Legendary Guitarist Peter Frampton has said his next tour will be his very last after being diagnosed with a rare and degenerative muscular disease.
The 68-year-old revealed to CBS This Morning on Friday that he’s been furiously trying to record new music before his Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) prognosis takes too firm of a grip.
Frampton, who propelled himself into Rock mythology with his 1976 album ‘Frampton Comes Alive’, says he was diagnosed with the non-fatal but incurable inflammatory disease three-and-a-half years ago after a fall on stage.
Since then, he says the effects of IBM – which causes muscles throughout the body to slowly weaken – have accelerated in severity.
Now, Frampton says that come next year he may have to give up playing the guitar all together – but not before embarking on a farewell tour across North America.
In an interview with CBS, Peter Frampton (above) revealed he’s been suffering with Inclusion Body Myositis, a rare and degenerative muscular disease that slows muscle function throughout the body
‘Going upstairs and downstairs is the hardest thing for me,’ he told CBS’ Anthony Mason. ‘I’m going to have to get a cane…and then the other thing I notice, I can’t put things up over my head.
‘What will happen, unfortunately, is that it will affect the finger flexors.
‘So for a guitar player, it’s not very good.’
In an interview with RollingStone on Saturday, he further elaborated on the severity of his condition, warning that ‘In a year’s time, I might not be able to play.’
Though he says he’s already feeling the effects of his condition in his fingers, Frampton insists he’s still at the top of his game, recording 33 new tracks since October.
Frampton also says he’s one of the lucky ones, having seemingly escaped a 50 percent chance of IBM affecting his throat, the 68-year-old will still be able to sing.
Frampton says the disease will eventually start to affect his fingers, forcing him to give up the guitar
The legendary guitarist will be embarking on a farewell tour this summer across North America, playing iconic venues such as Madison Square Garden
His difficult decision to retire from the road indefinitely came after a nasty fall during a vacation in Maui with his daughter that left him feeling ’embarrassed’.
‘I’m a perfectionist and I do not want to go out there and feel like, “Oh I can’t, this isn’t good.” That would be a nightmare for me,’ he said.
‘I’ve been playing guitar for 60 years. Started when I was eight, and now I’m 68 – so I’ve had a good run.’
Frampton found modest success in Britain in the 1960s with his teenage band, The Herd, followed by a number-one single with Humble Pie, a band he co-founded with Steve Marriott of Small Faces.
However, the Kent-born virtuoso conquered the US as a solo performer after his blockbuster fifth album ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ spent ten weeks atop the album charts.
Born in the UK, Frampton made his mark in America after the release of his 1976 album, ‘Frampton Comes Alive’, which topped the charts for an impressive 10 weeks
He’d previously found moderate success in Britain with his two bands, The Herd (above) and Humble Pie (pictured Left to right: keyboard player Andy Bown, bassist Gary Taylor, guitarist Peter Frampton and drummer Andrew Steele, of the Herd in 1967)
The album, however, proved difficult to follow up and the next 10 years were plagued by a lack of commercial success. Frampton credits his school friend David Bowie (left) for reviving his career in 1987, when he was invited to play lead guitar on Bowie’s ‘Glass Spider’ tour
Though, in the album’s wake, commercial success proved hard to come by for Frampton.
The title track of his follow up album, ‘I’m In You’, managed to reach number one, but the decade that followed was plagued by a series of misses and flops.
According to Frampton, it wasn’t until his old school Friend, David Bowie, reached out to him in 1987 that his career saw a resurgance.
Frampton was invited to serve as Bowie’s lead guitarist on his ‘Glass Spider’ world tour, thrusting him back into the front-lines of musical consciousness.
Frampton says he held off breaking the next to his children Julian (left) and Mia (right), who were devastated when he finally did. He now credits them for behind his support network
Frampton says the career struggles he faced between 1977-87 are acting as the inspiration behind his positive outlook as his battle with IBM intensifies
What is Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM)?
IBM involves the inflammation of the muscles and affects associated tissues – such a blood vessels.
Overtime, IBM slows and weakens muscle functionality, sometimes even affecting someone’s ability to swallow.
It’s a non-fatal but incurable disease that can severely demobilize a sufferer.
Progressive weakness of the muscles, wrists and fingers, the muscles of the front of the thigh, and the muscles that lift the front of the foot are all symptoms of IMB.
Unlike in other inflammatory myopathies, the heart and lungs are not affected in IBM.
And his triumphant return from 10 years of darkness is the inspiration behind his positive mindset as his battle with IBM intensifies, Frampton says.
‘I’m think of all the times in my life that something devastating has happened to my career, or in my family, or [to] me,’ he said to CBS.
‘I’ve brushed myself up and changed directions.’
Frampton admits that he hesitated to tell his children, who, though were initially devastated by the news, have provided an incredible network of support for him over the past few years.
For the last time, Frampton will be heading out on the road this summer to bid a farewell to his fans, headlining iconic venues such as Madison Square Garden along the way.
In the meantime, Frampton is undergoing a drug trial at John Hospital in Maryland that is hoping to find a cure for IBM.
If it works, he promises there will be a global ‘miracle tour’ to celebrate his successful recovery.