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Video performance of Frampton Comes Alive! (1976 version)

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Posted by Susan Whitall (The Detroit News) on Wed, Apr 1, 2009 at 8:58 AM

A funeral, and a blast from the past

Seeing Peter Frampton at Uriel Jones' funeral yesterday was quite the blast from the past for me.

Peter was the first interview I ever did for Creem Magazine when I was a cub music writer in the '70s. I told him that, and he retorted, "What year?"

I had to think for a minute. But it was just before "Frampton Comes Alive." I'd have to double-check the dates, but as a solo act (he had long ago quit the wonderful Humble Pie) he played an outside concert out in Ypsilanti with Ace and a bunch of bands. For the story, I went out on the road for several days with Frampton -- that's the way it was for non-newspaper music journalists for a long time.

Magazine journalists were flown around by the record companies (Being Creem writers, we would still trash the acts if we didn't like them). Newspaper journalists -- for large newspapers anyway -- weren't allowed to do that, which is still true of course.

But as a Creem writer you would be embedded with the band or artist; you'd fly with them, have your bags loaded by the roadies, go to the gigs, stay backstage and talk to the artist whenever possible.

I reminded Peter that we ran an item in Creem in the Rock 'n' Roll News column, that he wanted to record his next album at Hitsville, at Motown's Studio A. Our item prompted a strong response from Motown Records, a firm "Nobody will be recording at Hitsville" before Frampton even asked.

He was ticked. At us.

I didn't have to remind him about it, you kind of remember it when you're not allowed to record in the Snakepit ...but he let it go eons ago, he told me laughingly.

Frampton has been living in his wife's native Cincinnati for some time; he told me that his daughter Mia is an actress and is in a show that ABC Family might pick up.

He'll also be appearing at Meadow Brook Music Festival this summer.

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