Way back in June 2019, electric guitar icon Peter Frampton announced Finale: The Farewell Tour – a mammoth stint around North America, the UK and Europe that would bring the curtain down on his prolific live career.
Forced into live retirement as a result of his inclusion body myositis (IBM) that he was diagnosed with in 2015, Frampton was able to conduct the majority of his farewell tour before the Covid-19 pandemic stopped it in its tracks.
After a few years’ wait, Frampton was finally able to recommence proceedings earlier this month, and brought an end to Finale: The Farewell Tour – and thus his live career – on Wednesday (November 16).
The historic show took place at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Düsseldorf, Germany, and saw the Gibson Les Paul-wielding hero make his way through songs such as Baby, I Love Your Way, (I’ll Give You) Money and The Lodger.
Frampton also included renditions of Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun and Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia (On My Mind) in the first part of his set, before returning for a three-song encore that was composed entirely of covers.
After delivering renditions of Ida Cox’s Four Day Creep and Nickolas Ashford’s I Don’t Need No Doctor, Frampton eventually arrived at the last song he’d ever play as part of a solo tour, which just so happened to be The Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
The 10-minute version featured a fair amount of intro solo noodles, with Frampton clearly on a mission to savor every last second he had left on the stage.
Thanks to the extended runtime, there’s plenty of opportunity to hear Frampton’s farewell guitar work in action – guitar work that took the form of embellishing licks, improvised melodies and a handful of barnstorming guitar solos that Frampton loads with every bit of emotion he can.
It was an apt song to end on. Not only is it a track he performed numerous times throughout his career, it’s also a track that was written by his close friend, George Harrison. Frampton famously worked with the Beatle on the latter’s 1970 solo album, All Things Must Pass.
At the end of the song, Frampton addressed the audience with an emotional farewell, and refused to rule out the possibility of future performances after declaring he will continue to “fight” his condition.
“Thank you very much,” he said. “I want to let you know I’m going to keep fighting this, so let’s never say never.
“I have to thank all the people you don’t see but make us sound good and look good,” he continued. “I have to thank my entire crew, from the bus driver all the way to lighting and sound… everything. They have done an incredible job and make everything work every night.”
As per his previous announcement, Frampton performed the last remaining Finale tour shows sat down due to his IBM. Speaking to Classic Rock (opens in new tab), the Comes Alive! mastermind revealed, “My legs are not good. I can’t stand. That would be dangerous for me now, because I get so carried away when I’m playing that I’m liable to fall over.”
Though Frampton’s touring career has come to an end (for now), the guitar titan will still make an appearance at Joe Satriani’s G4 V6.0 in January.
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