Peter Frampton's On Stage Problems

Sometimes you just have a week where nothing seems to go your way.

July 28, 2017

© Ron Elkman / USA Today

Peter Frampton has had quite a week.  On Sunday night during his show in Welch, Minnesota, a cameraman kept his lens trained on a female member of the audience holding up a copy of Frampton Comes Alive instead of his guitar solo.  This caused Frampton to walk off the stage without saying anything. He went right over to the cameraman and tried to wrestle his camera away while reportedly asking why he was doing that and demanding to know who the guy's boss was.  Then he returned to the stage 10 minutes later, but without the aid of the video screens.  Some fans were stunned since they had no idea what was happening or why the screens went dark.  

By mid week, the Facebook Fury had hit his page and he issued an apology and explanation. Here's what he wrote on his Facebook page:  

"I have been crafting my live show for decades. I am always working towards it being the best possible performance we can give to entertain you, the audience. Because I love what I do I care an incredible amount about the quality of the music I give to my fans every night.

My band and I follow a carefully written script every show with moments to go off musically and take it to a new, different place. I don’t ever play the same thing twice because I’m creating something new and fresh every time.

When something happens to change the script, like a distraction out of my control, then it messes with the build of the show. This happened in Welch, MN the other night. ”I’ll Give You Money,” is a song that we break down to almost nothing volume wise and it grabs the audience’s attention and pulls them in to hear what we are doing—its one of the most intimate parts of the set for my band and the audience together. At this very climactic moment, the director of the in-house video displayed the audience on the screens, which distracted from the connection that we had worked to achieve. The moment was lost.

From the stage, we aren’t able to see what’s being displayed on the screen so we had no idea they were showing a long-time fan holding up my album cover. I feel very bad for her and totally understand the perception from out front at this point in the show. The screens are there for you to see our playing and what we’re doing close-up on stage from wherever you are in the crowd. I love that this is possible at todays’ shows.

After the first interruption, I asked the director through my backstage team to please keep the cameras on the band during this important part of the song, but the monitors changed again. After the show, the director admitted this was a “very bad call.”

I was frustrated because I felt we had completely lost control of this special moment in the show. I overreacted and tried to take the camera from the cameraman and left the stage to talk to the director. I reacted passionately because I care very much about giving you the best show we can possibly give every night.

I could not take the chance of the screens affecting the show again so I had them turned off. This was not the right thing to do and I apologize to everyone there. The most disappointing thing to me and the band is that it was such a great evening with such an incredible audience—we were all having a great time.

Once again, I sincerely apologize for my overreaction and look forward to seeing you all out on the road some time again soon."

 Frampton always asks his audience to kindly put away their phones and cameras, and to pay attention to the concert. He recently told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "It’s annoying, very distracting, and people don’t get the full picture. It’s this little, tiny picture they’re looking at and they put it on YouTube, and I wonder how many times they look at it. We’re in super HD on stage! Live in front of you! Watch the real thing!... I do ask people, strongly, to turn off the flash."

The woman who had the album that caused the meltdown had the cameraman sign it.  But there's more where she's concerned.  Frampton called her and personally apologized for his behavior. Sherry Tupa had no idea that bringing her copy of Frampton Comes Alive to the show and waving it above her head would cause such a fury.  

Click here to read the article from the Star Tribune about Frampton's call to his fan.

And now we hear that the movie "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will be out on Blu-ray on September 26th.  The 1978 musical, based on The Beatles 1967 album starring Peter Frampton,The Bee Gees,  Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Steve Martin and others, was a critical flop, but has since become a cult favorite.  You know, it's good because it's so bad?  Actually I sort of love Steve Martin's part in the movie a lot.  And Aerosmith kicks out a great version of Come Together.

I just hope everything is all settled down when Peter Frampton comes to Edgefield to play on Sunday, August 6th.  I love the guy, and the venue, a lot.  We've had him here at the station before, and I've interviewed him a couple of times, and seriously, he is a really lovely man.  So, I'll give him a lot of leeway on this because everyone has a bad week.  Even if you're a rock star!