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A recent Peter, happy, relaxed, making music

Frampton continued to release albums on a semi-annual basis throughout the 80's. There was 'Breaking All The Rules' in 1981, 'Art Of Control' in 1982 and then a four year break from releasing albums was ended by the release of 'Premonition' in 1986. Looking back on his music of this time Frampton said:

PF - "I think that basically I wasn't on track. People forgot about me, the guitarist, my image became that of a singer/personality. Up until 'Frampton Comes Alive!' and the success of that, I'd always written for my own enjoyment. I wasn't thinking about what anybody else would want to hear from me. lt was what came out naturally. The pressure that 'FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE!' brought to bear on me was that I started to second guess myself and think, 'I wonder what I should write?'. No artist can ever think about what anybody else wants. It's got to come from you. So for the first time in my life, I was starting to wonder what I should do instead of letting it happen. That was a mistake. The first sign that I was over that came with the song 'Lying', which is on the 2nd live record, 'Frampton Comes Alive II', released in 1995, and originally on the album 'Premonition', released in 1986. That one sort of wrote itself. I finally stopped thinking about it."

In 1987, Frampton's career enjoyed a tremendous surge when he was invited by David Bowie to play lead guitar on the latter's Glass Spider World Tour.

PF - "It was right after that period of writing 'Lying.' I went on the road to promote the 'Premonition' record. David Bowie called me on the road and asked me if I would play on the 'Never Let Me Down' record. He had heard the 'Premonition' record and said, "My God, your guitar playing is great. Would you come and do some of that for me?". I said, "Absolutely!". I went to Switzerland for the 'Never Let Me Down' sessions. Then he asked me if I would go on the road with him. There was no pressure on that tour. In fact, I shied away from doing my backing vocals. I didn't really want to sing at all. So for the better part of a year, I was able to play whatever I felt like playing. I was a hired gun and it really reminded me of being in Humble Pie again. lt was a pretty raucous, flat out, straight ahead rock band, with a lot of energy. I'll be the first one to admit that I got a huge kick out of standing out there and playing the opening riff to 'Rebel Rebel'. From that, I'd be playing numbers that Stevie Ray Vaughn had played on. I wasn't going to attempt to play them like him, because that's not my style. But it was an honor to be considered to be able to cover all of those musical bases".

Peter in his big hair days!

Peter Frampton's equipment on the road!

Peter had competition for that lead-guitar spot from Carlos Alomar, Bowie's faithful six-stringer who solos on 'Fashion' and 'Scary Monsters'. Frampton isn't used to sharing the stage with any guitarist, lead or otherwise.

PF - "But I think we were incredibly compatible for two completely different styles."

It also helped that Richard Cottle, one of Bowie's keyboardists, played on Frampton's 'Premonition' and toured with him in 1986 and 1998; and bassist Carmine Rojas worked with Frampton on some unreleased songs from the 'Premonition' sessions.

As for David Bowie himself, Frampton admits....

PF - "We've never been this close before. But he's exactly the same as the fifteen-year-old that I knew back at Bromley Tech. I find us very similar in many ways. We come from the same town, we almost sound alike when we talk - talking to him on the phone is like talking to myself. He's just a very easy-going guy who knows what he wants."

After the tour was over, Peter moved to Los Angeles and started writing and recording at home. These songs became the the basis for the 'When All The Pieces Fit' album, released in 1989. ( The previous year, the Florida based band 'Will To Power' had a US #1 hit with a version of Peter's 'Baby I Love Your Way', couple with 'Freebird' as a medley - it also reached #9 in the UK charts ).