Peter Frampton returns to headline New York's Madison Square Garden for the first time in over 40 years. Although he opened for Stevie Nicks at the venue back on August 5th, 1986 — Frampton last headlined the venue on August 1st, 1979 while on the road in support of his Where I Should Be album.
Back on May 9th, during Billy Joel's 70th birthday concert at the Garden, Frampton was the evening's surprise guest, performing a pair of Frampton Comes Alive! classics — “Show Me The Way” and “Baby, I Love Your Way,” and gifting the “Piano Man” his very own talk box.
The triumphant Garden return is a bittersweet one for fans. This tour is serving as Frampton's farewell to the the road. He announced back in February that he's suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called Inclusion-Body Myositus, that slowly weakens the body's muscles. Frampton was diagnosed over three years ago, after a series of falls that were out of character for him. Frampton admits he's unsure in a year's time if he'll even be able to still play the guitar.
Although Frampton's years as the top arena rock act were undeniably a blast, as he aged, Frampton looked back at the “Comes Alive” era in many ways as an isolating runaway train — and far different from the way he handled himself as one of rock's most respected elder statesmen: “If I was on the front cover of Rolling Stone once, it was twice, it was three times, in a very short space of time. And I'm not saying that being on the cover of Rolling Stone isn't a, sort of, pinnacle of success — and there's been songs written about it. But, all those little things that you learn that you shouldn't had done. . . Very difficult to be in the middle there. It wasn't a band; it was Peter Frampton. It wasn't Humble Pie; it was Peter Frampton. I didn't have three other guys to talk to about this.”
During a chat with CNN, the Grammy award-winning Frampton talked about how he's returning to some of the key venues and cities that played a historical part in his long and storied performing career: “Madison Square Garden is. . . when you first play that building, you know you've achieved something because that's an awful lot of seats to fill. Y'know, so it's a very exciting venue to play, because it's 'The Garden,' y'know? ”