Friday, October 26, 2007

When Peter Frampton Came Alive

In 1964 a young lad knocked on Bill Wyman's door of his house in Kent. "Have you got any old Beatle boots you don't want anymore?" The lad's name was Peter Frampton. By 1965 he was in The Preachers who released a Bill Wyman produced single ‘Hole in My Soul’ in the summer of that year. By 1966 Frampton was in the Herd and two years later he was hailed as 'The Face of '68.' By the end of '68 Frampton had left the Herd to form Humble Pie with Steve Marriott (ex Small Faces), Greg Ridley (ex Spooky Tooth) and Jerry Shirley (ex Apostolic Intervention). They made some great records together.

When Humble Pie fell apart Peter went his own way in 1971 and formed his own band. In 1976 they played a gig at San Francisco's Winterland, and as Peter says. "The night that the album was recorded was really the first time we had headlined a show.....and it was just one of those great nights when you think "I wish we had recorded tonight!" Well, thank god, we DID!" 'Frampton Comes Alive' is was another one of those albums I bought the week it came out and remains for me one of my favourite live albums. Songs like 'Baby I Love Your Way', 'Show Me The Way' and the album's opener 'Something's Happening' are superb pop/rock tunes. Peter Frampton, like Jan Akkerman, is one of the most underrated guitarists, although he won a Grammy for his album ‘Fingerprints’ a couple of years ago.

His 1976’s album's high spot, for me, is 'Do you feel like we do', nearly 14 minutes of great guitar playing, a classic car song. Having said that 'Lines on my face' never fails to hit the right spot. A few years ago Peter did ‘Frampton Comes Alive II’, it's not as good but it proves you can't keep a great guitarist down. Check out his web site for more, and get yourself a copy of Fingerprints while you’re about it.


r morris said...

I've loved Frampton's stuff since high school. Still have his LPs in vinyl. Frampton Comes Alive was I believe the first really huge live album (unless the Stones' beat it with 'Get Your Rocks Off'.

Richard, I did not know about FCA II, but I'm gonna go buy it.

Also, in case Richard Evans is reading this, I just looked at the insert on one of my WHO albums and noticed you did the designs. This was in the early 80's, the record with all the strange portraits of the band on the front.

Great choice. I have two copies of Frampton comes Alive on vinyl, just in case one gets scratched.

Richard Havers said...

Safety first Rob, always a good policy!

I played FCA last night and it brought back memories of driving my Hillman Minx, would they get away with calling a car a minx today? I coped the album onto cassette for listening to in the car, superb!

Richard Evans said...

Hello, Richard. Nice to see Frampton Comes Alive featured this week. The cover photo was taken by my mate Richard Aaron from LA. (All these Richards!). He told me that he showed Peter all the shots he'd taken the night of the concert and Peter chose the last frame on the roll of pictures. "You can't choose that one!" cried Richard, "It's out of focus!". Nevertheless, that's the shot that was used. Richard didn't mind because later that year he got a Grammy for Best Album Cover and has been best known for that shot ever since.

Hello Rob, glad to see that you noticed my credit. The lovely 'orrible 'oo have been my main clients for over 31 years - my first job photographing Keith Moon stark naked on a hotel sofa! A baptism by fire, if ever there was one. Which album were you lookng at, by the way? Sounds like it was either 'Who's Missing' or 'Two's Misssing'.

Richard Havers said...

Rich, what a story! I've always wondered why that shot was out of focus!

r morris said...

Richard H. , I got the Stones live album wrong. It was 'Get yer Ya-Yas Out', not 'Get Your Rocks Off'! That's what happens when I rely on my memory.

Richard Evans--The album is 'Face Dances'. It has sixteen portraits on the front by various artists, including Peter Blake, Bill Jacklin, Clive Barker, etc. The sleeve concept and design was by Peter Blake, but it lists 'Graphics by Richard Evans'.
This is a striking album cover.

Richard E--have you found that the advent of CDs has diminished the demand for good album art, or is the medium still going strong? One of the reasons I prefer albums is that I can look at the covers and inserts while I listen.

r morris said...

I also wondered why that shot was out of focus. I thought it was just because it was blown up so much.

Richard Evans said...

Hi Rob, the medium is still alive and healthy. CDs provide lots of variations on packaging that LPs didn't. You had front, back and a couple of liners - four 12" squares which, although they were bigger, were somewhat constricting. There again you could typeset in BIG type - not just teeny weeny 6pt.

'Face Dances' was a lovely cover and I was thrilled to be working with my hero Peter Blake. We've since become good pals and I see him quite frequently.

Richard H, thanks for the use of your blogspot for a bit of chat with Rob!

r morris said...

Glad to hear the medium lives, Richard E.

I have a hard time reading the inserts that come with CD's. Like you said, they are just to da-- small. I think Richard mentioned you did the art for the WHO's latest 'Endless Wire'. That works well on a smaller format. Great cover!

One minimalist record cover that I really liked from the late 70's was on James Taylor's FLAG. Remember that one?