When Peter Frampton Played on George Harrison’s LP

Several years before he became a global superstar following the release of 1976’s Frampton Comes Alive!, Peter Frampton was sitting timidly with one of his all-time heroes, George Harrison.

Frampton, then a member of Humble Pie, was only 20 when he was invited into the studio in 1970 as Harrison worked on music that would appear on his landmark debut solo album, All Things Must Pass.

Harrison previously released two solo projects — 1968’s Wonderwall Music and 1969’s Electric Sound — while the Beatles were still together, but those instrumental records sounded nothing like the music he was making with his band. All Things Must Pass, released the same year the Beatles broke up, definitively established him as an independent songwriter, producer and arranger. The LP featured several guest appearances, including Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Gary Wright, and members of Badfinger.

Frampton played acoustic guitar on several of the album’s songs. Why Harrison asked him to play was never clarified, though it may have had something to do with Harrison’s interest in musical simplicity and subtlety. “Sometimes it’s not what you do, it’s what you don’t do that counts,” he told Rolling Stone. “And personally I’d rather hear three notes hit really sweet than to hear a whole lot of notes from some guitar player whose ears are so blown out he can’t hear the difference between a flat and a sharp.”

Whatever the reason, Frampton was eager to contribute to his idol’s album. You can learn more about the fascinating collaboration in the below video from our “Odd Couples” series.

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