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Peter Frampton on meeting Steve Miller & saluting Chris Cornell

Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Peter Frampton's joint summer tour with the Steve Miller Band is undoubtedly among the highlights of the 2017 season. Frampton and Miller actually go back even further than the pair's '70s glory days when they were both recording in London in the late-'60s at the Rolling Stones' legendary home base, Olympic Studios. Frampton remembered first meeting Miller, telling The Orange County Register, "Glyn Johns, the engineer of engineers, was working on Steve Miller’s very first Steve Miller Band album. They’d already done the tracks in the big room at Olympic and were in the mix room doing background vocals. I just remember being in total awe. First when I heard his guitar playing on the tracks, but then he was doing this incredible vocal overdubbing, the Steve Miller choir that only he can do."

He went on to say that the pair's paths crossed more often than not: "We would play together in theaters, we would play together in arenas, and then we ended up playing in football stadiums. We did a couple of dates in the last few years and just realized how good it was to be working together again, and we both said, 'We’ve got to make this happen for a summer,' and this year we did."

Frampton spoke about his nightly performance of the Soundgarden classic "Black Hole Sun," which has become an emotional tribute to Chris Cornell. Frampton recorded the song with Matt Cameron and Mike McCready back in 2006 for his Grammy Award-winning instrumental album, Fingerprints: "It’s a staple of the show. I actually got to play it once with Chris, when he went out for a solo tour. He invited me to come and jam and play my version for the first verse and chorus, and then he would come in and sing the rest. That was the biggest honor for me. I’d say it’s difficult and enjoyable at the same time. It’s difficult because I can’t help but think about him while I’m playing it as a friend. And enjoyable because I love the song. It’s a hell of a good piece of music.”

Frampton shed light on joining forces every night with Steve for a mini-set of blues standards by their idols Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush, and Elmore James, among others: "He said, 'You wanna do two or three numbers with me each night?' I said, 'Oh, absolutely!' He said, 'I'll send you a couple of songs.' He sent me, like, I don't know -- 40 songs (laughs) to choose from. And then once we narrowed it down to three blues-ish numbers to do, I then got the arrangement. . . the words. . . the this. . . emails to the band. . . to my band introducing. . . It was just great. He's just so thoughtful -- and that's the way I work. I don't think I've worked this closely with the act I'm touring with ever.”

Steve Miller Band & Peter Frampton tour dates (subject to change):

August 8 - Las Vegas, NV - The Colosseum At Caesars Palace  
August 9 - Costa Mesa, CA - OC Fair at Pacific Amphitheatre
August 10 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre  
August 12 - Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
August 13 - Murphys, CA - Ironstone Amphitheatre

Side Notes:

Peter Frampton is planning on writing his autobiography this fall once he wraps his summer dates. He spoke about finally putting pen to paper about his life and times, telling Pitch.com, "Things have finally cooled down on the book front. We've had Eric (Clapton)'s and Neil Young's and Pete Townshend's, so for a moment, it was like, 'Oooh' -- and Keith (Richards') -- so, I think I'm going to start doing one after the summer is over. I don't know how long it's going to take, but there's too many stories. It's the funny things -- I mean, even out of bad things, you laugh. You find it funny when you think about it afterward. There's a lot of humor.”


Check it out: Peter Frampton in concert on March 30, 2012 at Peabody Opera House

Peter Frampton: March 30, 2012

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Peter Frampton: March 30, 2012
Photo by: 
Todd Morgan, BackBeat-Photography.com

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