There’s a throwaway scene in the movie, Reality Bites, in which Ben Stiller & Winona Rider are wrapping up a first date. They’re sitting on the back of Ben’s convertible listening to Peter Frampton’s Baby I Love Your Way. Ben cannot believe that Winona had never heard this song or knew who Frampton was. Ben is aghast. He tells her that everyone had a copy of Frampton Comes Alive and that they shipped in the mail to every household, like samples of Tide.
Personally I don’t buy that Winona doesn’t who Frampton is. She would have been 5, so she was alive to witness the mania. They’re trying to show that there’s an age difference between the two, but all that means is that one heard it on the radio and one blasted it on 8-track in their Duster. To say Frampton owned 1976 was an understatement. He came seemingly from out of nowhere to become a superstar – the Mark Fidyrch of rock. Frampton Comes Alive, Peter’s 5th, was an album that did something no one had done before or after. It generated 3 Top 20 singles on the Pop chart, the oddest and least likely was Do You Feel Like We Do. Least likely for two reasons: 1.) It was the 3rd single from an album that practically everyone owned. And for a double LP, it was priced relatively cheap – only $6.98. 2.) [and most important] The song was 14 minutes long. Yes, insert joke here, where a DJ would play it and then drop acid, go to the bathroom, watch a movie, read Moby Dick, etc and finish before it was over.
DYFLWD had to be edited down to fit on a 45, which ended up still being 7 minutes and eighteen seconds, the longest 45 to hit the Top 10. (Hey Jude was 7:11 and I don’t count American Pie because that was broken up over 2 sides. November Rain by Guns N Roses was outside the 45 era, released on CD & cassette, so I don’t count that either.)
The single release makes me scratch my head. Why did they even bother? The track was being played on radio. But back then it couldn’t chart unless there was a single release (just like or un-like Stairway To Heaven). Why cut into the LP profit margin with a $.49 single just to get a 3rd hit? Two were plenty to sell an LP back then. The 45 edit is Frankensteined into a performance that sounds like your needle is constantly skipping from a fun, spirited performance, one that was recorded in Upstate NYafter the live album was recorded and finished. But you see, A&M Records wanted Frampton to really come alive all over two pieces of vinyl. So they stretched it out and added a few tunes, this being one of them and its most classic. But man the 45 was a travesty. I’d like to know how many kids carried around their portable Crossley and plopped this one on.
The original version was on his 2nd LP, Frampton’s Camel and is shorter than the 45 edit. (He had to let Bob Mayo on the keyboards, stretch it out…Bob Mayo!). He would end his shows with this tune, which is weird that he originally didn’t end the single LP version of FCA with it. Nevertheless outside of his talk box riffing, telling us he wants to fuck us as well as his volcanic guitar solo ending which I would bet the house on that Prince his doing his homage to Peter at the end of Let’s Go Crazy, there were the lyrics. Naturally they sucked.
Well, woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand.
Whose wine? What wine? Where the hell did I dine?
Nice, We learn that Peter’s been RUFied in the first few minutes. And nice dexterity to hold on that wine glass even while sleeping
Must have been a dream. I don’t believe where I’ve been.
Come on, let’s do it again.
Next we learn that Peter is a glutton for punishment.
My friend got busted, just the other day.
They said,”Don’t walk, don’t walk, don’t walk away.”
Who said don’t walk away? Your friend? His lawyer? The cops? A little help?
Drove him to a taxi, bent the boot, hit the bag.
Had to play some music, wonder why ze blaaah
So it sounds like maybe Peter’s friend got arrested, and Peter broke him out of jail cause he had to play a gig. Or Peter was still under the effect of the wine & pills.
Champagne for breakfast and a Sherman in my hand.
Peached up, peached Ale, never fails.
Good way to cure a hangover – a little Bubbly and a Stogie. The second line is a guess and my Frampton’s Camel LP doesn’t come with a lyric sheet, on which I believe he sings Blue Top, silver tails, never fails. Neither make a lick of sense, but by now I’m sure you’re used to it.
Must have been a dream I don’t believe where I’ve been.
Come on, let’s do it again.
Do you…you, feel like I do?
No, I don’t. I’m not a self-loathing alcoholic. I’m just a sucker who’ll sit through 14 minutes of you telling me how much you are. At least my man jams…
You know the live version. The 45 edit sucks. So enjoy this live performance from the Midnight Special: