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Humble Pie Alumni Look Back on Classic ‘Performance’ Live Album

Hulton Archive

After 40 years, Peter Frampton and fellow former Humble Pie member Jerry Shirley will revisit the ‘Pie’s classic live album ‘Performance: Rockin’ The Fillmore,’ with new interviews that will air this weekend on the syndicated radio program ‘In The Studio.’

The program will also feature excerpts from a rare 1980 interview with the late Steve Marriott, who will be posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year as lead singer for The Small Faces.

‘Performance’ captures Humble Pie at their fiery best, including a nearly 25 minute run through Dr. John’s ‘ I Walk On Gilded Splinters’ and the band’s epic take on ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor,’ which would become one of their signature moments. It was also Frampton’s final recording with Humble Pie – he left the group shortly before the live album was released (and as we all know, he later had a little bit of success with an album called ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’)

The union of Frampton and Shirley with former Spooky Tooth bass player Greg Ridley and Small Faces lead singer Steve Marriott was extremely fruitful, with Humble Pie cranking out four studio albums worth of material in only a couple of years prior to the release of ‘Performance’ in 1971.

For Frampton, the volume of their output came down to a simple reason – they needed fresh material to tour on, and the recording deals that they had inked stipulated that they would issue two albums per year.

Drummer Jerry Shirley explains that New York City’s Fillmore East was an easy choice as the location for the recording of ‘Performance’: “The sound of the room was the best sounding live room I personally ever remember playing. I think if you ran that question by just about any musician who played that room, they would all say the same thing. There’s a presence to the ‘liveness’ of that room. And that’s what made it special.”

Frampton recently recovered the 1954 Gibson Les Paul that he used to record the ‘Performance’ live album, more than 30 years after he thought it had been lost forever.

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