrapped altogether.
Frampton was asked if IBM has affected his playing as of now: “Very, very slightly. It’s more the fretting hand that’s affected. The left side is ahead in the progression of the disease, more than the right. Luckily, my left hand is doing really well, and I’m sure for the rest of this year, I’ll be okay. . . Also, when you’re playing guitar, you don’t stand on two feet: you tend to favor one leg or the other. Well, the leg I’ve always favored is my left. So even though IBM affects the left side more, that leg is still pretty strong. So I’m doing good. I’m on a drug trial. I’m in a control period right now.”
He went on to explain, “Some chords are becoming a little temperamental for me. It’s because you use more fingers on the chords than you do on single notes. That’s the only area where I’m slightly (concerned) — but I have another guitarist to play the chords. Adam Lester is wonderful.”
Although his road dates are obviously ending — Frampton has no intentions of walking away from music: “I’m going to go on playing. I might not be able to play in front of an audience in a couple of years, but I’m going to be battling on and recording. And with recording, you can touch things up a bit. So I think I’ll have a longer recording life than I will a ‘live’ life, as it were. I feel positive about the future.”
Frampton has been recording like a man possessed — as if he's in a battle against the clock: “We’ve done three-and-a-half albums. We’ve done two blues albums. We released All Blues (in 2019) and there’s another one in the can; I don’t know when that’s coming out. We just finished an instrumental album of covers. Then there’s the solo record that we just started. There are some introverted lyrics about where I am, definitely. There may be some frustration on there, probably. But I don’t think it’s angry. There’s gratitude. I think it’s thankful. If you think about it, from when I was 16 in the Herd, until now — I mean, it’s been up and down, but it’s been a lengthy career. I have to be thankful for the incredible time I’ve had.”
Peter Frampton admitted to us that having his own personal studio at his deposal 24/7 is the ultimate luxury for a still-avid music maker: “The bunker, we call it — but I do have a window down there (laughs). I don't really come out any more. Y'know, I feel like I'm that. . . y'know, in the old mad scientist horror movies, when the German scientist says to the maid, (yells) 'Don't come in! Just leave the food outside!'”