Peter Frampton revealed that he was asked to join Grand Funk Railroad. Frampton, who's currently in the midst of a North American farewell tour, gave a career-spanning interview to Guitar World magazine and was asked whether any other band tried to snag him after he left Humble Pie in 1971 and before he launched his solo career the following year. Frampton recalled, “Grand Funk asked me to join. Humble Pie had toured with them in America and Europe. It was a phenomenal tour, and I got to know the guys really well. So when I announced that I was leaving Humble Pie, Grand Funk were the first people to say, 'Will you join up with us?' I said, 'Well, I’m thrilled and honored that you would ask, but I’ve got to stick with my guns and go this solo route.' It was a nice offer, but I’d already made up my mind.”
When pressed about his post-Pie session work, Frampton admitted, “There’s so much I’ve forgotten. . . I did John Entwistle‘s Whistle Rymes. We’d become friends when (my first band) the Herd toured with the Who. John called me up to play on a track, and that afternoon I think I replaced all the guitars. And then, of course, I got to work with George Harrison. . . There was some work I did on All Things Must Pass, but before that I played on an album he produced for a singer named Doris Troy. She had sung on some Humble Pie stuff, and she was phenomenal. . . I was nervous as hell, but George was so kind and gracious. He asked me if I would like to play on the session. So I said, 'Well, OK. . .'”
Frampton remembered his first session with the former-Beatle: “He handed me his red Les Paul and I start playing rhythm, and halfway through the song he stopped and said, 'No, no, I want you to play lead.' That was a heady moment. I ended up playing lead on her first single, and then George asked me back to play on the rest of the album. . . I’m just like, 'I’ve got to pinch myself.' That was a very special time. And from there I played on Harry Nilsson‘s Son Of Schmilsson. Harry and I became lovely friends. He had his demons, like we all do, but he was the nicest man.”
On a nightly basis, Peter Frampton truly comes alive. He told us that upon leaving Humble Pie in 1971, there were no guarantees that he would have what it takes to make it on his own — but chose to build his audience, first and foremost, as a live act: “We just jumped on every tour we could. We did as many gigs as we felt like doing, really. It was in the days where it wasn't as prohibitive, obviously, financially to tour. So the way to do it — I'd done it with Humble Pie, and was gonna do it again — was to build a following by playing in front of as many people in the shortest space of time as I could.”
Peter Frampton performs on Thursday (July 25th) at Detroit's DTE Energy Music Theatre.