Peter Frampton. What wasn’t to love? Played guitar like Hendrix, possessed beautiful teeth and curly, blonde hair….spoke with an English accent.
He was a rock star! He had the largest selling Live record for quite a number of years in Frampton Comes Alive! He had an English accent, oh, did I already say that? Well, it should count twice! He was beauty itself. At least if you were a girl who lived in a small town and was 12. Words to describe me: Emulated. Infatuated. In Love! Imperfect, awkward, geek.
I don’t remember where I first heard him but I really thought that he sang directly to me. I don’t even remember the first time I saw him on television but I knew right away that he was the man of my dreams! I didn’t even care for boys with blonde hair, but on him? Amazing!
He wore the tightest pants and silk shirts, open to the waist and tied with a big knot. His hair was shoulder length and silky, wavy and multi-colored. When he spoke it was like hot caramel oozing from his lips.
No mere boy could compete! I bought all of his posters and filled my walls with his beauty. I bought all of his records and played them nonstop. I knew every lyric, every nuance……..every pause. I was gone, gone, gone…….
I bought fan magazines with information about him. I knew all of his favorite foods, colors and the car he drove. I knew his girlfriends and was seriously upset by their existence…
If I could have attended his concerts I would have but my parents would never allow it. Rock concerts? No. Captain and Tenille? Sure. Helen Reddy, Yup. Peter Frampton? No way! The crowd would be full of pot smokers and drunk people! No!
He starred in “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with the BeeGee’s in 1978 and I was there opening weekend. While I thought the movie was a little odd and didn’t really understand it, I was really excited to see him in it and looked forward to a bigger movie career.
When I heard that Peter had been in a very bad car accident later that year, I was devastated. He nearly died and I heard that he would probably never play guitar again. He did recover and continued to record, though at a slower pace and never did achieve the monetary success of the Alive album.
At this time my life changed and I put away my posters and moved my albums to East Lansing, finished High School and started college and my love and emulation of Peter Frampton dimmed but did not die. I no longer had the fantasy of meeting him and having him fall madly in love with me that I had entertained (but didn’t really figure out given our age difference!) as a middle school girl……but an ember still glowed.
Fast forward to the ‘90’s and I am living in Kalamazoo. I hear the most amazing news on my way to work! Peter Frampton is going to play the local venue! I called work to tell them I’d be late and beelined for the auditorium. I got tickets and called my sister to tell her she had to come down for that concert. I was finally going to see Frampton Come Alive! On stage, in front of me……….I could hardly breath!
The concert was amazing and he played for a long time! His hair was a bit gray and a bit shorter but he rocked it and was really something! His guitar playing was stellar and the young shy girl in me was replaced by this very happy adult fan!
I’ve seen him three times over the years and each show is terrific. Each time he’s been a little slower, hair keeps getting grayer, okay, whiter and shorter but he still plays guitar like a mad man and he puts on quite a show.
The really cool thing about my Peter is he is really awesome and down to earth. He married and moved to Ohio where he is very politically active in many of the same things I am, he has been clean and sober for a while which really improved his life and his kids are now in the limelight.
He does his own facebook page, which of course I am on, and he answers posts and interacts quite often…so I now have a more grown up admiration for someone who was such a big part of my formative years. I wrote a post on his page which he thanked me for a few years ago and basically I stated that I was an even bigger fan now that I saw him as an adult….someone with integrity, who believed in the same things that I believe in and who cares for the earth and for people and that I thanked him for being real and interacting with we humble fans. It’s really nice when you find out your idols are worthy of your respect! I guess you can say there was no disillusionment in this tale!