Written by Michael Oshust
Who is Peter Frampton? Peter Frampton remains one of the most celebrated artists in rock history. His session work includes collaborations with such legendary artists as George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron (Pearl Jam), among many others.
A little history of who Peter is ... In 1968, when Peter was 18 years old, he formed Humble Pie. In 1972, Pete Drake introduced him to the "talk box" that was to become one of his trademark guitar effects. Peter went solo in 1971 and had little commercial success with his early albums. In 1976 Peter released "Frampton Comes Alive!" from which "Baby, I Love Your Way", "Show Me the Way", and an edited version of "Do You Feel Like We Do", were hit singles. The success of Frampton Comes Alive! put him on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
“I did what you do on social media today by touring for five years,” says Frampton. “In those days, you had to go around the country and build that following person by person.” Frampton Comes Alive!, was the fifth album by Peter Frampton, a doe-eyed 25-year-old English rock guitarist. The album cover photographed onstage at Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Stadium on June 11, 1977, caught Peter in his glory. Frampton Comes Alive! entered the Billboard 200 at No. 143. It reached No. 1 the week ending April 10, 1976. The album influenced both Billboard and Rolling Stone magazines to name him Artist of the Year.
As Peter's star rose, so did the legend of the guitar that Peter was holding on the cover of the LP, a unique 1954 Les Paul that was customized as a one-of-a-kind Les Paul Custom with three humbuckers. Peter’s prized Les Paul was presented as a gift from friend Marc Mariana in 1970 after a Humble Pie concert at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. “Marc said, I have a Les Paul that I just had refinished by Gibson. I just got it back, would you like to try it tomorrow? It was very light for a Les Paul. I tried it that night and I don’t think my feet touched the ground the whole night. It was one of those spectacular moments where I realized this guitar is just incredible. Afterward, I gave it back to him and I said, do you think you’d ever think about selling it? He said, No, I’m going to give it to you.” From that moment on, Peter’s Les Paul was his go-to instrument on stage and in the studio until 1980, when the guitar was thought to have been destroyed in a plane crash in Caracas, Venezuela carrying instruments and other tour cargo.
In 2012, Peter was reunited with his beloved 1954 Gibson Les Paul that Peter played during his Humble Pie and solo days had been found. The guitar had been presumed lost in a 1980 cargo plane crash. The Curaçao Tourist Board acquired the guitar, and experts from Gibson Guitar U.S.A. confirmed it was, indeed, the missing guitar, long missing from Frampton’s collection for over 31 years. When Peter was reunited with his beloved guitar he stated “I am still in a state of shock, first off, that the guitar even exists, let alone that it has been returned to me. I know I have my guitar back, but I will never forget the lives that were lost in this crash. I am so thankful for the efforts of those who made this possible … and, now that it is back I am going to ensure it! It was always my No. 1 guitar and it will be reinstated there as soon as possible. Some minor repairs are needed.” Gibson’s world-famous repair shop in Nashville painstakingly repaired Peter's Les Paul –which he nicknamed “The Phoenix,” and returned it to him, scars and all. Now Epiphone’s guitar luthiers, with the help of Peter, have recreated his trademark, Les Paul, as it looked when it was given to him at the Fillmore West in 1970 for a limited time.
On 22 February 2019 Peter Frampton announced his Peter Frampton Finale—The Farewell Tour commencing on 18 June 2019 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, running through 12 October ending in San Francisco California. He also revealed the reason for the farewell tour; he's received a diagnosis that he has inclusion body myositis (IBM), a progressive muscle disorder characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness, and atrophy (wasting).
In June 2019, his most recent album, All Blues, debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart.
In December 2019, Frampton announced his farewell UK tour which will consist of five performances in May 2020.