Grammy winning Les Paul Custom icon Peter Frampton will be featured as part of the ongoing Conversations Series at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music on Monday, December 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets will be available to the public at the Blair School’s administrative office starting Monday, November 18, at 10 a.m.
“Few artists in the history of popular music have earned the combination of commercial success and critical acclaim that Peter Frampton enjoys, and an even smaller number are still at the top of their game decades later,” says Jen Gunderman, a senior lecturer at the school as well as a working keyboard player currently on the road with Sheryl Crow. Gunderson will conduct the conversation.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to him about his adventures,” she says.
Those adventures began at age 16, when Frampton became the lead singer and guitarist for the Hard. Two years later he was in the super group Humble Pie. As a session guitarist, he’s cut tracks with George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle and many fellow legends others. And, of course, there’s his historic fifth solo album, the electrifying Frampton Comes Alive!, one of the top-selling live recordings of all time.
Like Frampton, his trademark three-pickup 1954 Les Paul Custom has also had its share of adventures, including appearing on Frampton Comes Alive!, which sold 10-million copies upon release in 1976. Frampton acquired the guitar in 1970 during a three-night stand opening for the Grateful Dead at the Fillmore in San Francisco. The instrument was thought to be lost forever after it went down in a cargo plane crash over Venezuela in 1980. However, the guitar was recovered from the jungle site and circulated for years in the collectors’ underground before being returned in Frampton in late 2011.
The Blair School of Music’s Conversations Series started in 1995 with Chet Atkins. Since then fiddler Mark O’Connor, songwriters Steve Earle and John Hiatt, country picker Marty Stuart, Mark Knopfler and piano playing pop star Ben Folds have been among the featured artists.
(Ted Drozdowski, Gibson.com)