Happy Wednesday and welcome to another installment of Music Musings where I take a closer look at a tune I’ve only mentioned in passing or not covered at all to date. The other day, I saw a Facebook post including a short clip of a beaming Peter Frampton announcing his Never Say Never Tour, which is launching on June 21 in Huber Heights, Ohio. With the English-American rock guitarist and singer-songwriter on my mind, I thought it would be cool to feature one of his all-time classics, Do You Feel Like We Do.
Credited to Frampton and the members of his band Frampton’s Camel – Mick Gallagher (keyboards, vocals), Rick Wills (bass) and John Siomos (drums) – Do You Feel Like We Do first appeared on Frampton’s May 1973 sophomore album titled after his group at the time. In September 1976, a live version of the tune also became one of three singles from the epic double LP Frampton Comes Alive!
Interestingly, I don’t particularly recall Frampton’s huge popularity in the ’70s. The one song I remember is I Can’t Stand It No More, the hit single from his May 1979 sixth studio album Where I Should Be. It does seem implausible that I didn’t hear other tunes like Show Me the Way and Baby, I Love Your Way on the radio back in Germany – I probably did but simply cannot remember!
Peter Frampton first became interested in music as a 7-year-old when he found his grandmother’s banjolele in the attic and figured out by himself how to play it. Later on, he taught himself the guitar and piano, and began taking classical music lessons at the age of eight. After playing in two bands, in 1966, 16-year-old Frampton became the lead guitarist of The Herd, a rock band that scored three top-ten singles in the UK between August 1967 and March 1968. The following year, he co-founded Humble Pie, together with Steve Marriott following that guitarist’s and vocalist’s departure from Small Faces.
After four studio releases and one live album with Humble Pie, Frampton left in 1971 and launched his solo career. His debut solo album Wind of Change appeared in May and July 1972 in the UK and the U.S., respectively. It featured an impressive array of guests, including Ringo Starr, Mick Jones and Billy Preston, among others. In February 2019, some 43 years into his career, Frampton announced his retirement from touring and a farewell tour due to inclusion body myositis, a progressive muscle disorder characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness and muscle wasting.
Last August, Frampton came out of retirement for what was meant to be a one-time performance at an event to celebrate what would have been the 85th birthday of Buddy Holly at the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences in Lubbock, Texas. Evidently, this encouraged him and in September 2022, he told Guitar World that while his legs would no longer allow him to stand with his guitar, he would perform the remaining European dates of his farewell tour while being seated. Coming back to Do You Feel Like We Do, here’s the great live version from Frampton Comes Alive!
Following are additional tidbits from Songfacts:
This song is about a hangover. Frampton would often write from experience, and at the time he was experiencing the effects of a night of drinking.
When he woke up that morning there was a wine glass by his bed, and he wondered how it got there (“Whose wine? What wine? Where the hell did I dine?”).
Still hungover, Frampton went to rehearsal and somehow remembered some chords he was playing the night before on his acoustic guitar. The band hashed out the tune and told Frampton to come up with some lyrics, to which he replied, “I can’t, I have a really bad hangover.” His bandmates told him to just write about that, which he did…
…On the live version, Frampton used a talkbox, a device hooked up to his guitar amp that allowed him to make distorted vocal sounds through a tube in his mouth. Other groups had success with the device around that time (Aerosmith used it on “Sweet Emotion” the year before), but Frampton became most associated with it thanks to his talkbox solo on this song.
Frampton [took] it to a whole new level: every time he formed words, the crowd went nuts, especially when he sounded out “I want to thank you,” which came out sounding like “I want to f–k you.” Soon, teenagers were crafting homemade talkboxes to imitate Frampton, often learning lessons on the dangers of electricity along the way...
…The live version runs 14:15, and when Frampton toured to support the album, it would often extend to 20 minutes. Played as the last song before the encore, Frampton would leave the for a while during the instrumental passage, then return for the big finish. Disc jockeys often used it as a chance to grab a smoke or go to the bathroom.
This was the only song on the Frampton’s Camel album that was written by the entire band: keyboard player Mick Gallagher, bass player Rick Wills, and drummer John Siomos, who had recently replaced Mike Kellie. The other original songs on the album were written entirely by Frampton, except for “All Night Long,” which he wrote with Gallagher.
Frampton has always stressed the communal nature of this song: he sees it as a crowd participation number, with the audience as much a part of it as the band. After the first verse, the crowd would often take over on vocals and pick up on Frampton’s gestures as he would point to emphasize the “you” in the title.
The live version of this song was a godsend to disc jockeys, who could put it on and take a 14-minute cigarette break (to give the voice that nice raspy sound). There were lots of FM rock stations with a freeform or album-oriented format at the time who eagerly played the track, and in some cases the entire album.
This is one of many era-appropriate songs used in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused, which is set in 1976. It also shows up in two episodes of That ’70s Show and in the “Homerpalooza” episode of The Simpsons, where Frampton appears in cartoon form.
There you have it, with all of the gory details. But, wait, there’s more! “I did say at the end of the finale shows ‘never say never’,” Frampton said in the above video announcement. “So I’m very excited to be on the road again this summer – yes!” Me too, and I got a reasonably priced ticket to see Frampton for the first time, in Bethlehem, Pa. on July 15th!
Sources: Wikipedia; Peter Frampton Facebook page; Guitar World, Songfacts; YouTube