Episode #20

Peter Frampton

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Monday, July 16, 2012


Peter Frampton

Grammy-winning guitarist Peter Frampton says, “Sound is very inspirational to me." And it always has been—Frampton started playing guitar before he was 8 years old. He talks about his musical roots in England, playing in bands like The Preachers and The Herd. At age 14 he was playing at a recording session produced by Bill Wyman, who he says is “sort of like my mentor, my older brother.”

Just eleven years later, Frampton was on stage in San Francisco, recording Frampton Comes Aliveone of the biggest-selling live albums of all times. Frampton also talks about the challenges of his extraordinary achievement: “I don’t think anybody can be ready for that kind of success.”

READ | Interview Transcript

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [27]

Bob Toast from Borneo

I don't see what is so great about the Frmapton Comes Alive album there were a couple of good songs, Show me the way, Baby I love your way, other than those songs the rest of the album sucked. Thank god for itunes were I could only purchase the songs I like and forget about the rest of them.

Jan. 23 2014 11:47 AM
marie from Halifax, NS

Thank you !! Just stumbled upon this. A real treat to hear him interviewed by a true fan in Alex. Just saw Peter twice on his Circus tour. No other artist brings me the happiness I feel watching and listening to him play live.

Aug. 16 2013 08:38 PM
Franco from Lusaka, Zambia, Africa

I've known Peter Frampton since he appeared on the cover of a UK Pop Magazine then called "Fab 208' and he was known as the 'The Face Of '66'. I've been a fan since he played guitar and sang: "I don't want our loving to die" with "The Herd". This interview brings back great memories! Am now 66 and I bought the double album "...Comes Alive" in Bombay India in 1976, I still have it and now even on CD!! Peter Frampton, for me, is miles ahead of Clapton in terms of melodies on Guitar!
Rest in Peace Steve Marriot and Bob Mayo! You both contributed to Pete's Stardorm.

Jul. 22 2013 11:33 AM
Rob from Winston-Salem,North Carolina

Been to 6 0r 7 of Frampton's Concerts over last 6 years. Ive never been disappointed in any of his shows.One stands out was his performance in Asheville,NC at the annual Christmas Jam several years ago. Many Artists performed from about 7PM to bout 4AM.They saved the best for last.The crowd had become reestless and tired when Peter took the stage at about 1 AM.Peter Blew the top off the Auditorium .All of the applause up to his performance was lame compared to Peter's first song. As I scanned the audience standing shoulder to shoulder on the floor in front of the stage, I recognized that Peter's music was being enjoyed by 3 generations of Fans. A well ventilated Armory had the fragereance of pleasant weed traveling thru the building.Im so happy Peter has kicked his bad habits of old as I hope we all have by now. Man the sights,the sounds, the odors and of courese the Energy blended so well with All of Peter's numbers both Classics and his newer work, all Brillant.Finally, Kudos to Alex on his Fantastic interview. It's the best I've heard or read, perhaps ever. PF deserves to be in The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame ! "What the Hell's goin on out there", as Coach Lambardi famously said. Peace to All. Rob.

Sep. 14 2012 01:34 AM
Jason Thorsell from Comstock, MN

Really enjoyed listening to this interview with Peter Frampton. People that perceive Alec Baldwin as arrogant are dead wrong;he asks questions this hick from North Dakota would ask if he had the chance. Also loved the Herb Alpert interview, what a fascinating and humble man!

Aug. 13 2012 09:38 PM
Peterw from Boulder,CO

This series is great. Alec is particularly good at being natural and allowing the guest to talk about their true self. If as if I'm sitting with them and having a casual coffee, and letting them tell me about their life straight on. Thx Alec and WNYC.
- Peter W. Boulder, co.

Aug. 09 2012 11:59 PM
Kevin Rosko from Portage, Indiana

Great Interview! I was a Peter Frampton fan since Humble pie albums became available to me..thanks Tony! He has a style that just hasn't been duplicated even before the talk box became popular thanks to Peter. He's down to earth as well. Check out his Guitar Center Sessions as well. His son is jamming with him in that piece. Great Alec!!

