Full Circle Justice For Frampton’s Stolen Dreadnought:<br>The D-42 “Frampton’s Camel” Signature Edition
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 21 - Jul. 2006
D-42 Peter Frampton
The loss of a great guitar can really hurt. For Peter Frampton, that guitar was a Martin D-45 he bought in 1971. “I left Humble Pie with just enough money to buy it. It was one of those inspiring guitars; I used it to write and record most of the tracks on ‘Frampton’s Camel.’ I toured with it in 1973 in support of the album, and between two concerts in Ohio, it was stolen.”
Peter Frampton went on to become a rock & roll icon. In 1976 he became an international star with “Frampton Comes Alive,” which became one of the biggest selling live albums in history, and produced three hit singles, including “Baby, I Love Your Way” and “Show Me the Way.” His next album, 1977’s “I’m in You,” went to #2 on the album charts, and the single of the same name also hit #2. His 1979 single “I Can’t Stand It No More” was a top 20 hit. In the 1980s, his single “Lying” received considerable radio airplay, and he played lead guitar on friend David Bowie’s “Never Let Me Down” album and on his Glass Spider World Tour. Nearly constant touring during the 1990s produced “Frampton Comes Alive II” album in 1995 and “Live in Detroit” in 2000, from which “Off the Hook” received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Instrumental. His 2003 album “Now” ranks among the finest studio efforts of his long career.
Yet for all his success, Frampton never forgot his vanished D-45. When Martin approached him regarding the creation of a namesake Signature Edition guitar, he suggested an instrument that would acknowledge and replace that special Martin. The D-42 Peter Frampton “Frampton’s Camel” Signature Edition does so in inimitable style.
The D-42 Peter Frampton Signature Edition features a superb combination of solid tonewoods for big, balanced Dreadnought tone. The Adirondack spruce top is reinforced with scalloped, forward-shifted 5/16" Adirondack spruce braces and matched to a back and sides of East Indian rosewood. The 1-11/16" (at the nut) low profile neck is genuine mahogany. Headplate, bridge and fingerboard are African black ebony.
Classic Martin Style 42 and Style 45 appointments abound, including colorful abalone purfling around the top, fingerboard extension and rosette; black/white fine line purfling on the sides, back, endpiece, heelcap, neck, and headstock; and grained ivoroid binding throughout (fingerboard and headstock included). A colorful Style 45 mosaic backstrip bisects the back, and original Style 42 (beginning at the 5th fret) snowflake position markers accent the fingerboard. Gold-plated Waverly tuners with ivoroid butterbean knobs grace the polished headstock and a tortoise-color polished and beveled pickguard protects the guitar’s top. The body of the instrument is finished in flawless polished gloss, with vintage toner on the top to enhance its vintage look; satin finish on the neck provides exceptional player comfort.
To acknowledge the “Frampton’s Camel” connection, a small camel in mother of pearl nestles beneath the Old Style Martin gold decal logo on the headplate. Peter Frampton’s signature in mother of pearl appears at the base of the fingerboard between the 19th and 20th frets. Pearl-inlaid bridge and endpins for this guitar are fashioned from genuine camel bone. The “Frampton’s Camel” logo is etched on the neck block and also appears as a watermark on each guitar’s interior label, which is personally signed by Peter Frampton and Martin Chairman C. F. Martin IV and numbered in sequence with the Signature Edition total.
Frampton already has received a protot ype of the D-42 Peter Frampton “Frampton’s Camel” Signature Edition and is very impressed. “It’s terrific. The guitar is perfectly balanced and plays like a dream. It’s new but already sounds better than my original D-45.”
Born and raised in England, Peter Frampton began learning guitar at age eight. By his early teens, he was playing in rock & roll groups, including the Preachers, managed by the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman. In 1966 he dropped out of school to join the Herd, which scored several British hits in 1967 and 1968. He left the Herd to found Humble Pie with former Small Faces singer Steve Marriott, but creative differences pulled the group apart in 1971. Three albums leading his own band, guest spots on albums by George Harrison and Harry Nilsson, and almost constant touring in the next three years provided the foundation for the success of “Frampton Comes Alive.”
The successes of the late 1970s and early 1980s were followed by leaner times, but Frampton remained fully involved in music with periodic album releases and tours. During the 1990s, in addition to his own projects, he recorded and toured with Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings and Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. He received the singular honor of appearing as himself on two animated television series: The Simpsons and The Family Guy. He appeared in and contributed songs to the 2001 movie “Almost Famous” and helped the actors in the fictional band Stillwater learn their rock & roll moves. In 2005, he contributed a track to “Les Paul & Friends: American Made, World Played” and also appeared at Paul’s 90th Birthday Salute in New York. Next up for Frampton is the September 2006 release of “Fingerprints,” an allinstrumental album on which he is joined by many of his musical friends and musical heroes, and a concert tour of the United States.
Delivered in a Geib style hardshell case, the D-42 Peter Frampton “Frampton’s Camel” Signature Edition guitar may be ordered as a left-hand instrument without additional cost; factory-installed electronics are an extracost option. Martin will accept orders from authorized C. F. Martin dealers for the D-42 Peter Frampton “Frampton’s Camel” Signature Edition until September 15, 2006, after which the number of guitars in this Signature Edition and the names of participating Martin dealers will be posted on the Martin website.