MUSIC NEWS- This week, on February 18 at NYC's Beacon Theater, Grammy winning guitarist Peter Frampton will play his restored 1954 Gibson Les Paul for the first time. The long-lost guitar, now dubbed The Lady Pheonix, was recently discovered on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao after its disappearance in a plane crash 32 years ago. Frampton was reunited with the guitar in an emotional meeting in Nashville this past December. Now, with the help of the Gibson Guitar’s Custom Shop, Frampton will debut the recovered guitar during his NYC concert on his world tour celebrating the 35th anniversary of multi-platinum selling live album Frampton Comes Alive!.
Back in 1980, a cargo plane carrying Frampton’s equipment for an upcoming show in Panama crashed, supposedly destroying all of the instruments on board including Frampton’s beloved guitar. The Curaçao Tourist Board helped acquire the guitar from an individual after hearing news that they may indeed have a lead on the long lost and beloved guitar. Together in Nashville, TN at the Gibson Custom Shop, with experts from Gibson Guitar and Peter Frampton, the team confirmed it was the original guitar long missing from Frampton’s collection.
Frampton’s custom guitar was given to him in 1970 by a man named Marc Mariana when Humble Pie played at the Fillmore West. Frampton borrowed Mariana’s guitar for the show and afterward tried to buy it from him, “But to my surprise he said he couldn't sell it to me—he wanted to give it to me!” he notes.
Frampton played the guitar exclusively on Humble Pie’s Rock On and Rocking the Fillmore albums. The guitar also appeared on a number of sessions for other artists including George Harrison, Jerry Lewis, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, and John Entwistle. Most notably, Frampton played the guitar on the electrifying Frampton Comes Alive!, one of the top-selling live records of all time.
Frampton is thrilled to have the guitar back and to play it once again. “It was given to me, taken away from me via a fiery plane crash, then given back to me 31 years later. To think that I would ever play this guitar again is beyond belief. After some repairs have now been finished at Gibson in Nashville, I will be able to play it on stage at the Beacon Theater, NYC Saturday, 18th Feb. It will be one of those days I won’t forget as long as I live.”