Aug. 04 2012 12:44 PM
Andrew from Gloucester, MA

Wow!! What a great interview! I'm with you , Alec. I'm a huge Peter Frampton fan too. This interview exists now as a great historical piece documenting a time when we were all soo young and innocent. I loved the album then in 1975, like everyone did. But I have become an ever bigger fan now as a more 'mature' person. Frampton's current albums are just as exciting as Comes Alive if not , dare I say, even moreso. Check out Thank you Mr. Churchill and Fingerprints. Like you say Alec - virtuosic guitar! I loved Mr. Frampton's Comes Alive 35 tour. I was lucky enough to see two shows in July and February. Frampton is so fun live. Very exciting. I'm so glad respect and recognition are coming back to Peter Frampton after an astounding career when he was overlooked because later works were not mega-sensations. How do you top Frampton Comes Alive? By being a legendary artist and performer for more than 45 years! Thank you Alec and thank you Peter!

Aug. 03 2012 05:21 PM
Meg Whelan from Alexandria, VA

I lovd this show, I'm not a huge Frampton fan, though after listening to this podcast, I realized I was a huge Frampton fan. Like Alec, the Frampton Comes Alive album was the soundtrack of my high school years. Great interview, interesting guest, and Alec, way to go on not being a narcissist, but instead being an interested interviewer!

Aug. 02 2012 05:57 AM

I love the show, I listen to the podcasts while I work out at the gym, keeps me from deadly boredom. Good guests, great conversation.

Just one thing, you, like me, tend to interrupt too much when someone else is talkng. You have a thought and interject it, but it does keep the guest from completing a point. I hope you don't mind the comment. I will keep listening. Thanks for the show

Jul. 30 2012 12:07 PM
Reggie from Brooklyn

Frampton Comes Alive started out as a chick album in that summer of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in Queens New York. I remember you would hear it at a girl's house and it was pretty infectious, the music, and knowing you and the girls had something to like in common. The best part of it was the sound of the room, the quiet keyboard fills in what must have been a chaotic crowd - the relaxing amidst the tension. The incense, the four foot black light bulb. It was a good time to reach out and touch someone. We did.

Jul. 28 2012 12:40 AM
Dan Miles from Phoenix

For those even remotely familiar with Frampton and his music there are really no major revelations or insights here. What I enjoyed about the interview was hearing Alec throw out all objectivity and represent himself as an unabashed, almost fawning fan. It was fun to see that side of him. I was surprised that he seemed to be unaware of the guitar reunion story though as it was relatively recent and very extensively reported. Oh well, at least he knows about it NOW!

Jul. 27 2012 02:19 PM
Zeeroojazz from New Zealand

Oh fabulous! What a joy to hear that music once more and to hear a kind and brilliant soul talk about his work. Wishing that interview was twice the time. Such beauty in sound.

Jul. 24 2012 08:19 PM
Mark McCormick from Fredericton, Canada

Alec - absolutely great interview. I remember discussing the album in my grade 11 class with my english teacher. We were blown away by the album.

The concert guitar work closing the interview sent a sustained chill through me. yeah.

Jul. 23 2012 07:22 PM
Wendy Perry from London, ON Canada

I am sitting here, absolutely blown away by this interview! I never had the opportunity to see Mr. Frampton live as I lived in smalltown Ontario Canada but the record was always on! His long gorgeous blond hair and satin pants remain etched on my memory forever! Thank you Alec Baldwin for these amazing, insightful interviews. I can't wait until the next one. By the way, you look fantastic on the cover of Vanity Fair…I'm looking at it as I type this comment.

Jul. 22 2012 09:52 AM
Rob Schoenbaum from Stockholm

Not to patronize in any way but your interviewing has developed by miles and miles. Great show!

Jul. 22 2012 05:10 AM
GD from NY, NY

Here's the thing: I'm not sure what I like better--listening to you interview someone I'm a fan of, listening to you interview someone I don't think will be that interesting and they are, listening to you interview someone I don't know and finding it fascinating, or the colorized picture of you sucking in your cheeks. Thanks, keep 'em coming.

Jul. 19 2012 10:52 PM
clive betters

@jim from atlanta-

to my knowledge, Bob Mayo has been dead, for almost a decade. i have no idea, how that transates to being "recently" departed. i get annoyed, when fans of a given artist, expect them to cover all sentimental bases, within the confines of a finite interview. not to mention, that there are situations, that we from the outside, are not privy to;where the relationship between the living, and the departed, was not what it appears, to the general public. i'm not insinuating anything between Mayo and Frampton. i'm just making a general staement,based on my response, to Jim from atlantas comment.

i first heard this album on 180 st, in wash/hts-NYC. the year it came out,on a KLH quadrophonic system,along with,a little meregue,some santana,allman bro's,bitches brew,and the gentle yet consistent din, of the runoff traffic from the G.W. bridge,echoing just outside my window.

i liked it....

