How Bowie saved Frampton’s career
Peter Frampton has credited David Bowie with saving his career as he struggled to escape the shadow of his iconic Frampton Comes Alive! album.
The guitarist admits it’s taken until now to feel capable of moving on. But now that he does, he’s at peace with the legacy of his 1976 live record.
And one of the first steps on the long road to emotional freedom was taken when old schoolfriend Bowie invited him to join his band for 1987′s Glass Spider tour.
Frampton tells M: “The 80s were a difficult period for me. My dear friend David got me out on the road, and on his Never Let Me Down record, and reintroduced me as a guitar player around the world.
“I can never thank him enough for believing in me, and seeing past the image of the satin pants and big hair to the guitar player he first met when we played together in school.”
The experience of working with Bowie rekindled Frampton’s love of playing. “I enjoyed touring with David so much I just wanted to go back out and play,” the guitarist says. “I hadn’t really played that much in the 80s.”
Last year the former Humble Pie member released a live DVD based on his FCA! 35 anniversary tour. That’s also helped him come to terms with the massive success of the original record.
He recalls: “There was a fear factor that kicked in when the thing got so damned big that it didn’t matter who you were or how clever or talented you were, you just weren’t going to follow it up.
“It’s something that I grew to appreciate for what it is. It went from being an albatross to something that I’m very at peace with and proud of.
“The day Frampton drops dead, the first sentence is going to be: ‘Peter Frampton, who was most famous for his album Frampton Comes Alive!…’ There’s no getting away from it, no matter what I do.
“If that’s the record I’m remembered for, I’m fine with that, for all sorts of reasons.”