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Frampton, Peter

Peter Frampton

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

For Peter Frampton, fame came unexpectedly in 1976 with the release of the live album Frampton Comes Alive!, which succeeded in delivering what his studio recordings had not: the zeal of an immensely talented musician. The media, rushing to explain the phenomenon and his advisers, rushing to make a buck, had much to do with Frampton's eventual downfall and his later insistence on governing his reemerging career. Said Frampton in a Rolling Stone interview: "I started out as a musician, and I ended up as a cartoon." Unlike many performers, Frampton learned from his mistakes and acted on that knowledge.

Born April 22, 1950, in Beckenham, Kent, England, Peter Frampton's earliest musical idols were Cliff Richards and the Shadows—particularly Shadows lead guitarist Hank Marvin—and the American instrumental group the Ventures. The youngster made his musical debut, guitar in hand, at the age of eight at a Boy Scout variety show. By the age of 16, he was playing with the English pop-rock group The Herd, meeting with the approval of adoring teenyboppers. "It was great and it was terrible all at the same time," Frampton said in a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone. "It was incredibly exciting to be screamed at, but on the other hand, it wears thin very quickly, and the music was being forgotten." Concerned about the effect of fame on his music and about mismanagement of the band, Frampton left in 1969 to form the blues-rock contingent Humble Pie with Steve Marriot. Despite the band's popularity, Frampton severed ties after several moderately successful studio albums, convinced that the group's louder, harder sound did not suit him.

As a session musician, Frampton worked with George Harrison on the former Beatle's groundbreaking All Things Must Pass and contributed to Jerry Lee Lewis's rock comeback album London Sessions. The associations he made as a session man with Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, and Billy Preston helped him in putting together a backup group in 1972 when he recorded his first solo album, Winds of Change. What followed was four years of concentrated touring in the United States, opening for such bands as ZZ Top, the J. Geils Band, and Humble Pie. Despite strong audience reaction to his stage performances, however, his albums sold poorly.

Finally, in March of 1976, he released the live album Frampton Comes Alive! Recorded primarily at the Winterland in San Francisco, with live tracks culled from shows in Long Island and Plattsburgh, New York, the two-album set documented Frampton's first gig as the headliner on the bill. "I was far more nervous about having to play for an hour and a half instead of 45 minutes," he told Greg Rosen for the Billboard Book of Number One Albums.

The album yielded two massive hit singles, "Show Me the Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do," that featured a talkbox, a guitar effect that mimics vocals. Another song, the rock ballad "Baby I Love Your Way," made the baby-faced, blonde-tressed rocker a romantic figure for female fans once again.

Frampton Comes Alive changed the rocker's career virtually overnight. No longer an opening act, Frampton spent the summer of 1976 playing for audiences as large as 100,000, and being joined on stage by well-known musicians like Stephen Stills and Carlos Santana. Billboard named him its artist of the year, as did the readers of Rolling Stone. Said Frampton of this success: "At times I felt I was being thrown into the deep end, but I work very well in that situation … I never said no to anything."

Frantic Touring Schedule

Throughout the rest of 1976, Frampton Comes Alive! continued to top the charts, remaining at number one for ten weeks and ultimately selling over 15 million copies. Driven by his manager, he played as many as seven nights a week, holding off fatigue with cocaine and liquor. At the end of the summer—again, at his manager's insistence—he reluctantly began recording another album.

I'm In You did not match the success of the live album. "I think basically I wasn't on track," he recalled in a press release. "Up until Frampton Comes Alive! and the success of that, I'd always written for my own enjoyment. I wasn't thinking about what anybody else wanted from me. It was what came naturally." Still, the album, thought to be a failure after the monumental success of his previous release, sold three million copies, and the title track hit number two on the pop charts.

The following summer Frampton toured again at the same frantic pace, relying on much of the material from the previous summer's album for his stage show. According to Rolling Stone, Frampton was on the verge of quitting, but was talked out of it. "The consensus of opinion was that if I pulled out, it wouldn't look good," he said. "What that really meant was that a lot of revenue wouldn't be coming in."

After the I'm in You tour, work began with the Bee Gees on the star-studded movie version of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The film, a poorly received fantasy, featured 29 Beatle songs and spawned an accompanying soundtrack album. Frampton had had his doubts from the beginning, but had consoled himself with the knowledge that Paul McCartney would be in the picture. In the end, though, Billy Preston played the former Mop Top's part. Then just before the film was released, Frampton was involved in a serious car accident that left him with multiple fractures and lacerations.

His next album, Where I Should Be (1979), produced only one single, "I Can't Stand It No More." Instead of playing multiple nights at Madison Square Garden, he played only one. A few months after the release of The Art of Control in 1982, his record company dropped him.

