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Peter Frampton Still Talk-Boxing His Way Across The Summer

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Over 40 years after setting the rock world on fire with his hit-making use of the talk-box, Peter Frampton is on the road this summer playing his Frampton Comes Alive! classics night after night. Frampton, who’s currently criss-crossing North America as part of a double bill with old friend Steve Miller, recalled to TheDay.com that he first became aware of the sound of the talk-box from radio stations that used it to announced its call letters, a few years later, I heard Music Of My Mind by Stevie Wonder and went, ‘There’s it is again! What IS that?!’ Then, in 1970, ’71, I was in the studio with George Harrison for All Things Must Pass, and (pedal steel wizard) Pete Drake came over from Nashville and set up his stuff. Suddenly, he put this tube in his mouth and started playing, and I almost fell over. ‘This is it!’. . . Joe Walsh’s use on ‘Rocky Mountain Way’ is the ultimate, period. Forget ‘Do You Feel.

Frampton went on to recall that when Humble Pie sound man Bob Heil started a talk box company, he gave one to Frampton, who laughed when recalling the gift “Well, clearly, all that was left was for me to learn how to use it.”

40 years summers after playing a three-night sold out run at Madison Square Garden, Frampton — who never stopped recording or touring, remains happy with his lot: “Hey, time marches on. Each generation has its pop culture heroes — sports figures or musicians or film stars — and that’s just the way it goes. For me, Comes Alive! overshadowed everything I did before and after, and that’s okay. Every day of my life, I create a riff or a melody because it’s not in my genes to NOT do that. Just because there’s no outlet, well, it’s still my love. I do it for me.”

Although these days, Frampton is more than happy to celebrate his Comes Alive! era, he recalled a time when it was literally the last thing he wanted to do: “I remember being on one tour in ’77 when I did not wanna go on. I had given it my all. I didn’t want to play anymore — for the moment. That’s when I should’ve — even before I’m In You was even thought of — I should’ve taken two, three years off before I even attempted to make another record. But no one knew at that time; no one had an experience with a big seller like that. Now you realize; you reach that many people — you can wait a couple of years, people aren’t gonna forget you. But it was like, ‘Let’s take advantage of the situation financially, y’know?'”

June 27 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for Performing Arts
June 28 – Solomons, MD – PNC Waterside Pavillion
June 30 – Verona, NY – Event Center At Turning Stone Casino Resort
July 1 – Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Theater At Freedom Hill
July 14 – Hollywood, FL – Hard Rock Live
July 15 – Estero, FL – Germain Arena
July 16 – Alpharetta, GA – Verizon Amphitheatre – Alpharetta
July 18 – Rogers, AK – Walmart AMP
July 19 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theatre
July 20 – Aurora, IL – RiverEdge Park
July 22 – Walker, MN – Moondance Jam
July 23 – Welch, MN – Treasure Island Resort & Casino
July 25 – Wichita, KS – Hartman Arena
July 28 – Tulsa, OK – River Spirit Casino
July 29 – Thackerville, OK – WinStar Global Event Center
July 31 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
August 1 – Beaver Creek, CO – Vilar Performing Arts Center
August 2 – Salt Lake City, UT – Usana Amphitheatre
August 4 – Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater
August 5 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre
August 6 – Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield Amphitheater
August 8 – Las Vegas, NV – The Colosseum At Caesars Palace
August 9 – Costa Mesa, CA – OC Fair at Pacific Amphitheatre
August 10 – Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
August 12 – Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
August 13 – Murphys, CA – Ironstone Amphitheatre

Photo Courtesy of Larry Marano/Getty Images

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