Peter Frampton Reveals He Suffers from Rare Muscular Disease as He Announces Farewell Tour
The "Baby, I Love Your Way" hitmaker is opening up for the first time about his battle with inclusion body myositis
Peter Frampton is heading out on one final tour while he’s still able to play the guitar as well as he’d like.
One day after announcing he’d be embarking on a farewell tour — which kicks off on June 18 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is set to wrap up with an Oct. 12 stop in Concord, California — the legendary musician, 68, revealed that he’s decided to stop touring because he suffers from a rare degenerative muscular disease called inclusion body myositis.
In an interview with CBS This Morning: Saturday, Frampton shared that he was first diagnosed with the disease three and a half years ago after a fall onstage.
“I’m thinking of all the times in my life that I have something devastating [that] has happened to my career or in my family or me. I’ve brushed myself off, got myself up and changed directions,” he said of his outlook on the disease.
The “Baby, I Love Your Way” hitmaker told Rolling Stone that he decided to see a doctor after he collapsed from tripping on a guitar chord. A few weeks prior, he fell onstage while trying to kick a beach ball back to a fan.
According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, inclusion body myositis (IBM) is a “progressive muscle disorder characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness, and atrophy.” IBM typically develops in individuals after age 50, and generally speaking, the older the individual is, the more rapidly their IBM symptoms progress. There is currently no cure.
Although Frampton told Rolling Stone that his symptoms are worsening, right now he can still “play great guitar.”
“We are recording like maniacs at my studio in Nashville. We’ve done two albums already,” he shared. “I want to record as much as I can in the shortest space of time. We’re actually working on three projects. I’m very much feeling that I’m playing like always. Some people are saying even better, but I’d let them say that.”
He went on to tell CBS This Morning that right now “going upstairs and downstairs is the hardest thing for me” and he also “can’t put things up over my head.”
However, in time, IBM will likely affect his finger flexors, which could get in the way of his career.
“What will happen, unfortunately, is that it affects the finger flexors,” he added. “That’s the first telltale sign is the flexors, you know. So for a guitar player, it’s not very good.”
Frampton told Rolling Stone that it feels right to go on a big farewell tour because he’s “still at the top of my game.”
“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.’ ”
Making the tour even more meaningful, one dollar from every ticket sold for the tour will go towards to the research fund he created with Johns Hopkins University.
“It’s a very boutique — I hate to use that word, but it is — disease. Only 24,000 people in this country know they have it. But I’m sure there’s a lot more that just think they are getting old like I did,” he shared.
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In the meantime, Frampton will continue recording music while participating in a new drug trial at Johns Hopkins.
“If this is the farewell tour, then maybe if the drug trial works, there’ll be the miracle tour,” he told CBS This Morning. “I wish but I’m realistic too.”
“I’ve been playing guitar for 60 years. Started when I was 8 and now I’m 68. So, I’ve had a very good run,” he added.