Peter Frampton Still Thanking San Francisco For “Comes Alive” But Doesn’t Miss The Hair

There’s a great Frampton interview by Jim Harrington in Mercury where they talk about that famous San Francisco concerts in June 1975. Even though “Frampton Comes Alive” was recorded in three spots, San Rafael, New York and the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco it was the latter that left a true imprint on not only the singer but his fans.

“Frampton Comes Alive” was his fifth album after four great but largely unknown studio albums. It changed everything becoming the biggest release of 1976 in the U.S. Frampton says he owes much to San Francisco, he says, “I was a regional breakout (in the Bay Area). The audience in the San Francisco Bay Area was just more up on me than anywhere else, and that’s one of the main reasons why we chose San Francisco as the place to record the album.” In fact only months before “Frampton Comes Alive” was recorded the guitarist had already a more acoustic version of his set in the bag – recorded. It’s a much more intimate show, with a smaller audience, broadcast on San Francisco’s KSAN from Sausalito’s Record Plant. It was finally released in 2004. Frampton says, “I do know that KSAN was the station (in San Francisco). They said that they should rename it “KFRAM,” at one point there in the mid-‘70s, where it seemed like I took over that station. It was quite incredible, really.” 

When asked if he missed those golden locks from the cover of “Comes Alive” he says, “No. And, to be honest, I was kind of glad to see them go. I did try to hold on, though – I was a hold out. David Bowie tried to get me to cut it earlier than I actually did. Then I realized that there was probably a good reason to cut it, to make it look like something, because I was losing it. He adds, “Up until “Comes Alive,” they came because of the music and the guitar playing. Then, right after “Comes Alive,” the guys started going to the back of the room and the girls started coming to the front. And the front-cover syndrome, with me and my hair and my chest, seemed to take over and turned me into this sort of pinup teeny-bopper person, which really wasn’t the essence of what I was.”

By-the-way Frampton also recorded “Frampton Comes Alive II” in San Francisco – that one came out in 1995. 

We did a hole video feature on the album “Frampton Comes Alive” on our sister channel “Rock History Book”…we will have a link at the end of this video and in the description below. We hear Frampton has seen it. – by John Beaudin



Heading West by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (…)

John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.

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