Putting his life back together was a personal struggle for Frampton. He loathed the thought that people still confused him with the caricature he felt his manager and the media had created. In 1983 he began the transformation with his marriage to Barbara Gold. Their daughter, Jade, was born a year later. According to Rolling Stone, these events were crucial to Frampton: "It was additional proof that not all his hopes for a good life resided with his music."

For the Record …

Born Peter Kenneth Frampton on April 22, 1950, in Beckenham, Kent, England; son of Owen (a cabinetmaker and head of high school art department) and Peggy Frampton; married Mary Lovett, 1972 (divorced); married Barbara Gold, 1983 (divorced, 1993); married Tina Elferts, 1996; children: Jade (with Gold) and one other child (with Elferts); became naturalized U.S. citizen, 2004.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, part-time actor; member of rock band the Herd, 1966-69; member of rock band Humble Pie, 1969-71; solo artist and session man, 1972-; appeared in motion picture Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1978; recorded for A&M, Atlantic, Virgin, Sony, IRS, and his own Framptone label; appeared in films including Almost Famous and in such TV shows as Baa Baaa Black Sheep, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The Drew Carey Show.

Awards: Billboard magazine, artist of the year, 1976; Grammy Award, Best Pop Instrumental Album, for Fingerprints, 2006.

Addresses: Record company—A&M/Interscope Records, 2220 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404, website: http://www.interscope.com. Peter Frampton Official Website: http://www.peterframpton.com, Official Myspace Page: http://www.myspace.com/peterframpton.http://www.interscope.com.

In 1984 guitarist Steve Morse asked Frampton to help write a song for Morse's upcoming album. Encouraged to begin practicing again, by the end of the year Frampton had amassed enough new material of his own to make an album. Under new management, he recorded and released Premonition in early 1986 and struggled to "come alive" once again.

Although Frampton no longer ruled the charts, the guitarist stayed fairly active, recording occasionally and playing guitar behind childhood friend David Bowie on his Glass Spider tour and with Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, and working in the studio with Karla Bonof. Although he was no longer the cute youngster with curly golden locks, he began taking bit parts in such films as Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man and Almost Famous. Still famous enough to trade on his name, he provided the voice for his animated visage on TV's The Simpsons and on Family Guy. In 2004 the singer-songwriter/guitarist became a naturalized U.S. citizen and settled with his third wife in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The first rumblings of a full-fledged comeback came with Frampton's 2003 album Now, which sold well to longtime fans. However, a greater achievement was the 2006 instrumental collection Fingerprints. The album featured such notable guest musicians as Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones, Matt Cameron and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and his boyhood heroes Hank Marvin and Brian Bennett of the Shadows. Mixing new technology ala Garageband with vintage instruments and effects on a series of jazzy, free-flowing rock tunes, Frampton finally crafted his studio masterpiece. The resulting album garnered a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental.

Reaffirmed as an artist, Frampton has continued to show the creative fire that caused him to pick up the guitar initially. "What keeps me going is to find that new triad with this note that works," he explained to Electronic Musician, "and all of a sudden a melody comes immediately, because it's such a turn-on. And that's what it is: it's just a search, for me, constantly looking every day for that new little phrase that will melodically go with this chord or whatever. And then you're off. It's called inspiration."

Selected discography

Singles

"Show Me the Way," A&M, 1976.

"Baby, I Love Your Way," A&M, 1976.

"Do You Feel Like We Do," A&M, 1976.

"I'm in You," A&M, 1977.

"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)," A&M, 1977.

"I Can't Stand it No More," A&M, 1979.

"Breaking All the Rules," A&M, 1981.

"Lying," Atlantic, 1986.

"Holding On to You," Atlantic, 1989.

"Day in the Sun," Sony, 1994.

Albums

With the Herd

Lookin' Through You, Fontana, 1968.

With Humble Pie

As Safe as Yesterday Is, Immediate, 1969.

Town and Country, Immediate, 1969.

Humble Pie, A&M, 1970.

Rock On, A&M, 1971.

Rockin' at the Fillmore, A&M, 1971.

Solo

Winds of Change, A&M, 1972; reissued Rebound, 1998.

Frampton's Camel, A&M, 1973.

Somethin's Happening, A&M, 1974.

Frampton, A&M, 1975.

Frampton Comes Alive, A&M, 1976.

I'm in You, A&M, 1977.

Where I Should Be, A&M, 1979.

Breaking All the Rules, A&M, 1981.

The Art of Control, A&M, 1982.

Premonition, Atlantic, 1986.

Where All the Pieces Fit, Atlantic, 1989.

Peter Frampton, Sony Legacy, 1994.

A Day in the Sun, Sony International, 1994.

Frampton Comes Alive II, IRS 1995.

Love Taker, Pilz, 1995.

