Peter Frampton has issued a heartfelt and in-depth apology for what he calls his "overreaction" to a venue video crew's decisions during his show with the Steve Miller Band on Sunday (July 23) at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Welch, Minn.
Frampton was upset that a camera man was panning the crowd -- including fans holding up album covers for Frampton Comes Alive and I'm In You, during one of his guitar solos rather than focusing on Frampton and his band. Frampton stuck his face into the camera and uttered a two-word expletive, then led the band off stage after the song, arguing with the cameraman side stage.
Frampton and company returned to play two more songs, but with the video screens turned off at his request.
Frampton issued a social media message on Tuesday (July 25) explaining what happened:
I have been crafting my live show for decades. I am always working towards it being the best possible performance we can give to entertain you, the audience. Because I love what I do I care an incredible amount about the quality of the music I give to my fans every night.
My band and I follow a carefully written script every show with moments to go off musically and take it to a new, different place. I don’t ever play the same thing twice because I’m creating something new and fresh every time.
When something happens to change the script, like a distraction out of my control, then it messes with the build of the show. This happened in Welch, MN the other night. ”I’ll Give You Money,” is a song that we break down to almost nothing volume wise and it grabs the audience’s attention and pulls them in to hear what we are doing—its one of the most intimate parts of the set for my band and the audience together. At this very climactic moment, the director of the in-house video displayed the audience on the screens, which distracted from the connection that we had worked to achieve. The moment was lost.
From the stage, we aren’t able to see what’s being displayed on the screen so we had no idea they were showing a long-time fan holding up my album cover. I feel very bad for her and totally understand the perception from out front at this point in the show. The screens are there for you to see our playing and what we’re doing close-up on stage from wherever you are in the crowd. I love that this is possible at todays’ shows.
After the first interruption, I asked the director through my backstage team to please keep the cameras on the band during this important part of the song, but the monitors changed again. After the show, the director admitted this was a “very bad call.”
I was frustrated because I felt we had completely lost control of this special moment in the show. I overreacted and tried to take the camera from the cameraman and left the stage to talk to the director. I reacted passionately because I care very much about giving you the best show we can possibly give every night.
I could not take the chance of the screens affecting the show again so I had them turned off. This was not the right thing to do and I apologize to everyone there. The most disappointing thing to me and the band is that it was such a great evening with such an incredible audience—we were all having a great time.
Once again, I sincerely apologize for my overreaction and look forward to seeing you all out on the road some time again soon.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.