Legendary guitarist Peter Frampton spoke to Grammy.com about living with the autoimmune disease inclusion body myositis (IBM). IBM is a progressive muscle disorder characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness, and atrophy. Asked if he hopes to resume his farewell tour once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided, Peter said: "This is where I have to give you the realistic chat. Not you — I have to be realistic because we all have one clock. Well, we've got two clocks right now, worldwide, that we live with. One is our life-clock and one is the COVID clock. The COVID clock is stopping everybody from being around each other, for good reason, right now, obviously. And the more we stay away from each other, unfortunately, at this time, the better it is. But I have a third clock, which is my IBM — inclusion body myositis — clock. Slowly but surely, unfortunately, I'm losing strength in my hands, my arms and my legs. It's specific muscles it hits. It picks and chooses the muscles and there's no rhyme or reason for it. They don't know; there's no cure. If it takes another year before we can reschedule any dates, I will have to be realistic to see if my hands work or my legs will keep me up."
He continued: "That's what I have to deal with, and I think there's a certain level of playing where I won't perform anymore. If I can't play certain things the way I want to — I don't want to be that person to go out there and people feel bad for me because I don't play as good but I am Peter Frampton. That's not going to happen.
"If I go out having played my last show [near] San Francisco on October 12, 2019, if that's my last show, then so be it. But obviously, I am hoping more than anybody else that within a year — or if it is a year; I'm imagining it's going to be at least a year — if things aren't doing good, then that will be it for me, unfortunately."
Frampton remains one of the most lauded artists in rock history. He recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of his fifth solo album, "Frampton Comes Alive!", one of the top-selling live records of all time, with over 17 million copies sold worldwide.
At age 16, he was lead singer and guitarist for British band THE HERD. At 18, he co-founded one of the first super-groups, seminal rock act Humble Pie. His session work includes collaborations with such legendary artists as George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle, Mike McCready and Matt Cameron (PEARL JAM), among many others.
Frampton has appeared as himself on television shows "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy". He also served as technical advisor on Cameron Crowe's 2000 film "Almost Famous" as well as appearing in it and writing songs for the soundtrack. In 2007 he won the Grammy Award for "Best Pop Instrumental Album" for "Fingerprints" and in 2014 he was inducted into the Musicians Hall Of Fame.