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My best performances are nearly always live. The most memorable playing seems to come when I'm not thinking about it and I just let it happen. Even if I don't feel great as I walk on the stage, I know the show will always be good. But some nights are special.|
I first got interested in playing music when I found my grandmothers banjolele (a banjo shaped ukulele) in our attic. I was seven. I started writing music and performing on guitar at the age of eight. Since then I have never really thought about doing anything else. After my Dad showed me my first three chords, I picked the rest up myself. I was then sent to about four years of classical guitar lessons, which I didn't appreciate at the time. I wanted to be playing more 'Shadows' tunes. I now appreciate the fact that I went to those classical guitar lessons. Thanks, Dad!
Over the next few years, I was in three bands: The Little Ravens, The Trubeats and The Preachers. Bill Wyman was the manager and producer of this band, and before I turned 15, we appeared on England's TV show 'Ready, Steady, Go' with Bill's band, The Rolling Stones. In 1975 I heard on the radio (WNEW-FM in New York City) that I was one of the five guitarists on a short list to replace Mick Taylor. I was driving myself into Manhattan at the time and almost crashed the car! )
I left school at 16 to join a local South London band called The Herd. We soon became the "not so local" band and scored three Top 10 hits worldwide, except for the United States. After being screamed at for awhile because we had entered the land of teenybopperdom I realized that some people seemed to care more about how looked than what I was playing. It was at this time that I met up with Steve Marriot of Small Faces, a band of which I had always been a huge fan of the band. After sitting in and recording with them, Steve asked me to join the band, but when he discussed this with the others, something about a five way split didnít seem to be that appealing. So, Steve left The Small Faces, joined up with me and Humble Pie was born.
Humble Pie was a great band to be a part of and really helped me develop my guitar style. I had always loved blues and jazz guitar, and seemed to be listening to more and more jazz - people like Kenny Burrel, George Benson, Wes Montgomery and Django Reinhardt. This influenced my style and the music of Humble Pie. If you listen to "Stone Cold Fever" from "Rock On", you'll get the picture. We recorded five albums together before I left and went on to start a solo career. Perhaps the one Humble Pie album most remembered and respected is 'Rockiní The Fillmore' - a definite sign of things to come in my career. My live albums are always my best! Steve Marriot was a great teacher for me, as well as being the best singer with whom I have ever worked. God bless you, Steve!
In 1971, I recorded 'Wind of Change', which was the first of four solo albums before the record-breaking 'Frampton Comes Alive!' was released in 1976. It has sold over sixteen million copies to date and they say
it has earned me millions of dollars. But to be honest, Iím still trying to find out if thats true! The hits were coming, the tours were sell-outs and my teeshirts helped merchandising reach a new high. In all reality Frampton Comes Alive! changed the record business forever. It remains the biggest selling live album ever. I had become the biggest artist in the world - seemingly overnight - but really after fifteen years of work. It was an enjoyable, yet exhausting, period of experiencing everything I had ever wished for.
So, when you sell eight million copies of one album in the first year, the last thing you need to do is release another one right away. But, with heavy persuasion being brought to bear from management and my record company, I made 'Iím In You' right away! Hindsight: I should have taken at least two years off to write and reflect about what had happened. Anyway, 'Iím In You' sold over three million copies and was deemed a failure.
By 1982,1 decided to take some time off from what seemed like one big lifelong tour. And, it was just about that! During this period, I kept playing and writing and actually stayed in one place long enough to start a family. It wasnít until 1986 when my 'Premonition' CD was released that David Bowie asked me to play on his album 'Never Let Me Down'. This was a great experience for which I thank David. All I had to do was play guitar on all my favorite Bowie songs and for this I got paid!
