Frampton Forgets the Words features 10 of his favorite songs, including Radiohead’s “Reckoner,” George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity,” Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” and Roxy Music’s “Avalon.”
The “Loving the Alien” cover is particularly personal for Frampton since he was childhood friends with David Bowie, and in 1987 he served as Bowie’s guitarist on the Glass Spider Tour. “Loving the Alien” was in the set every single night.
“I remember seeing David playing in a local band before I even went to the school since my dad was David’s art teacher,” Frampton told Rolling Stone in 2019. “I remember seeing this band play on the school steps and this thing with hair sticking straight up and playing the saxophone doing Elvis Presley songs. I looked at my dad and said, ‘Dad, who is that?’ He said, ‘Oh, that’s Jones.’ I said, ‘I want to be him.’ I was 11 at the time. That was how it started, so you can imagine what a huge thrill it was to eventually be brought on stage and playing with David. There is nothing better.”
The Glass Spider Tour came just 10 years after Frampton became a superstar thanks to the huge success of Frampton Comes Alive!, but he had fallen on hard times and Bowie offered him the job to help revive his career. “He saw exactly what was happening to me as far as where the image had got misconstrued, let’s put it that way, and knew me as a guitar player,” Frampton said. “So when he invited me to play guitar on Never Let Me Down and then the Glass Spider Tour, he had an agenda for me. He’s always been there on the other end of the phone to talk about stuff, kind of like an older brother.”
A few years ago, Frampton was diagnosed with the inflammatory muscle disease Inclusion-Body Myositis. The disease has made it difficult for him to play guitar, which is why he was midway through a farewell tour when the pandemic hit. “Right now, it’s progressing but I’m still at the top of my game,” he told Rolling Stone in 2019. “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.”
Frampton’s most recent show took place on October 12, 2019 in San Francisco. He hopes to be able to play a final leg in Europe at some point. “It’s specific muscles [the disease] hits,” he recently told Grammy.com. “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.”