Peter Frampton On Beatles TV Special: 'It Doesn't Get Any Better Than That'
Rock fans were pleasantly surprised to see Peter Frampton onstage as part of the house band for CBS' The Beatles: The Night That Changed America - A Grammy Salute special on Sunday night (February 9th). Frampton, who recorded extensively with George Harrison during his All Things Must Pass album sessions and went on to tour as part of Ringo Starr's All Starr Band, has been among the die-hard Beatles fans in rock -- and usually closes his own shows with a majestic reading of Harrison's "White Album" classic, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
Frampton told Billboard that playing in the house band with handpicked musicians -- bassist and bandleader Don Was, keyboardist Greg Phillenganes, drummer Kenny Aronoff, and guitarist Steve Lukather -- on the greatest songs ever written was a dream come true: "It doesn't get better than that. You think you know them because they're ingrained in your soul -- until you start to listen to them and work out the parts. They're very, very clever. It was eye-opening as we all went, 'Ah-ha!' Don found this place where you can download just about every Beatles number, the multi-tracks -- which shouldn't be out there, but they are -- and we were able to isolate our parts so we were able to come up with exactly the right parts for the songs. I think it was, like, 19 or 20 songs we learned for all the shows, total, so we had our work cut out for us."
Frampton chalks the gig up to yet another lucky and historic run-in with the "Fab Four": "We're all just coming around after getting our sleep now, and it's all sinking in about what we did and what we were part of and how honored we all were to be part of this. It was something special, and it's part of history."
What many people don't know, is that prior to leading Humble Pie, Peter 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."
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