Happy Birthday to Peter Frampton, who turns 63 today (April 22nd)!!! Frampton first made his mark in the Britain in the late 1960's with the pop group the Herd, and then later as part of the hard rocking Humble Pie with co-founder Steve Marriott. Frampton left Humble Pie in late 1971 to go solo, and released four moderate selling solo albums before releasing his 1976 blockbuster double album Frampton Comes Alive! The album propelled Frampton into superstardom with its hit singles "Show Me The Way," "Baby, I Love Your Way," and "Do You Feel Like We Do."
His upcoming tour, which is being dubbed "Frampton's Guitar Circus." includes guest spits by such heavyweights as Robert Cray in May and June, and B.B. King and Sonny Landreth for the August dates.
Recently released is Frampton's new DVD and Blu-ray disc, FCA 35 Tour: An Evening With Peter Frampton, and its companion triple CD set, Best Of FCA! 35 Tour. The DVD features footage taped at New York City's Beacon Theater and Milwaukee's Pabst Theater, with Frampton personally going through the tour's performances for the best versions of all the songs for the CD -- which features his son, Julian Frampton, guesting on two songs.
In 2010, Frampton released his 15th studio album, Thank You Mr. Churchill, which features performances by the Funk Brothers, the Heartbreakers' Benmont Tench, son Julian Frampton, and Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron. The album was co-produced by his legendary '70s engineer Chris Kimsey, who after working with Frampton went on to man the boards and co-produce numerous Rolling Stones albums.
Prior to leading Humble Pie, Frampton was befriended by George Harrison who asked him to contribute acoustic guitar to assorted tracks for his 1970 solo debut, All Things Must Pass: "George called me up and he said, 'Look, we need to do some more acoustics,' and this was the best thing ever for me. We just sat, the two of us, in Abbey Road Studios -- the studio they'd done Sgt. Pepper in, and they would just put up another reel. They went through the whole album, basically, and said, 'We need some more acoustics here,' so George and I would just add acoustics (guitar), overdub acoustics, maybe one or two tracks to each track. So basically, I'm playing on just about everything that's not fully electric."
In 2011, Frampton revealed that he was celebrating seven years of sobriety: "I mean, I'm not gonna bore people with it because there's nothing worse than being lectured at. But for me personally, it's been some of the best years of my life. It sounds contrite, it sounds phony, but it's not. Y'know, it's been a very stressful period for me, for everybody around me it's been better, and it's been a new -- well, they say that's my birthday seven years ago."
Yes drummer Alan White first worked with Frampton during the 1970 sessions for George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, and got to catch up with him when Frampton and Yes hit the road together in 2010: "I've known Peter for such an awful long time -- I met him first when he was playing with the Herd and stuff like that, so we go back a long way. But obviously we only see each other every now and then. Y'know, he did have a problem with drinking at one time and then he just stopped it and he's a super guy now."
Although Frampton was able to stay an arena attraction throughout the end of the '70s, he feels that his career never recovered from the multi-platinum success of the live album. He says that his career nose-dived after Frampton Comes Alive! because there was no place left to go beyond its phenomenon: "No one knew how to make a record after that, because no one had ever made a record that huge. So that's where I was looking for professional help from those people that represented me. But the only person that really knew the answer to any question that I would ask -- was me. Because, here I am asking all these people what I should do, because hell, this is the biggest record in history."
Peter Frampton North American tour dates (subject to change):
April 26, 27 - Cincinnati, OH - Aronoff Center For The Arts (with the Cincinnati Ballet)
May 26 - Little Rock, AR - Riverfest at Downtown Little Rock
May 31 - Hollywood, FL - Hard Rock Live
June 1 - Saint Augustine, FL - St. Augustine Amphitheatre
June 2 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall
June 5 - Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theater at Grand Fair
June 7 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
June 8 - Midland, TX - Wagner Noel PAC
June 9 - Houston, TX - Arena Theatre
June 11 - Saint Charles, MO - The Family Arena
Jube 13 - Windsor, ON - Caesars Windsor "The Colosseum"
June 14 - Rama, ON - Casino Rama
June 13 - Windsor, ON - Caesars Windsor "The Colosseum"
June 15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Stage AE
June 17 - Grand Rapids, MI - Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
June 20 - Columbus, OH - The LC Pavilion
June 23 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
June 24 - Lancaster, PA - American Music Theatre
June 27 - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
June 28 - Rochester, NY - Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater
August 5 - Bethlehem, PA - Musikfest
August 8 - Baltimore, MD - PierSix Pavilion
August 11 - Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap Filene Center
August 13 - Alpharetta, GA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater At Encore Park
August 20 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater
August 24 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theater
August 28 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery
August 30 - Lincoln, CA - Thunder Valley Casino
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com