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Peter Frampton comes alive again

Peter Frampton is happily enjoying a long-overdue Grammy Award win for his 2007 instrumental album <i>Fingerprints</i>.

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Peter Frampton is happily enjoying a long-overdue Grammy Award win for his 2007 instrumental album Fingerprints.

Whatever Peter Frampton does, he does it with gusto.

The British-born rock legend has one of the best-selling live albums of all time (1976's Frampton Comes Alive) and he starred in one of the worst movies of all time (1978's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band).

"I run the gamut with what I do," he says with a laugh. "I'm either fantastic or I'm s - - -."

These days, the 58-year-old Frampton is feeling decidedly fantastic. He's still enjoying a long-overdue Grammy Award win for his 2007 instrumental album Fingerprints and lampooning his signature "talk box" guitar sound in a recent Geico car insurance commercial.

Friday, he'll roll out classic tunes like Baby I Love Your Way and Do You Feel Like We Do at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall. He recently took time out to answer a few questions.

I bet when you planned an October date in Tampa Bay, you didn't think you'd have to worry about having the World Series in town.

"No, I did not. But I'm sure glad there's a break."

"Frampton Comes Alive" is one of the best-selling live albums of all time. Were the '70s a golden age for live recordings?

"There were a lot obviously, from the Allman Brothers to Cheap Trick. A lot of live albums seemed to do well in that period. It doesn't seem to happen now. During that '70s period, you didn't need a single as a rock band. You just needed a good album."

That album is timeless, but your signature hair style back then, with the long golden locks, is gone.

"I've spent 30 years talking about my hair. I was the guy and Farrah Fawcett was the girl. We both had the same hairstyle. I just didn't answer to Charlie, that's all."

Speaking of TV, didn't you guest star on the WWII series "Baa Baa Black Sheep" with Robert Conrad once in 1978?

"It ended up being the last show of the series. Do with that what you will. My acting either finished the series or they were in a lot of trouble at the time. I loved that show. I thought it was great."

Appearing as "Billy Shears" in the Bee Gee's version of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was your other big acting adventure. Ever wish that movie would fall off the planet?

"Every time I release a CD, it's on TV again at that particular moment in time. Whether it's a coincidence or not, I don't know. Look, we've all made mistakes in our life. That happened to be a pretty big one for me and the Bee Gees. I've got one of the best-selling live albums of all time, and I'm also responsible for starring in the worst movie of all time."

Some of your signature hits like Baby I Love Your Way appear in literally dozens of movies and TV shows, especially those set in the past.

"I'm honored that my older stuff is time-stamped. What are you going to do? You can't change it. So many people obviously have my earlier stuff ... they've become staples. I realize now that my music will actually be played when I'm gone. And that's a wonderful thing to think and know."


An Evening with Peter Frampton, 8 p.m., Friday, Ruth Eckerd Hall. $49.50, $37.50.

To hear the complete audio interview with Peter Frampton, along with samples of his hit songs, click here.

Peter Frampton comes alive again 10/22/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:22pm]
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