Jul. 18 2012 01:02 AM
David Parker from Reno, NV

Just to clarify, apparently Frampton played at least three Days On The Greens. I saw him in August of 1975 when he appeared with Gary Wright, Fleetwood Mac, Dave Mason and Robin Trower. The theme was "The British Are Coming." Quite a show!

Jul. 17 2012 08:27 AM
Lily Campbell from Windsor, ON

Great interview Mr Baldwin! Part's about, returned Les Paul, brought me to tears. I saw Frampton Comes Alive 35th Anniversary concert, this year in my hometown, and when Peter held up his Les Paul,I was emotional also! I was 16, when I bought that album, played it over, & over. What a thrill to actually hear those songs, so many years later, right in front of me! Keep playing Mr. Frampton! A fan for life, to such a talented musician!!

Jul. 16 2012 11:18 PM
Laurie from Arizona

It seems that if you were a teenager in the 1970s you owned, or were constantly listening to Frampton Comes Alive. This music is really one of the most significant parts of the soundtrack of my youth. We may be getting a little older these days, but we are so blessed to be able to say, "This is OUR music." Damn, we were so young. Did we have any idea back then, that the music we were listening to was destined to become legendary?

And you can add me to the list of people who saw Peter Frampton at Day on The Green in Oakland in 1977. What a lucky kid I was. I had no idea.

Jul. 16 2012 08:46 PM
David Parker from Reno, NV

Wonderful interview. The part about him being reunited with his Les Paul brought tears to my eyes. Fantastic. I can't remember why I didn't go see him play here in Reno earlier this year, but I'll regret it forever. You know, thinking back, if I had known he was using that LP I probably would have gone. I saw him playing on TV a few years ago and he was playing, I think, a PRS guitar, and it just seemed weird to me. Strange, huh? It was like seeing B.B. King playing a heavy metal guitar. Anyway, what a great guy and a great musician.

Brenda, I was at that Day On The Green show too. What a great day and such an amazing show.

Jul. 16 2012 06:45 PM
Brenda Harrison from Austin, Texas

As a 13-year-old I snuck away with friends from my Northern California home to attend my first rock concert-- Day on the Green with Peter Frampton. My memories of that day and of Peter in his painted on pink satin pants are, I'm sure, going to be one of my dying flashbacks of life. In the early 90s I was again privileged to see him in a concert on the Boston Esplanade. I worried that seeming him again after so long might somehow tarnish my childhood memory. If anything it made me fall for him all over again, and I've been following his resurgent carrier for the past decade.

Thank you Alec for yet another incisive and well-chosen interview. Your pieces always leave me with that satisfied "ahh" feeling at the end like finishing a delicious meal you know you'll remember for a long time.

Jul. 16 2012 03:40 PM
lynn neal from augusta georgia

great interview with peter frampton! keep up the good work!

Jul. 16 2012 03:01 PM
Deby Gardner

Nice transcript (reading it on break at work) My son and I enjoyed Peter Framptons concert in Chicago last March (front row)it was a blast. So inspired by watching him play I am once again playing my guitar after. not playing for>20 years.Leaving Wednesday for Guildhall U.K. to be inspired by and learn from the best after watching the best. Even though at my age I'll never obtain Mr Framptons caliber,I'm having a great time on this journey!

Jul. 16 2012 01:38 PM
Jim Davis (not the Garfield one) from Atlanta

Be brief, it says. OK. This may be the best interview show ever. The Robert Osborne interview was especially enjoyable, and I hope you can carry out the promise of sequels. Meanwhile, the Frampton interview is the one that finally makes me write. I, too, even though I'm 18 years older than you, think Frampton Comes Alive is the greatest live album ever. Do You Feel still gives me chills. I don't recall a discussion of Bob Mayo's recent death. Was there one, and if so, is there a way we could hear it?

Jul. 16 2012 01:23 PM
Joannie from L. I., N. Y.

The Great Music of Peter Frampton. I loved listening to your interviewing Peter Frampton. I grew up listening to his FANTASTIC MUSIC!!! I won his album from a radio station years ago when I was the 10th. caller to call in to the station. I played his music over and over and over again!!! Grew up to Peter Frampton. Love his accent. Listening to your interview was just as if you were both in my livingroom having a casual conversation. It was very, very entertaining to listen to. I could have listened to this interview go on and on all day. Interesting life story about Peter Frampton's starting out in music. Totally enjoyable!! Please have more interviews like this one. Keep up the great interviews!! Thank you for sharing!!

Jul. 16 2012 09:40 AM

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