❚ SIXTIES ACE FACE and prolific British guitarist and composer Peter Frampton arrives this weekend in the UK for Finale, the Farewell Tour which includes the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, postponed from 2020 by the Covid lockdown. A degenerative muscle disorder means that, at the age of 72, he will be seated on stage during his final European performances. “Standing,” he told GuitarWorld.com, “would be dangerous for me now, because I get so carried away when I’m playing that I’m liable to fall over.”
Having gone to high school in Bromley with David Bowie where they fronted rival bands, Frampton became the lead singer and guitarist in The Herd, his good looks being celebrated on the cover of the trendy Rave! magazine as The Face of ’68. He then formed Humble Pie with Mod “little” Stevie Marriott from the Small Faces. Major international success came as a solo artist in 1976 with the block-busting live album, Frampton Comes Alive!, from which came the self-penned arena rock singles Show Me The Way, Baby I Love Your Way and Do You Feel Like We Do. The album stayed for 55 weeks in the Billboard top 40 as the top-selling album of that year.
Platinum albums and a Grammy award have proved his talent as a survivor, working with Jerry Lee Lewis, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bill Wyman, David Bowie, BB King and many more legends. Rolling Stone named him its Artist of the Year, claiming that Frampton “was loved by teenage girls, and their older brothers” and in its 2012 poll of all-time favourite live albums, FCA! was voted No 3. In 1979, Frampton received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2021 he released the instrumental album Frampton Forgets the Words, the second since announcing his retirement. The Finale tour embarked on its American-Canadian dates before lockdown – “The most moving tour I’ve ever done,” Frampton told Guitar World. “It’s very emotional for me saying goodbye to anybody, let alone ten thousand people a night.” Now he’s braced for Stoke, Glasgow and London: “My band and I have been chomping at the bit to play and can’t wait to keep our promise to play for you again.”
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➢ Previously at Shapersofthe80s:
2011, How Bowie changed my life at Bromley Tech