Peter Frampton

The award for most futile umpteenth comeback attempt goes to the unsinkable Peter Frampton, who appeared at the Fillmore in San Francisco in June for the purpose of recording material that will become "Frampton Comes Alive II." No kidding, this is the gospel truth. Mr. Frampton was recently interviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle regarding this matter. Here are a couple of excerpts, with commentary:

Chronicle: What can people expect from "Frampton Comes Alive II"?

Frampton: The staple favorites, plus stuff from the last album. And there will be approximately five completely new ones.

(Wow! Five new songs! How does he do it?)

Chronicle: Has your audience changed since 75?

Frampton: There are the same people and there are younger people. I've got children of my original fans coming now. That's the best feeling in the world, when you're transcending a generation. That's longevity.

(Read this to yourself in an English accent, and it sounds exactly like something David St. Hubbins would say.)

Chronicle: Do you plan to act again?

Frampton: Never say never, but not right now. I did a TV thing with Robert Conrad, "Black Sheep Squadron."

("Black Sheep Squadron" went off the air in approximately 1979.)

Chronicle: Will you still be performing with your shirt unbuttoned or off, like you used to?

Frampton: No. But I'll be in a tank top at least. I guarantee that.

(Does he mean he'll be wearing at least a tank top, or no more than a tank top? This is an important question.)

Frampton is the textbook case of a moderately talented artist who achieved a wholly disproportionate and unwarranted success early on in his career and then stuck around for the inevitable slide into dope, obsolescence and the bargain bins. It has been nothing but one disaster after another for Mr. Frampton since "Comes Alive" came out 20 years ago, and he's tried every classic strategy to get back on top, from making a movie (that catastrophic "Sergeant Pepper" film) to reforming his old band (Humble Pie). It was an indication of just how low Frampton had sunk that he actually gained credibility by appearing on David Bowie's Never Let Me Down album and tour, despite the fact that that period was Bowie's own artistic nadir. Making a "Comes Alive II" is apparently the last idea out there. We hope so anyway.

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