Peter Frampton

Origin: Bromley, Kent, England

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Genres: Rock

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Peter Frampton is an English-American rock musician, singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist.  He was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie and The Herd.  As a solo artist Frampton released several albums including his international breakthrough, the live release Frampton Comes Alive!  The album spawned several hit singles.  Since then he has released several major albums.  He has worked with Ringo Starr, David Bowie and members of Pearl Jam among others.

Frampton is best known for such hits as “Show Me the Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way,” “Do You Feel Like We Do” and “I’m in You.”  Frampton is known for his work as a guitar player and particularly with a talk box and his voice.

Peter Kenneth Frampton was born in Bromley, Kent, UK.  He first became interested in music at seven years of age.  Having discovered his grandmother’s banjolele in the attic, he taught himself how to play it, going on to teach himself how to play piano and guitar as well.  At age eight he began taking classical music lessons.

Frampton’s early influences include Cliff Richard & the Shadows (featuring guitarist Hank Marvin), American rockers Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran and later Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles.  His father introduced him to the recordings of Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.

At age 12, Frampton would spend lunch breaks with fellow Bromley Technical School classmate David Bowie, who was three years older playing Buddy Holly songs.  At age 14, he was playing with a band called The Preachers, produced and managed by Rolling Stone Bill Wyman.

In 1966, Frampton became the lead guitarist and singer for The Herd.  The band scored several British pop hits.

At eighteen years of age in 1968 Frampton joined with Steve Marriott of Small Faces to form Humble Pie.  While playing with Humble Pie Frampton did session work with other artists including Harry Nilsson, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.  Pedal steel guitar player Pete Drake introduced Frampton to the “talk box,” which became one of his trademark guitar effects.

After four studio albums and one live album with Humble Pie, Frampton left to go solo.  His solo debut 1972’s Wind of Change included guests Ringo Starr and Billy Preston.  Frampton followed his solo debut with 1973’s Frampton’s Camel, which featured him in more of a group setting.  In 1974, Frampton released Somethin’s Happening.  Frampton toured incessantly to support his solo career and in 1975 released the Frampton album.  The album broke through on the American charts and was certified gold.

While Frampton had little to moderate success with his early solo albums things changed in a big way upon the release of 1976’s Frampton Comes Alive!  The album included the hit singles “Baby, I Love You Way,” “Show Me the Way” and an edited version of “Do You Feel Like We Do.”  The latter two tracks featured his use of the talk box guitar effect.

Recorded in 1975, mainly at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom with a lineup that included Bob Mayo on keyboards and rhythm guitar and Stanley Sheldon on bass.  Released in January 1976, Frampton Comes Alive! spent nearly two years on the charts to become the top selling album of the year.  With sales of more than eight million albums it is the fourth biggest selling live album of all time.

Frampton Comes Alive’s! success landed him on the cover of Rolling Stone and catapulted him to worldwide superstardom.

Frampton’s follow-up, 1977’s I’m in You contained the title track hit single and went platinum but failed to achieve the sales of its predecessor.  Frampton then starred with The Bee Gees in the poorly received film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978).  He also played  guitar on the title song for the 1978 film Grease, a song newly written for the film by Barry Gibb.

Frampton’s career seemed to be falling as fast as it had risen.  He suffered a near-fatal car accident in the Bahamas in 1978 that marked the end of his prolific period and the beginning of a long fallow period.  In 1980,  he suffered another serious setback when all his guitars were thought destroyed in a cargo plane crash that killed three people.  Among the instruments lost was the black Les Paul Custom pictured on Frampton Comes Alive!  The guitar was recovered and returned to him in 2011.

Although his 1980’s albums generally met with little commercial success Frampton continued to record and tour.  He did, however, achieve a brief, moderate comeback in 1986 with the release of his Premonition album, and the single “Lying,” which became a big hit on Mainstream Rock charts.  Most notably, he also united with old friend David Bowie where he played guitar, sang an accompanied him on two world tours.  Frampton later credit his tour participation as helping to revive his career.

Seeking a band experience again Frampton looked up his old bandmate Steve Marriott in 1991.  The two played several shows together and their chemistry appeared to be intact with recording plans and a Frampton-Marriott tour in the works.  After recording tracks in Los Angeles Marriott abruptly returned to England and died in a house fire less than 24 hours after his return.  Broken by his friend’s death Frampton left the road for awhile before reforming his Frampton Comes Alive! band.  At least three songs, and possibly a fourth, from the  Marriott-Frampton partnership were subsequently recorded; two ending up on Frampton’s Shine On compilation, a third on his subsequent solo album.

In 1995, Frampton released Frampton Comes Alive! II, which contained live versions of many songs from his 1980’s and 1990’s solo albums.  Although backed by a strong marketing campaign the album it did not sell well. After the album’s release Frampton recorded and toured with Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band.

In 2006, Frampton released an instrumental work titled Fingerprints.  The band included members of Pearl Jam and his Frampton Comes Alive! bassist Stanley Sheldon, the only member of that backing band still alive. On February 11, 2007, Fingerprints was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

In 2011, Frampton celebrated the 35th anniversary of Frampton Comes Alive! on tour by playing the album in its entirety.

In 2013, Frampton toured North America as part of “Frampton’s Guitar Circus” which featured periodic guest performers including B.B. King, Robert Cray, Don Felder, Roger McGuinn and a host of others.

In 2016, Frampton released the 11-track Acoustic Classics where he played acoustic guitar, bass and a bit of piano on his most famous songs throughout his career.

In February 2019 Frampton revealed a diagnosis of a progressive muscle disorder characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness and atrophy.  He then announced a farewell tour beginning in June.

In June 2019 under the moniker “The Peter Frampton Band” Frampton will release a new covers album, All Blues which guest spots from the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ Kim Wilson and guitarists Larry Carlton, Sonny Landreth and Steve Morse.

Reference –

Peter Frampton discography

Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM plays Peter Frampton.  All part of 50 years of Rock, Blues and More, 24-7 on our station’s stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/

Check out the Peter Frampton performing “Do You Feel Like We Do.”