January 26, 2019, rock legend Peter Frampton will receive the Les Paul Innovation Award at the 34th Annual NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards in Anaheim, Calif., joining an elite hall of fame that includes past honorees Jackson Browne, Joe Perry, Don Was, Slash, Todd Rundgren, Pete Townshend, Steve Vai, and Lindsey Buckingham. Considering that Frampton, now 68, has been playing since he was 7 years old, joined his first band at age 12 and has reinvented himself repeatedly throughout his illustrious career — and was named one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone — the accolade seems long overdue.
“Oh, well, I don’t know about that,” Frampton says humbly. “I’m just thrilled that I’m being put in that category of the other honorees.”
It hasn’t always been an easy road for Frampton. He struggled with the stigma of being a reluctant teeny-bopper star; suffered a near-fatal car accident; bore the brunt of the backlash surrounding 1978’s box office bomb movie musical, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and found himself in a late-’70s career slump after his overeager record label rushed out a follow-up album to capitalize on his phenomenally successful double concert album, Frampton Comes Alive! But over the years, this true survivor has maintained his guitar-god status through his solo material, his work with his past bands and his collaborations with everyone from George Harrison to his childhood schoolmate David Bowie.