Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
BABY, WE STILL LOVE YOUR WAY
COME ON, YOU REMEMBER THE SOUND. Like a guy talking in your ear through a garden hose, from Jupiter. In 1976, that weird guitar/vocal effect (on the song "Show Me the Way"), tight trousers and, okay, some nifty ax work catapulted Peter Frampton to the position he still occupies: the singer with the biggest-selling live album in rock history. In the past two decades, his Frampton Comes Alive! has sold 15 million copies.
Now 45, Frampton, once known for his extravagant mop of curly blond hair and an effects-laden black Les Paul guitar, is back with Frampton Comes Alive II (El Dorado). His cherished guitar is gone—lost in a cargo-plane crash in South America in 1980—and so is much of his equally cherished hair. "As follicles seemed to leave me, I didn't want to be one of those guys with a ponytail down the back and shoe polish on top," Frampton says, "Better to go the Bruce Willis way."
The twice-married Englishman lives in Nashville with his pregnant fiancée, Tina (no last name, he requests; there are ardent, scary Frampton nuts who never quite got over "Baby, I Love Your Way"). What's in his CD player back home? The Best of Badfinger or maybe Miles Davis. But, he adds, he also loves Stone Temple Pilots. And he recently saw a "very impressive" video by Foo Fighters and wants to check them out. "Grunge was an eye-opener for me," he says. "It was a breath of fresh air to see bands playing with just angst and agony, guitar and drums, with no computers and synthesizers. Even though it means less room for me, it still gave rock and roll a kick in the a—."