Happy Birthday to Peter Frampton, who turns 70 today (April 22nd)!!! Yesterday, Frampton announced he had canceled his spring and summer European dates, posting, “I am so sorry to have to announce that at this time because of the COVID-19 virus my UK/EU tour has now been cancelled. All ticket holders should be in touch with their point of purchase for refunds. I couldn’t be more disappointed. My apologies to all.”
In happier news, another Frampton has “come alive” with the birth of Frampton's first grandchild. Elle Frampton Homburger was born on April 6th to the guitarist's fashion designer daughter Jade and husband, Samuel Homburger. Frampton has two other children, son Julian, who's a musician and the leader of the Julian Frampton Band, and younger daughter Mia, who's an actress and was featured in numerous TV and features — including Bridesmaids.
Last fall, Frampton wrapped his North American farewell tour and returned to such hallowed venues and Madison Square Garden and the Forum in L.A. — arenas he hadn't played in 40 years. Frampton was forced to quit the road upon discovering he's suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called Inclusion-Body Myositus (IBM), that slowly weakens the body's muscles. The cancelled European tour was to be mark his final tour dates.
While talking to CBS, the guitarist shed light on some of the physical difficulties he faces these days: “Inclusion-Body Myositus, which is what I have. . . going up (laughs) stairs and downstairs is the hardest thing for me. I'm going to have to get a cane. Then, the other thing I noticed — I can't put things over my head.”
Last year, Frampton released the album, All Blues, which debuted at Number One on the Billboard Blues Albums chart. Among the album's special guests Larry Carlton, Sonny Landreth, Steve Morse, and Fabulous Thunderbirds frontman Kim Wilson. Frampton currently has three new albums in various sates of completion; a full-on instrumental set, a solo acoustic album, and an all-blues collections featuring outtakes from the recent All Blues chart-topper.
Peter Frampton first made his mark in Britain in the late-1960's with the pop group the Herd, and then later as part of the hard rocking Humble Pie with co-founder Steve Marriott. Frampton left Humble Pie in late-1971 to go solo, and released four moderate selling solo albums before releasing his 1976 blockbuster double album Frampton Comes Alive!
Frampton Comes Alive! propelled Frampton into superstardom with its hit singles “Show Me The Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way,” and “Do You Feel Like We Do.” In March 2017, Peter Frampton released a new single, called “I Saved A Bird Today.” The track was inspired by Frampton discovering a bird on his patio, which was unable to fly away. Frampton explained to us that upon calling his local wildlife rescue group, the bird was identified as a coot — as in “crazy as a coot” — and was only able to fly away by taking off from a body of water.
In February 2016, Peter Frampton released his latest album, Acoustic Classics, which covers key tracks from his '70s A&M catalogue and beyond — including “Fig Tree Bay” “All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side),” “Wind Of Change,” “Lines On My Face,” “Do You Feel Like We Do?,” “Sail Away,” “Show Me The Way,” “Baby I Love Your Way” — with Frampton handling nearly all the guitar, keyboards, and bass work on the album.
In 2014, Frampton performed as part of old friend Ringo Starr's backing band during that year's Grammy telecast and as part of the house band for CBS' The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A Grammy Salute. Frampton appeared on two tracks on Ringo's 2015 album, Postcards From Paradise — and co-wrote the song “Laughable” with the Beatles' drummer for his 2017 album, Give More Love.
In 2014, Frampton released the critically acclaimed mini-album, Hummingbird In A Box. The set marked the first new Frampton music since the 2010 release of Thank You Mr. Churchill. The piece was originally commissioned by and performed with the Cincinnati Ballet in April 2013.
Also out now is Frampton's latest live DVD and Blu-ray disc, FCA 35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton, and its companion triple CD set, Best Of FCA! 35 Tour. The DVD features footage taped at New York City's Beacon Theater and Milwaukee's Pabst Theater, with Frampton personally going through the tour's performances for the best versions of all the songs for the CD — which features his son, Julian Frampton, guesting on two songs.
Recently released is the newly expanded Humble Pie collection, Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore – The Complete Recordings. The revised edition has been mixed and mastered from the original multi-tracks. The new edition features — for the first time — all four shows from the band historic Fillmore East stand as performed on May 28th and 29th, 1971. The collection includes the seven tracks that comprised the original 1971 double album, along with 15 previously unissued performances — including the band's never-before-heard complete first set.
Prior to leaving Humble Pie, Frampton was befriended by George Harrison who asked him to contribute acoustic guitar to assorted tracks for his 1970 solo debut, All Things Must Pass: “George called me up and he said, 'Look, we need to do some more acoustics,' and this was the best thing ever for me. We just sat, the two of us, in Abbey Road Studios — the studio they'd done Sgt. Pepper in, and they would just put up another reel. They went through the whole album, basically, and said, 'We need some more acoustics here,' so George and I would just add acoustics (guitar), overdub acoustics, maybe one or two tracks to each track. So basically, I'm playing on just about everything that's not fully electric.”
In 2011, Frampton revealed that he was celebrating seven years of sobriety: “I mean, I'm not gonna bore people with it because there's nothing worse than being lectured at. But for me personally, it's been some of the best years of my life. It sounds contrite, it sounds phony, but it's not. Y'know, it's been a very stressful period for me, for everybody around me it's been better, and it's been a new — well, they say that's my birthday seven years ago.”
Yes drummer Alan White first worked with Frampton during the 1970 sessions for George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and got to catch up with him when Frampton and Yes hit the road together in 2010: “I've known Peter for such an awful long time — I met him first when he was playing with the Herd and stuff like that, so we go back a long way. But obviously we only see each other every now and then. Y'know, he did have a problem with drinking at one time and then he just stopped it and he's a super guy now.”
Although Frampton was able to stay an arena attraction throughout the end of the '70s, he feels that his career never recovered from the multi-platinum success of the live album. He says that his career nose-dived after Frampton Comes Alive! because there was no place left to go beyond its phenomenon: “No one knew how to make a record after that, because no one had ever made a record that huge. So that's where I was looking for professional help from those people that represented me. But the only person that really knew the answer to any question that I would ask — was me. Because, here I am asking all these people what I should do, because hell, this is the biggest record in history.”
Frampton, who's never stopped writing, recording, and touring since splitting with Humble Pie in 1971, admitted to us that he's constantly amazed with whom he's gotten to make music with over the years: “People like myself that have been doing it for this long, I think it's because we're such a fan of everybody else. You never forget the people that really influenced you at the beginning and throughout your career. So from Hank Marvin to Pearl Jam (laughs), y'know, I got to play with all these people. And it's such an honor to realize that they want to play with me. I've been exceedingly lucky. I appreciate the talent I was given. I've never phoned it in.”