Peter Frampton at 60: Do you feel like I feel?

Tue May 11, 2010 2:58pm EDT
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By Steve James

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The cascading golden locks are cropped close now and he just turned 60, but Peter Frampton feels he has rediscovered the creative drive that made him one of rock's biggest acts.

He readily admits the energy that made his 1976 album, "Frampton Comes Alive" rock's biggest-selling live recording, got lost in an alcohol and drug-induced haze for many years.

"I got sober seven years ago. Not that I was a habitual user, but I would drink, and I would drug, whatever..." he told Reuters in a recent interview.

"I'd been doing it for a while and you never get to the point where you can think clearly enough to mature or to grow. It stunts your growth as a person.

"I had to do what I had to do to get where I am now, but what I'm saying is the clarity I have, the enjoyment of the creativity is so much greater," he said.

The British-born guitarist, who became a U.S. citizen after the 2001 attacks and now lives in Cincinnati with his third wife, Tina, says the proof is in his new album, "Thank You Mr Churchill." It finds him in introspective mood, and fittingly nostalgic for a man who turned 60 last month.

"I had this piece of music and an idea which was: What would it have been like if my Dad had not come back from the war? If the Allies had not won?"

He recalled growing up on the southern outskirts of London with still bombed-out buildings and his baby orange juice rationed well into the 1950s.   Continued...

<p>English singer and composer Peter Frampton performs at the 49th International Song Festival in Vina Del Mar city, about 75 miles (120 km) northwest of Santiago, February 22, 2008. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez</p>