Peter Kenneth Frampton (born April 22, 1950 in Beckenham, Kent) is an English musician, best known today for his solo work in the mid-1970s and as one of the original members of the band Humble Pie.
Frampton first became interested in music when he was seven-years old. He discovered his grandmother's banjolele (a banjo-shaped ukulele) in the attic. Teaching himself to play, he became near obsessed, and upon receiving a guitar and piano, from his parents, taught himself those instruments as well. At age eight he got a guitar and started taking classical music lessons.
Early influences were Cliff Richard & The Shadows, (featuring guitarist Hank Marvin) and American rockers Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, and then the Beatles. His father introduced him to Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.
By the age of ten, Frampton played in a band called the Little Ravens. Both he and David Bowie were pupils at Bromley Technical School where Frampton's father, Owen Frampton, was an art teacher and head of the Art department. The Little Ravens played on the same bill at school as Bowie's band, George and the Dragons. Peter and David would spend time together at lunch breaks, playing Buddy Holly songs.
At the age of 11, Peter was playing with a band called The Trubeats followed by a band called The Preachers, produced and managed by Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones.
In 1966, he became a member of The Herd. He was the lead guitarist and singer, scoring a handful of British teenybopper hits. Frampton was named "The Face of 1968" by the UK press.
In 1969, when Frampton was 19 years old, he joined with Steve Marriott of The Small Faces to form Humble Pie.
While playing with Humble Pie, Frampton also did session recording with other artists including: Harry Nilsson, Jim Price, Jerry Lee Lewis and George Harrison's solo All Things Must Pass, in 1971. During this session he was introduced to the 'Talkbox' that has become such a trademark guitar sound for Frampton.
After five albums with Humble Pie, Frampton left and went solo in 1971, just in time to see 'Rockin The Fillmore' rise up the US charts.
His debut was 1972's Wind of Change, with guest artist Ringo Starr and Billy Preston. This album was followed by Frampton's Camel in 1973, which featured Frampton working within a group project. In 1974, Frampton released Somethin's Happening. Frampton toured extensively to support his solo career. In 1975, the Frampton album was released. The album went to #32 in the US charts, and is certified Gold by the RIAA.
Peter Frampton had minimal commercial success with his early albums. This changed with Frampton's breakthrough best-selling live album, Frampton Comes Alive!, in 1976. "Baby, I Love Your Way" and "Show Me the Way" were singles. "Do You Feel Like We Do", despite its length, was also popular. The latter two tracks also featured his use of the talkbox guitar effect. Recorded mainly in San Francisco, California, where Humble Pie enjoyed a good following, at Winterland in 1975. Released in early January, it debuted on the charts on Valentine's Day at 191. It stayed at the top of the charts, at number one, for 10 weeks, in the Billboard's Top 40 album chart for 55 weeks, and stayed on the Billboard 200 charts in total for 97 Weeks. It was the top selling album of 1976, beating Fleetwood Mac's Fleetwood Mac for the top spot, and was the 14th best seller of 1977. The album became the biggest selling live album at the time of its release and sold over 6 million copies in the US, 16 million worldwide. The Garth Brooks album Double Live at 20 times platinum is the best selling live album of all time, Bruce Springsteen is next at 13 times with Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band Live 1975 - '85, The Eagles come in next with Eagles Live at 7 times, while Frampton Comes Alive! is 6 times platinum, and is now the fourth best selling live album of all time.
The success of Frampton Comes Alive! put him on the cover of Rolling Stone, in a famous shirtless photo by Francesco Scavullo. And the album put Frampton in a position to be offered, and then accept a co-starring role with The Bee Gees in director Robert Stigwood's poorly received Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Frampton's career seemed to be falling as quickly as it had risen.
His following album, I'm in You (1977) contained the hit title single and went platinum, but fell well short of expectations compared to Frampton Comes Alive!.
Near the time of Sgt Pepper's' release, in June of 1978 he was involved in a near fatal car accident in the Bahamas, he had multiple broken bones, sustained a concussion, and had muscle damage. Dealing with the pain of the accident would lead him into a brief problem of drug abuse.
In 1979, Frampton returned to recording. Past band members included Stanley Sheldon (bass), Bob Mayo (keyboards/guitar/vocals), Chad Cromwell (drums), and John Siomos (drums/vocals). The album, Where I Should Be (1979) was the first album recorded after his car accident.
In 1980, his following album Rise Up was released to promote his tour in Brazil. The album eventually turned into Breaking All The Rules, released the next year in 1981. These albums were the first he recorded almost completely live - their sound is believed to be the better for it".
Frampton continued to record throughout the 80's, although his albums generally met with little commercial success. However, he did achieve a brief, moderate comeback of sorts in 1986 with the release of his Premonition album, and the single "Lying," which became a big hit on the Mainstream Rock charts. Most notably, he also united with old friend David Bowie, and both worked together to make albums. Frampton played on Bowie's 1987 album Never Let Me Down and the “Glass Spider” world tour to promote the album.
In the late 1990s, he starred in an infomercial plugging the internationally successful eMedia Guitar Method, a piece of instructional software represented as an alternative to taking actual guitar lessons. He claimed in the infomercial that the software was the best way to learn guitar.
In 1995, Frampton released Frampton Comes Alive! II which contained live versions of many of the songs from his 80’s and 90’s solo albums. Although there was a large amount of marketing for the album, it did not sell well. After Frampton Comes Alive! II, he recorded and toured with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band.
In 2003, he released the album Now, and embarked on a tour with Styx to support it. He also toured with The Elms. He appeared in 2006 on the FOX Broadcasting variety show Celebrity Duets, paired with Chris Jericho of WWE fame. They were the first pair voted out.
On September 12, 2006, Frampton released his newest album, an instrumental work titled Fingerprints. His band consists of drummer Shawn Fichter, guitarist Audley Freed, bassist John Regan (Frampton's lifelong best friend) and keyboardist/guitarist Rob Arthur, and guest artists such as members of Pearl Jam, Hank Marvin, and his bassist on Frampton Comes Alive!, Stanley Sheldon.
On February 11, 2007, Fingerprints was awarded the 2007 Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album. In February 2007, he also appeared on the Chicago based PBS television show Soundstage.
Thank You Mr Churchill (recorded in April 2010) is the fourteenth studio album from Peter Frampton, released through New Door Records in North America and through Eagle Rock in Europe.
Peter has just recently finished a mammoth World tour celebrating the 35th anniversary of Frampton Comes Alive!
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