’It Makes the Audience Feel Like They’re in the Living Room With You’: Peter Frampton on One Important Thing He’s Doing Live Now

As rock guitar legend Peter Frampton explains, there’s one important thing he learned from B.B. King that he’s doing for his live shows now. Rock music has changed and, as Frampton revealed in a recent interview on Vintage Rock Pod, he’s decided to have his whole band sitting down while performing. The guitar legend discussed this when he was asked to share a few words about his summer 2023 tour in the United States. First answering that this “was probably the best tour I’ve ever done,” Frampton then added (transcribed by Killer Guitar Rigs):

“I know it sounds so strange. We all sit down because I have to sit — I could stand, but knowing me, I’d wobble and fall over during a solo or something. [Laughs] So I sit down. I’d sat in with B.B. King before we lost him.”

“He supported me — I can’t believe I’m saying that — on one of our tours before we lost him. I would go out at the end of every show, and he was sitting at the time, so I sat down with him.”

B.B. King with Peter Frampton -- The Thrill Is Gone -- Wolf Trap, Vienna, VA, Aug 11, 2013

And it’s exactly the legendary blues master who he got this idea from:

“That’s where I got the idea from. The band stood up, but when we decided to do this — the summer tour, which was three, two-week periods, basically — I said to the band, ‘I think we should all sit down.'”

Although it may seem odd to some, sitting down actually improves the whole experience:

“I think it adds something, it makes the audience feel like they’re in the living room with you. It’s very interesting. But because everyone knows there’s a reason for me having to sit down, they’re also there knowing full well that things are getting more difficult for me.”

Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like I Do? (Live) Raleigh, NC 6-24-2023

Of course, Peter Frampton’s beginnings go all the way back to the 1960s. And, in the early 1970s, he got his solo career going with his album “Wind of Change.” Interestingly enough, the record also featured Ringo Starr playing drums on two of the tracks. Obviously, it was quite an impressive thing to get one of The Beatles members not long after the band’s dissolvement. Asked how that came to be, Frampton replied:

“Well, I had been with a friend of mine and George Harrison’s, and he was actually his personal assistant — Terry Doran, who had been John [Lennon]’s assistant first, and then George employed him. Terry was everyone’s friend, he was a wonderful man. We’ve lost him too.”

“We would meet up every now and again. I would go up to town and Soho, and meet him at the pub — The Ship, down the street from the Marquee Club. It was like a hang, you know? So we’re having a beer or whatever, and he goes, ‘Do you want to come to the session where George is recording?’ I said, ‘George who?’ [Laughs] He said, ‘Harrison.’ I said, ‘Oh my god, really?'”

Peter Frampton - Baby, I Love Your Way (Live At The Royal Albert Hall, 2022)

Getting the chance to meet Harrison is an offer no one could refuse:

“It’s my first Beatle meeting coming up, so I said, ‘Oh, really?’ So anyway, it was at Trident [Studios], which is on Wardour Street just down the road from down the alley, just down the road from the Marquee [Club], and the Flamingo [Club] and all those.”

“So we walked down there — I’d been in there before. The control room is on the street level and the studio is on the bottom, it’s down below. I walked into the control room with Terry, and George was behind the console.”

“He just looked up, and he goes, ”Ello, Pete.’ And I said, ‘Wait a second… Oh, he’s talking to me!” [Laughs] If the floor could have opened up at that point, I’d have ended up in the studio down below.”

Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like We Do - Live @ Arlington Theater - Santa Barbara, Ca -Aug 16, 2023

Going more into the matter of meeting Harrison, he said:

“So he comes over to me, and [says], ‘It’s so nice to meet you. Do you want to play guitar?’ I said, ‘Oh, now?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘What is it?’ He said, ‘Well, I’m doing my first production for the Apple label, it’s Doris Troy’s album, we’ve just written a number.’ He said, ‘Yeah, Stephen Stills is down there. [Laughs] And we, the three of us [Doris Troy, George, and Stephen Stills] wrote ‘Ain’t That Cute” — which was the lead single from [the] ‘Doris Troy’ album, which was the first album other than The Beatles’ on the Apple label.”

“So I go downstairs, and there’s Stephen Stills right there, as well as Klaus Voorman. I’m not sure if Ringo was on the first session, but anyway, George hands me what is now a very famous guitar called ‘Lucy’, which is the one that Eric [Clapton] gave to George and played on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. None of this I knew at the time, thank goodness. So he hands me the [guitar], he’s got a little Fender amp, I’m plugged in, and he shows me the chords. We start recording or routining it. I’m just playing very quiet rhythm because this is The Beatles’ lead guitar player here and there’s Stephen Stills, so I think I had to just be in the background here. And then halfway through, George stops, and he goes, ‘Pete, no! Man, I want you to play the lead licks.'”

“So I said, ‘Oh my God, this is too good to be true.’ Anyway, if you listen to ‘Ain’t That Cute’, which is the lead track of Doris Troy’s album, I’m playing the intro and the lick [that] keeps coming back every time, and then George did a little slide solo on it afterwards. But there it is, and that was the beginning.”

“Then he said, ‘Would you come back and play on the rest of Doris’ album?’, I said, ‘Uh-hum!’ [Laughs] So I ended up playing about five or six tracks. And, of course, then I met Ringo and so many phenomenal players there. So that was finished, and then two weeks later, George calls me up — he would always call me directly — and he said, ‘Pete, can you come and play on my album now?’ And I said, ‘Oh, yes, please!’ And he said, ‘Yeah, it’s just acoustic, it’s me, you, and three of Badfinger, and we’re gonna just… it’s Phil Spector!’ [Laughs]”

“So I walk in with my acoustic, Ringo on drums, and Jim Gordon from The Dominos on — it’s the Domino’s, basically — a couple of Beatles [laughs], Klaus [Voorman], and Gary Wright on keyboards. I ended up playing on about four or five tracks that week. And then again, another couple of weeks goes by, and another call from George, and he says, ‘Look, Phil wants more acoustics.’ I said, ‘There were five of us, how could he want more?’ And he said, ‘Well, it’s Phil, so more is better, more is good, right?’ And the kitchen sink production is Phil Spector.”

“Anyway, there’s me and George now — just the two of us — in Abbey Road, where the Beatles have done all their recording. I was all going through my head. We double-tracked or added acoustics to the four or five that I played on. And then they started, ‘Well this is going good, Pete, let’s put some more up, Phil, because this is sounding good, man.’ [Laughs]”

Peter Frampton Do You Feel Like We Do Midnight Special 1975 FULL

“So now my mind went completely… I said, ‘Well, I don’t know these, but show me the chords and I’ll… [laughs] sing me the chorus, I’ll give it a go!’ I’m a pretty quick picker-upper. So if you hear acoustic on ‘All Things Must Pass’, I’m on there somewhere. I’m sorry I don’t remember all the numbers I played on because, at that point, I was in seventh heaven.”

Photo: ceedub13 (Peter Frampton at the 2011 Ottawa Bluesfest)


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.