Peter Frampton recently announced a final tour, "Peter Frampton Finale - The Farewell Tour,' which is set to kick off in June and run through October. Now, the legendary guitarist has also revealed that he has been diagnosed with Inclusion-Body Myositis (IBM), an inflammatory muscle disease that he says will eventually leave him unable to play guitar.
“[I]t was revealed to me that it wouldn’t just affect my legs and my arms, but it’s going to affect my fingers,” Frampton told Rolling Stone.
Frampton first began noticing symptoms about eight years ago, feeling weakness in his ankles and legs, and eventually his arms as well. After experiencing several falls onstage, he went to see a neurologist, who made the diagnosis.
“In a year’s time, I might not be able to play,” he said. "Right now, it’s progressing but I’m still at the top of my game. We decided to do a farewell tour now since I don’t want to go out and not be able to play well. If I’m going to do a farewell tour, I want to play good. I want to rock it. I know that this tour, I will be able to do everything I did last year and the year before. That’s the most important thing to me. I want to go out screaming as opposed to, 'He can’t play anymore.' I’m not going to do that. I’m a perfectionist and I can’t do that. I want to obviously go out there playing my best at all times until I can’t. That’s why this is the farewell tour.”
Despite the diagnosis, Frampton also stressed that he plans to perform and record for as long as possible, adding that he has three new projects in the works: “There’s a double album, but I can’t tell you what it’s about since that would spoil the surprise. We’re working on sorting out the release. Hopefully that will come out in June when the tour starts. There’s that and another single album that we’re finishing off tracking next week and then after, if I can muster it, we’re going to do yet another project. They’re all different.”
"Peter Frampton Finale - The Farewell Tour' is scheduled to kick off June 18 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The outing will feature special guest Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening, as well as Julian Frampton on the West Coast stops, with additional surprise guests to appear on select dates.
In 2018, Epiphone debuted new Limited Edition Peter Frampton Les Paul Custom Pro and Limited Edition Peter Frampton "1964" Texan acoustic/electric guitars. Incredibly accurate recreations of two of the most legendary guitars in rock ‘n’ roll, the two new instruments were designed by Epiphone’s luthiers in Nashville and overseen by Peter Frampton.
“I’m honored,” Frampton said in a press release. “I played the prototype Limited Edition Texan on a British TV show and it sounded incredible. And we’ve been working together for quite some time on getting this Limited Edition Les Paul Custom Pro as close as possible to my original “Phenix” Les Paul, which is on the front cover of Frampton Comes Alive. It’s just a really well-made true representation and I’m thrilled.”
Check out the full "Peter Frampton Finale—The Farewell Tour" itinerary here.