Kenneth Womack, Ph.D., professor of English and popular music, interviews celebrated English guitarist, singer, and songwriter Peter Frampton on episode 32 of his “Everything Fab Four” podcast, which debuts Oct. 25. Frampton, a musical prodigy, taught himself to play the guitar at age 7. He spent his pre-teen years performing with bands including George & The Dragons, a group that included fellow up-and-coming musician David Bowie. Eventually, Frampton caught the attention of the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, and in 1967, under his mentorship, Frampton became the lead guitarist and singer for the pop group The Herd. In 1969, after achieving the adoration of teenaged fans with hit singles like “From the Underworld” and “I Don’t Want Our Loving to Die,” and after a stint with the blues-based rock band Humble Pie, Frampton decided to strike out on his own.
The popularity of his first three solo albums coupled with Frampton’s captivating live performances culminated in the 1976 live double recording “Frampton Comes Alive!,” which sold more than 10 million copies. The LP held the notable distinction of being the best-selling live rock album in history, while the singles “Baby I Love Your Way,” “Do You Feel Like I Do?” and “Show Me the Way” dominated the American charts. Considered the crowning achievement of Frampton’s career, the album influenced both “Billboard” and “Rolling Stone” magazines to name him Artist of the Year.
In the interview Womack and Frampton talk about his watershed live album, John Lennon’s legendary Rickenbacker and “Son of Dracula,” hearing an early “Sgt. Pepper’s” copy that had “fallen off the back of a truck,” and how Frampton came to play lead guitar to George Harrison’s rhythm on “Doris Troy.”