Peter Frampton bids farewell to Madison Square Garden in final tour

Peter Frampton bids New York City farewell

Grammy award-winning guitarist Peter Frampton has been touring for 50 years. His 1976 album "Frampton Comes Alive" is still one of the best-selling live albums of all time — but this February, a sudden illness forced the 69-year-old to announce a farewell tour.

"CBS This Morning" joined Frampton backstage for his last New York City show, at Madison Square Garden. The Garden greeted Frampton with tributes on the walls and in the arena. He first played there in 1970 with his former band Humble Pie, and still remembers waiting to go on with drummer Jerry Shirley.  

"I just put out a big huge E chord on the guitar, and it just went 'Whaaaaaa!'" Frampton told "CBS This Morning" co-host Anthony Mason. "And I looked at Jerry and I went 'Wow! It's the Garden!'" 

Frampton would return to the arena repeatedly in the '70s after the blockbuster success of "Frampton Comes Alive," which spent 10 weeks topping the charts.

Peter Frampton on preparing for his final show: "I don't ever want it to end"

In February, Frampton revealed on "CBS This Morning: Saturday" that he has inclusion body myositis, a degenerative muscular disease. The rare and incurable inflammatory condition causes muscles to weaken slowly.

"Going upstairs and downstairs is the hardest thing for me," Frampton said. "I'm going to have to get a cane … And then the other thing I noticed … I can't put things up over my head."

Frampton was diagnosed about four years ago, after he fell over on stage. "I started thinking, 'What's going on?'" he recalled. "And so then two weeks later, I fall again on stage."

After his second fall, Frampton announced that this tour would be his last. "I feel good," Frampton said. "I feel it coming into the fingers, it's coming down my arm. But so far, it hasn't really affected my playing so I'm thankful for that." 

Taking the stage at Madison Square Garden, as he has at other arenas, Frampton said he noticed a different feeling in the room: "a feeling of love from the audience." 

Peter Frampton talks life after farewell tour


"They just don't want me to leave, it's awesome," he added. "They've been — my fans are awesome."

On the road, he's met other IBM sufferers, like a man who came up to him at a show to thank him. "He said, 'I went to all these doctors, I didn't know what I had, they didn't know what I had. And then I turned on the TV and watched you and Anthony talking,' and he said, 'You diagnosed me' … So there's people out there that, thank you, we really helped," Frampton said. 

Frampton will conclude his farewell tour next month near San Francisco, where he recorded "Frampton Comes Alive."

"It's completing the circle, you know, wonderfully," he said.

"Are you looking forward to that?" Mason asked.

"No," Frampton responded. "I try not think about this thing coming to an end."

On the night Frampton took his final bow at the Garden, he told fans, "I won't say goodbye," before leaving the stage he first set foot on half a century ago.

"I've not said goodbye anywhere," Frampton said. "I've just waved. 'Cause you never know."

Peter Frampton looks back on his 1970 Madison Square Garden show