I had the opportunity and pleasure of working with Steve Marriott one more time at the end of 1990 and
the beginning of 1991. We both could not believe how much we enjoyed doing this again, Four songs
came from this coLlaboration. Three of the four were finished before Steve died tragically in a fire at his
home in England, April 20, 1991. I had been thinking how great it was to have a partner again, feeling I
was back on track and all of a sudden he was gone. It was the main reason I felt I had to go back on the
road and play live again. So, in 1992, I went out and started to play clubs in the U.S. It was to be a six week tour, but it turned into seven months, ultimately growing from clubs to playing 15,000 seat
amphitheaters. All this with no album, not even a "tell-all" book to promote. It was phenomenal to see and
feel the reaction after not being out there for so long
In 1994, I worked with Relativity/Sony to release 'Peter Frampton' and the following year 'Frampton Comes Alive' was released on Eldorado/IRS. Both albums I regard as some of my best work ever. In recent years, I played on Bill Wymanís CD 'The Rhythm Kings, Struttiní Our Stuff'. We played together in Europe to promote the CD along with Gary Brooker, Albert Lee, George Fame and Beverly Skeets. It was great to actually be playing Live with Bill after so many years, especially as he virtually started me out in the music business some 23 years earlier. I also recorded a song for Billís 1998 release on BMG entitled 'Anyway The Wind Blows'.
Ringo Starr played on my first solo album and I played on his 'Rotogravure'
album. We both played on George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass' and finally we got the chance to play live in 1997 in the U.S. with Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker and Simon Kirke. The pleasure was all mine, I assure you!|
In 1998, I performed to a sold-out crowd with Felix Cavaliere, Phoebe Snow and the British Rock Symphony in New York City. This event was an orchestral tribute to the greatest bands in rock ní roll, such as The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. From May through October, I was on the road either headlining my own shows or playing with Lynyrd Skynyrd. This tour brought me back together with Bob Mayo and John Regan, my keyboard and bass player from years ago. We went all over the US, and had a great time. I went to Europe to be part of Ringo Starrs All Starr Band for the month of August. We went to Russia, Monte Carlo, Germany and England to nanme just a few. Ringo and I shared another bill in September by being on the same VH1 Hard Rock Live show. Iíve also had the honor of playing myself on the Fox TV hit, The Simpsons.
A&M Records re-released Frampton Comes Alive! and Frampton in July of 1998 after digitally re-mastering them. This had been a goal of mine for along time. In time, I hope to see all my previous albums re-released after being digitally mastered. Frampton Comes Alive! has currently sold over 16 million and is still selling steadily.
In 1999, while on tour across the U.S., I was approached to make a DVD and live album of one of the shows. I'm fascinated by the technology of high definition format, so the idea of a DVD appealed to me. I gave this a lot of thought, because I knew people would wonder why the artist with the largest selling live album of all time would want to compete with himself, but it has nothing to do with that. I have had a wonderful career so far - the sort of career that artists spend their lives dreaming about. As I turn 50 and we begin a new millennium, I felt compelled to look back at all I've done so far as I prepare to move forward into the second chapter. Since I've always believed the best representation of my accomplishments as a musical artist is when I perform live, I realized it had to be a live recording. We recorded Live In Detroit at a show at Pine Knob Music Theatre outside of Detroit for both a CD and DVD. They are being released simultaneously on May 16, 2000 - the CD on CMC International Records and the DVD through Image Entertainment. This will be the first concert video released in High Definition TV format and 5.1 surround sound.
I continue to write and work on new musical projects and have even tried my hand at acting. I wrote two songs for the new Cameron Crowe film that will be released in the fall of 2000. The film is about the 70's rock scene and I worked as an authenticity advisor, and I even have a cameo as the tour manager for Humble Pie! I've recorded two songs for the Walt Disney Records project 'Tigger Mania' which will be released August 1, 2000. This spring, the Peter Frampton Signature Les Guitar was released from Gibson Guitar's Custom Shop. Ever since I started playing guitar, I have dreamed of a Peter Frampton Les Paul Custom. I worked very closely with Gibson's Custom Shop and they blew me away with exactly what I wanted and more! I always look forward to getting on the road again and meeting the fans. I know I am extremely lucky to have the talent to play, sing and write music. What started out as a hobby turned into a very successful career. I can't ever see a day when I will stop because, let's face it, playing music is and will always be my hobby!!!!"
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