Peter Frampton is at peace with himself, even if the Englishman has to withdraw from the music business bit by bit in view of the incurable, progressive muscle disease IBM ("inclusion body myositis") he has been diagnosed with. In June he will also bid farewell to his German audience with a tour
On April 22, guitarist and singer Peter Frampton, born in the London suburb of Beckenham, will turn 70. He celebrated his first successes in the late 1960s with the band The Herd, in which today's status quo keyboardist Andy Bown played bass. In the 70s he gained great reputation as the second guitarist alongside Steve Marriott in Humble Pie. But it was as a solo artist that he received the widest acclaim with his live album "Frampton Comes Alive!", which made him one of the most successful musicians in the USA in 1976. His guitar playing was characterized by the use of a talkbox, through which the sound of the guitar can be modulated with the mouth via a tube. In the interview Frampton talks about his possibly last album "All Blues", reviews his career and reveals his dream band line-up.
eclipsed: If it wasn't for your muscle disease, you wouldn't be on your farewell tour now, would you?
Peter Frampton: How quickly the whole thing will develop, we can't say at the moment. But it's true, I wouldn't have put up the Farewell Tour banner if I hadn't fallen ill with IBM. But there's one good thing about it all: I'm actually going on a European and South American tour now, because I just don't know whether I could still get through this strain in a year or two. Of course, I hope that from 2021 I can still be on stage here and there. But then these will certainly be one-off events, which will probably take place near my adopted country.
eclipsed: You live in Nashville, the music capital of the United States.
Frampton: Actually, I'm back living in Nashville. It's just an ideal place for musicians like me. In summer it's a little too hot for a pale British person, but all in all it's still a manageable place [about 690,000 inhabitants, note]. And it's all about music: lots of studios, lots of musicians and lots of clubs and pubs where you can always hear live music. There is hardly anywhere else in the world with such a density. Metropolises like New York, L.A., Tokyo, London and even Berlin don't offer more, and often it is more anonymous there. After the divorce from my last wife [2011, note] I moved back to Nashville. I lived there already in the 90s.
eclipsed: Your last album "All Blues" with all its cover versions and the strict stylistic orientation was a - however positive - surprise.
Frampton: The disease is not only an asshole, it also does positive things. Because that's what I always wanted to do: agree on some blues songs with my band and then record them in a few days. And we were so euphoric that we went on and recorded material - including our own and newly composed songs - for a total of three and a half albums. I hope we can release most of it bit by bit. But your question was, why a blues album? When I toured the USA with the Steve Miller Band some time ago, who are now returning to their blues roots, I realized that this was what I wanted to do again, and when the time corridor was narrowed by the muscle disease, I also knew that I couldn't put this off any longer.