Personalities | Peter Frampton | Legend Comes Alive | Guitar Heroes

Peter Frampton (b. 1950) rode a slow-developing wave of popularity that transported him from British teen idol to international pop megastar, only to see the wave crash in a show-business wipeout of legendary proportions. In the ensuing 30 years, Frampton has managed to mix a fair number of successes with disappointments while navigating much calmer musical seas.

Frampton got his first guitar at the age of eight and took classical lessons. But by the age of 10, he was playing rock’n’roll and by his mid-teens, was in The Preachers, who were produced and managed by Bill Wyman. By 1966, he was lead singer and guitarist in The Herd, with whom he scored a handful of British hits. In early 1969, at 18, he co-founded Humble Pie. In two years, Frampton recorded five albums with Humble Pie, leaving to concentrate on a solo career just as the band’s Rockin’ The Fillmore (1971) ascended the American charts.

Guesting on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970), Frampton encountered an effects device, the talk box, for the first time. He released four solo albums between 1972 and 1975, and his buzz began to build through non-stop touring. His show, as recorded at San Francisco’s Winterland in 1975, was released in February 1976 as Frampton Comes Alive!. Within months, Peter Frampton was the biggest pop-rock star in the world.

The album became the biggest-selling live LP of all time. But Frampton was pressured to record a follow-up quickly. The result, I’m In You (1977), was deemed a disappointment in the wake of FCA!. Then, the film Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), in which Frampton starred, flopped. The crash was complete when Frampton suffered a near-fatal car accident in the Bahamas and an ensuing bout with drug dependency. Frampton was never able to regain the popularity that attended Frampton Comes Alive!, though he would continue to record and tour, sometimes in support of pals like David Bowie and Ringo Starr. Frampton, however, never lost his dedication to guitar. In 2006, he released an all-instrumental work, Fingerprints. In 2007, it won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. A new album titled Thank You Mr Churchill was released in 2010, and in 2011, Frampton toured the US with the Frampton Comes Alive 35th Anniversary Tour.

Essential Recordings

Humble Pie: As Safe As Yesterday Is

Solo: Frampton Comes Alive!

Solo: I’m In You

Solo: Fingerprints

Personalities | Marty Friedman | Shredding Superstar | Guitar Heroes


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