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Peter Frampton Reveals Degenerative Muscle Disease, Announces ‘Farewell Tour,’ Including Syracuse

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Peter Frampton announced the initial dates of his final tour on Friday (February 22nd), and the the next morning revealed on CBS This Morning that he’s suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called Inclusion-Body Myositus, that slowly weakens the body’s muscles. Frampton was diagnosed over three years ago, after a series of falls that were out of character for him. Frampton — who has 33 new tracks in the can, will release a double album later this spring and a single set down the line — kicks the trek off on June 18th in Tulsa, Oklahoma with dates on the books through October 12th in Concord, California.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening will open most of the shows on the tour with Frampton’s son Julian Frampton on board as special guest for eight gigs. There is a possibility of a string of farewell dates in Europe during the spring of 2020, although nothing has been booked.

Frampton spoke to Rolling Stone and explained the mad rush to lay down new music and hit the road: “The need is now because right now I can play great guitar and we are recording like maniacs at my studio in Nashville. We’ve done two albums already. I want to record as much as I can in the shortest space of time. We’re actually working on three projects. I’m very much feeling that I’m playing like always. Some people are saying even better, but I’d let them say that. In a year’s time, I might not be able to play. Right now, it’s progressing but I’m still at the top of my game.”

Frampton was asked what shape the final tour’s setlist will take, saying, “A bit of everything, I guess. It’s got to be. The fans are hoping we’ll do some stuff we haven’t done in a long time or have never done. We will be digging deep as well as doing the familiar and the needed ones for those who are coming. But we will be diving deep. I have no idea what the setlist will be yet, but it will definitely be different than the last couple of tours.”

In regards to continuing to perform without heading out on the road, Frampton wasn’t about to make predictions: “I can’t say at this point. Beyond my fingers, which is the guitar-playing part, there’s my legs too. Getting around is getting more difficult. I don’t want to stop playing. That’s the last thing I want to stop doing. I’m going to be playing as long as I can play, but this will be the last extended tour. I can’t say what I’ll be doing next year.”

Frampton spoke about the upcoming studio projects, the first of which is expected this spring to coincide with the tour: “There’s actually three projects. There’s a double album, but I can’t tell you what it’s about since that would spoil the surprise. We’re working on sorting out the release. Hopefully that will come out in June when the tour starts. There’s that and another single album that we’re finishing off tracking next week and then after, if I can muster it, we’re going to do yet another project. They’re all different. As I say, I can’t really say what they are since it’s not time.”

When pressed about how he’ll feel at the tour’s final show — which has still not been announced, he said, “I’ve thought about that, but I know that all my kids will be there. My ex-wives will be there. (Laughs) I hope not. No, they probably will. It’s going to be a party and a celebration of what’s going to come. We’re going to celebrate. We’re not going to look backwards. We’re going to go forward. I know I’ve got so much more to do. It will be an emotional evening, obviously. I have such a great support group. My kids. My ex-wives (laughs). I’m very lucky.”

During his chat with CBS, Peter Frampton spoke about how IBM affects the body: “For a guitar player, it’s not so good. But, I’m able to play great — right now. In a year’s time, maybe not so good. I’m a perfectionist and I do not wanna go out there and feel like, ‘Oh, I can’t. . . this isn’t good’; that would be a nightmare for me. ‘Cause it’s my passion. I’ve been playing guitar for 60 years. I started when I was eight, now I’m 68. So, I’ve had a very good run.”

The guitarist shed light on some of the physical difficulties he faces these days: “Inclusion-Body Myositus, which is what I have. . . (laughs) going up stairs and downstairs is the hardest thing for me. I’m going to have to get a cane. Then, the other thing I noticed — I can’t put things over my head.”

Frampton admitted that he’s feeling the disease slowly progressing: “In September, October, when I came off tour — I noticed it sped up a little bit. I went on vacation with my daughter Mia to Maui and I fell on a boat — and it was a pretty bad fall.”

When pressed if this will be a sad goodbye to his live career, Frampton admitted: “I would think so. We’re going to be playing The Forum (in L.A.) and We’re going to be playing Madison Square Garden and I haven’t played those in many, many years — and my kids are gonna be there. It’ll be a sad occasion when the last date happens. I know that I’ll be at the top of my game for this tour and I will make it through this and people won’t be saying ‘Oh, he can’t play as good. . . ‘ I can, y’know? But, we just don’t know for how long.”

JUST ANNOUNCED: Peter Frampton / Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening tour dates (subject to change):

June 18 – Tulsa, OK – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa (Peter Frampton only)
June 20 – Little Rock, AR – Robinson Performance Hall (Peter Frampton only)
June 22 – Montgomery, AL – Wind Creek Casino & Hotel (Peter Frampton only)
June 23 – Chattanooga, TN – Tivoli Theatre (Peter Frampton only)
June 26 – Memphis, TN – Orpheum Theatre (Peter Frampton only)
June 27 – Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater
June 29 – Salamanca, NY – Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino
June 30 – Bethel, NY – Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
July 2 – Pittsburgh, PA – Benedum Center for the Performing Arts (Peter Frampton only)
July 3 – Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview
July 5 – Montreal, QC – Montreal Jazz Fest Place des Arts: Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier (Peter Frampton only)
July 7 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
July 9 – Boston, MA – Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
July 10 – Philadelphia, PA – The Met Philadelphia
July 12 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
July 13 – Stayner, ON – Roxodus Music Festival (Peter Frampton only)
July 23 – Traverse City, MI – Interlochen Center for the Arts – Kresge Auditorium (Peter Frampton only)
July 25 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 26 – Morgantown, WV – MountainFest Motorcycle Rally
July 28 – Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
July 29 – Cedar Rapids, IA – McGrath Amphitheatre (Peter Frampton only)
July 31 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Peter Frampton only)
August 2 – Minneapolis, MN – Grand Casino Hinckley Amphitheater
August 4 – St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
August 5 – Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theatre
August 8 – Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center
August 11 – Atlanta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre at Encore Park
August 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 – “Keeping the Blues Alive” at Sea Mediterranean (Peter Frampton only)
August 30 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
September 1 – Albany, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
September 2 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
September 4 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place
September 6 – Miami, FL – Coral Sky Amphitheatre
September 7 – Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
September 10 – Simpsonville, SC – CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
September 11 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
September 13 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
September 14 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
September 21 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
September 22 – Dallas, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
September 24 – Albuquerque, NM – Sandia Resort & Casino
September 26 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
September 28 – Las Vegas, NV – Red Rock Resort Spa & Casino (Peter Frampton only)
September 29 – Temecula, CA – Pechanga Casino-Pechanga Summit (with Julian Frampton)
October 2 – San Diego, CA – Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU (with Julian Frampton)
October 3 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre (with Julian Frampton)
October 5 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum (with Julian Frampton)
October 6 – Tuolumne, CA – Black Oak Casino Resort-Westside Pavilion (with Julian Frampton)
October 9 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre (with Julian Frampton)
October 10 – Portland, OR – Ilani Resort & Casino Cowlitz Ballroom (with Julian Frampton)
October 12 – San Francisco, CA – Concord Pavilion (with Julian Frampton)

Photo Courtesy of Larry Marano/Getty Images

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