Beat the Bootleggers: Coming Live, Griffin Music, 1999.

Live In Detroit, CMC International, 2000.

Peter Frampton & Friends, Bianco, 2000.

Universal Masters Collection, A&M, 2001.

Anthology: The History of Peter Frampton, A&M, 2002.

20th Century Masters—The Millenium Collection: The Best of Peter Frampton, A&M, 2003.

Now, Framptone/33rd Street, 2003.

Live in San Francisco: March 24, 1975, Hip-O Select, 2004.

Instant Live: Peter's Select Tracks from the 2004 Summer Tour, Instant Live, 2004.

Gold, A&M, 2005.

Colour Collection, Universal/A&M, 2006.

Fingerprints, A&M, 2006.

Others

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1978.

Videos

Frampton Comes Alive II, Capitol, 1995.

Live in Detroit, Image, 2000.

Sources

Books

Anderson, Christopher P., The Book of People, Putnam, 1981.

Feldman, Christopher G., The Billboard Book of Number 2 Singles, Billboard, 2000.

Nite, Norm N., and Ralph M. Newman, Rock On: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock 'N' Roll, Volume II: The Modern Years 1964-Present, Crowell, 1978.

Rees, Dafydd, and Luke Crampton, VH1 Music First Rock Stars Encyclopedia, DK, 1999.

Rosen, Craig, The Billboard Book of Number One Albums—The Inside Story Behind Pop Music's Blockbuster Records, Billboard, 1996.

Stambler, Irwin, Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock, and Soul, St. Martin's, 1974.

Periodicals

Newsweek, April 19, 1976.

New York Times, October 3, 1976.

Rolling Stone, July 26, 1979; July 3, 1986.

Online

Associated Press,http://www.customwire.ap.org (October 11, 2004).

"Peter Frampton," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (September 1, 2007).

"Peter Frampton: The Guitarist, by Gino Robair," Electronic Musician,http://www.emusicians.com/em_spotlight/frampton_guitarist/index.html, http://www.allmusic.com (February 6, 2007).

"Peter Frampton," Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com, (September 1, 2007).

—Meg Mac Donald and Ken Burke

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Frampton, Peter

Peter Frampton

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

For Peter Frampton, fame came swiftly and unexpectedly in 1976 with the release of a live album that succeeded in doing what his studio recordings could not: deliver the zeal of an immensely talented musician. The media, rushing to explain the phenomenon, and his advisers, rushing to make a buck, had much to do with Framptons eventual downfall and his later insistence on governing his reemerging career. Said Frampton in a Rolling Stone interview: I started out as a musician, and I ended up as a cartoon. Unlike many performers who never had the chance, Frampton learned from his mistakes, and acted on that knowledge.

Born April 22, 1950, in Beckenham, Kent, England, Peter Frampton made his musical debut, guitar in hand, at the age of 8 at a Boy Scout variety show. The audience responded so well he could not help but do an encore. By 16 he was playing with the English pop group The Herd, meeting now with the approval of adoring tennyboppers. It was great and it was terrible all in the same time, Frampton said in a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone. It was incredibly exciting to be screamed at, but on the other hand, it wears thin very quickly, and the music was being forgotten. Concerned about that, and about mismanagement of the band, Frampton left in 1969 to form Humble Pie. After several moderately successful studio albums, and despite the bands popularity, Frampton again severed ties. This time, while he was convinced the group would be big, the style of musicleaning toward a louder, harder sounddid not suit him.

As a session musician, Frampton worked with George Harrison on All Things Must Pass. His association with Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, and Billy Preston would provide him with a backup group in 1972 when he recorded his first solo album, Winds of Change. What followed was four years of concentrated touring in the United States, opening for such bands as ZZ Top, the J. Geils Band, and Humble Pie. His stage performance had a magical quality to it, but his albums sold poorly. Finally, in March of 1976, he released the live album Frampton Comes Alive and went on a vacation before a one-nighter in Detroit. That one-nighter became two when the first sold out in an hour, then three when the second sold out in half an hour, until Frampton had a five-night engagement awaiting him in the Motor City.

No longer an opening act, Frampton spent the summer of 1976 playing for audiences as large as 100,000; being joined on stage by well-known musicians like Stephen Stills and Carlos Santana. Billboard named him Artist of the Year, as did the readers of Rolling

For the Record

Full name, Peter Kenneth Frampton; born April 22, 1950, in Beckenham, Kent, England; son of Owen (a cabinetmaker and head of a high school art department) and Peggy Frampton; married Mary Lovett, August 24, 1972 (marriage ended); married Barbara Gold, 1983; children (second marriage) Jade.

Singer songwriter, guitarist. Member of rock band the Herd, 1966-69; member of rock band Humble Pie, 1969-71; solo artist, 1972. Appeared in motion picture Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in the role of Billy Shears, 1978.

