NEW YORK: English-American rocker Peter Frampton on Saturday revealed he has a rare degenerative muscular disease that could inhibit his ability to play the guitar, and that his upcoming tour will be his last.
The artist, whose 1976 album “Frampton Comes Alive” still reigns as one of the all-time best-selling live records, told CBS News he has been feverishly making music since his diagnosis with the incurable condition inclusion body myositis.
“Between October and two days ago, we’ve done like 33 new tracks,” the Grammy-winning guitarist told the US television network. “I just want to record as much as I can, you know, now, for obvious reasons.”
Frampton, 68, learned of his condition three-and-half years ago after a fall on stage, and last autumn began to feel his muscles lose strength more rapidly.
“What will happen, unfortunately, is that it affects the finger flexors,” he said. “That’s the first telltale sign is the flexors, you know. So for a guitar player, it’s not very good.”
For now, Frampton said he can still play — “but in a year’s time, maybe not so good.”
“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.”
Frampton broke onto the scene as a 1960s teen favorite as part of The Herd, before co-founding the band Humble Pie and jumping onto Britain’s charts.
His live album “Frampton Comes Alive” held the top spot for 10 weeks — but for a decade he failed to match that success, and saw his sales drop off.
In 1987 he got back on track: Frampton’s schoolyard friend David Bowie invited him to tour as the legendary glam rocker’s lead guitarist.
Frampton’s farewell tour will include stops at major arenas like New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The musician told Rolling Stone magazine one dollar from every ticket sale will go to a fund he is starting at the medical facility John Hopkins, where he is receiving treatment.
“You can’t really knock me down too far before I brush myself off, pick myself up and move on,” Frampton told the magazine. “Maybe a huge door is closing in my life, but then there’s lots of other doors that open.”