Venerable rocker Peter Frampton, who announced in February that he has been suffering from inclusion body myositis, a degenerative muscle disorder, is reflecting on his future following the recent conclusion of his farewell tour.
"I feel great," the 69-year-old English musician, whose multiplatinum "Frampton Comes Alive!" (1976) remains one of music's highest-selling albums, told People magazine Tuesday. He noted, "It's starting to affect my arms and my hands a little bit, but it's not affecting my playing to a great deal, so I'm still enjoying playing. For how long, I don't know. It's very slow, the progression, but it's more the fact that I'm having trouble standing and walking and things like that, as opposed to actually playing guitar. I have to say that it's affecting everything, but not to the point where I don't feel my playing is 100%."
The Nashville-based Grammy Award winner said that next month, "I go to Baltimore, to Johns Hopkins [Hospital], to start the first drug trial, because I couldn't do that while I was on the road. As soon as I got off, I made an appointment to go and do that. That'll be a 10- to 12-month drug trial, so we'll see how that does. My cup is always half full, so I am very positive about it. ... And if not, I'll try the next drug, whatever it is."
IBM is characterized by chronic, progressive muscle inflammation accompanied by weakness, according to the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The onset of muscle weakness occurs over months or years, with falling and tripping usually the first noticeable symptoms. There is no cure nor a standard course of treatment. Physical therapy may be helpful in maintaining mobility, the NINDS says.
Except for the Kenny Rudin 2019 Keshet Concert benefit for people with disabilities, at which Frampton and his band performed Nov. 9 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, Illinois, the rocker closed his farewell tour Oct. 12 at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California.
"The whole tour, being the nature of what it was, was like completing the circle," Frampton told People. "The Bay Area was where we recorded 'Frampton Comes Alive!,' and so, as it happened, we were able to make the Bay Area the last date. The audiences on the whole tour were so encouraging and warm. Every show had this extra kind of feeling I got from the audience that I haven't had before. Obviously, I think it was because of my announcement. It was unbelievable the amount of love that I felt from the audience each night. In the Bay Area, people flew in from all over the world."
Frampton last played the New York area Sept. 13, with a concert at Madison Square Garden.
On Thursday he tweeted, "Happy Thanksgiving to All. I'm so thankful for my family. Much love to you and yours!