Awards: Named Billboard magazines artist of the year, 1976.

Addresses: Officec/o Hit & Run Music Ltd., 81-83 Walton St., London SW3 2HR England.

Stone. Said Frampton of this success: At times I felt I was being thrown into the deep end, but I work very well in that situation I never said no to anything. I told everything to everybody. I gave everything away, and when you give it all away, you have nothing left.

Throughout the rest of 1976, Frampton Comes Alive continued to top the charts, remaining at number one for seventeen weeks and ultimately selling over 15 million copies. Driven by his manager, he played as many as seven nights a week, boosting his fatigue with cocaine and liquor. At the end of the summeragain, at his managers insistencehe reluctantly began recording another album. Im In You did not hold up to the success of the live album. Fans knew it. Critics knew it. Frampton knew it. The following summer, though, he toured again at the same frantic pace, relying on much of the material from the previous summers album for his stage show. According to Rolling Stone, Frampton finally reached the point of quitting. He was talked out of it. The consensus of opinion was that if I pulled out, it wouldnt look good, he said. What that really meant was that a lot of revenue wouldnt be coming in. No one really thought about my health, except that I was starting to consider the fact that here I am alone in a room with a bottle of Remy Martin drinking myself to sleep.

After the Im in You tour, work began with the Bee Gees on the movie Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. The film, a poorly received fantasy, featured 29 Beatle songs and spawned an accompanying album. Frampton had had his doubts from the beginning, consoling himself with the knowledge that Paul McCartney would be in the picture. In the end, though, Billy Preston played that part. Id transgressed the un-written law, Frampton said later. Id messed with the Beatles, something I swore I would never do. Im sure a lot of people thought I was selling out. Just before the film was released, Frampton was involved in a serious car accident that left him with multiple fractures and lacerations.

Knowing that his next album needed to be stronger than the last did nothing to help him make it. Where I Should Be produced only one single, I Cant Stand It No More. By 1979, instead of playing multiple nights at Madison Square Garden, he played only one. His next album, The Art of Control was put together with the help of songwriter Mark Goldenberg. There was nothing I could do at that point, Frampton commented in his 1988 Rolling Stone interview, to make it any better. And that was the time I realized that it was time to completely start all over again. A few months after the release of The Art of Control in 1982, his record company dropped him.

Putting his life back together was a personal struggle for Frampton. He loathed the thought that people still confused him with the cartoon character, the caricature he felt that his manager and the media had created. In 1983, he began the transformation with his marriage to Barbara Gold. Their daughter, Jade, was born a year later. According to Rolling Stone, these events were crucial to Frampton: It was additional proof that not all his hopes for a good life resided with his music. He grabbed at any evidence that suggested he was still what he always most wanted to be, a songwriter and a guitar player who was respected by his peers.

In 1984, guitarist Steve Morse asked Frampton to help write a song for Morses upcoming album. Encouraged to begin practicing again, Frampton amassed enough new material of his own by the end of the year to make an album. Under new management, he recorded and released Premonition in early 1986 and struggled to come alive once again, I think at some point I might have said it must be great to be as big as Elvis, but that wasnt a realistic dream. My success is enjoying what I do, and if I can maintain that enjoyment, that is more success than however many albums I sell. The other kind of big success . . . that just isnt in my dreams.

Selected discography

With the Herd

Lookin Through You, Fontana, 1968.

With Humble Pie

As Safe as Yesterday Is, Immediate, 1969.

Town and Country, Immediate, 1969.

Humble Pie, A&M, 1970.

Rock On, A&M, 1971.

Rockin at the Fillmore, A&M, 1971.

Solo LPs

Winds of Change, A&M, 1972.

Framptons Camel, A&M, 1973.

Somethins Happening, A&M, 1974.

Frampton, A&M, 1975.

Frampton Comes Alive, A&M, 1976.

Im in You, A&M, 1977.

Where I Should Be, A&M, 1979.

Breaking All the Rules, A&M, 1981.

The Art of Control, A&M, 1982.

Premonition, Atlantic, 1986.

Other

Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1978.

Sources

Books

Anderson, Christopher P., The Book of People, Putnam, 1981.

Nite, Norm N.. and Ralph M. Newman, Rock On: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock N Roll, Volume II: The Modern Years: 1964-Present, Crowell, 1978.

Stambler, Irwin, Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock, and Soul, St. Martins, 1974.

Periodicals

Newsweek, April 19, 1976.

New York Times, October 3, 1976.

Rolling Stone, July 26, 1979; July 3, 1986.

Meg Mac Donald

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
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"Frampton, Peter." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Frampton, Peter." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/frampton-peter

"Frampton, Peter." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/frampton-peter