English guitarist/singer Peter Frampton’s story begins in 1966 where as a 16-year old he would join English Pop/Rock band THE HERD as the lead singer. In their time together in the late 60’s The band would claim three Top Twenty Hits in the U.K. including “From the Underworld” and “I Don’t Want Our Loving to Die”. In 1968, Frampton at 18 years old joins forces with Steve Marriott to form Rock Supergroup HUMBLE PIE. These guys cranked out plenty of rock hits on both sides of the pond and achieved international acclaim and became known for their live shows in the U.S.
By 1972 Peter Frampton was considered a solo artist and played on many recordings for others such as John Entwistle, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Harry Nilsson. He had also just discovered the Talk Box. In 1973 “Do You Feel Like We Do” was released on his Frampton’s Camel album. The talking guitar song was a highlight at his live performances. He spent the next three years touring the states. In 1976 the Englishman released Frampton Comes Alive!, the best-selling album that year, hitting Number 1 for 10 weeks on Billboard Top 200 And moving 8 million copies. The live record boasted hits “Show Me The Way,” “Baby I Love Your Way,” and of course “Do You Feel Like We Do.”
So we’re in Texas on a Sunday evening. There’s always something to do in the Metroplex but on this night, Frampton will be saying goodbye during his Finale – The Farewell Tour 2019 at Toyota Music Factory in Irving. He will no longer be touring due to a rare degenerative muscular disorder called Inclusion-Body Myositis which means 2019 will be his last year on the road. So this show was special to him and everyone in this packed venue. I have seen several shows there, although never at this capacity. The line was long, actually turning the block just out of my sight. This was slated to be Frampton’s last show in DFW and it was full of devoted fans to witness what was going down on this hot summer night.
The opening act was none other than Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening. Bonham paid tribute to his late father John Bonham, legendary drummer for LED ZEPPELIN. Jason and his bandmates played about 40 minutes of ZEPPELIN greatness. I would say they were probably more polished than the original group. Naturally they closed with “Stairway To Heaven” and it was flawless.
During the intermission between bands there’s an announcement through the PA. It’s Peter Frampton himself welcoming everyone to the show. He also asked if everyone would mind putting their phones away and engage in the experience about to happen. He wanted all cell phones down after the first three songs and people didn’t seem to mind. IT’S SHOWTIME: bandmates Steve Mackey, Rob Arthur, Adam Lester and Dan Wojciechowski take the stage with the legendary guitarist. As Frampton walks out he is holding his Custom Les Paul that he’d been playing since the HUMBLE PIE days.
With every song there was a story to be told so we could understand the journey and their meanings. Frampton also explained how he bought a set of green drums for Frampton Comes Alive and that his current drummer found them on eBay for a very high price so Frampton bought them again and they were on the stage that very night. The iconic rock star played all the big tunes and sounded incredible. He even played Instrumentals from his Fingerprints album. Not to mention a stellar instrumental version of “Black Hole Sun” in memory of the late great Chris Cornell. Frampton’s band was tight and performing at a level many artists never reach.
As the night continued I began to feel like it was all going away. You could tell in his voice between songs that he was going to miss doing what he had done most of his life: play for the people. The show was reaching its end Frampton closed with the song that really put him on the map in his traditional fashion, “Do You Feel Like We Do.” The crowd roared with delight. He even had them singing along and when the Talk Box section started you could feel his emotions taking over. The British rock star has a heart as big as Texas and everyone felt it.
His guitar was speaking for him at this time; I could only imagine the memories whirling around his head of the many times he has performed that song. When Frampton finished the song there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. He bowed to a standing ovation. I was actually a little surprised that he came out for an encore and played after the performance he’d just given. Frampton and company did “Four Day Creep”, HUMBLE PIE hit ” I Don’t Need No Doctor”and closed with an emotional version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
As his bandmates leave the stage there’s only one man standing in gratitude, kindness and appreciation for all the love he had been shown through his life. A man dedicated to his craft until he can do it no more…Peter Frampton.
LIVE IMAGES: JOE GUZMAN/GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: DONNIE PENDLETON