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arthur stead

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I just came across this video of me with Peter Frampton for a 1998 Hard Rock Live TV special.  Didn’t even know it existed!  

At the time I was living in New York City, earning a living as a composer and studio musician.   Out of the blue I got a call from my old boss Peter, whom I hadn’t played with live since I left the band in 1981.  (We did co-write a song for one of his albums in 1985).  Anyway, Peter’s regular keyboardist had another commitment, so he asked me to join them for this event.  So that’s me on keyboards, guitar and vocals, Peter’s long-time bassist John Regan on bass, and Shawn Pelton on drums.

Neither Peter nor John had ever worked with Shawn before.  But I had done some studio recordings with him and also booked him for some jingle dates.  Peter had heard Shawn’s drumming as the house drummer for the Saturday Night Live band, and so they hired him for this gig.

We had just two rehearsals, one with just the rhythm section, and the second with Peter joining us.  We hadn’t played together for 17 years, but incredibly, when we did the actual Hard Rock Live filming, it felt just like yesterday!

Due to the show’s time constraints, I did not get to do the traditional improvised keyboard solo on Do You Feel, but did get to solo on Baby I Love Your Way.

Anyway, below is the link.  (You’ll notice Peter and I both had much shorter hair than we did the 80’s).  

I hope you guys enjoy!

 


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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow! That's really cool Arthur. It's late. I'll watch the rest tomorrow. I always loved that weird vocal thing that sounds like an instrument. Very solid rhythm section. That level of tightness requires a LOT of repetition i.e. practice and performance. Well done!

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Anthony Vinson

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Reply with quote  #3 
Very cool! Watched - with volume cranked to 11 - during my morning tai chi. Amazing that you guys were so tight with so little practice. Impressive. That's professionalism. I am not a musician, but I am a music lover and enjoyed the show. Thanks for sharing.

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JohnnyNewYork

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Reply with quote  #4 
Arthur - that is so cool!! Only the very best earn livings as "studio" players (especially in places like NY or LA); you guys are the real deal! GREAT JOB - very impressive - thanks for posting that clip! - johnny
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Rudy Tinoco

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Reply with quote  #5 
Wow!! That’s is incredibly cool, Arthur! You all sounded great!

I bet you have some fun stories to tell.

Thanks for sharing this with us!

Rudy


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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #6 
Awesome! Did you do him any card tricks?
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #7 

Thanks, fellas!

Shawn and I were each individually sent a tape of the songs about a week before the performance.  Of course, having toured with Peter for 2 years back in the early 80’s, I had played those songs hundreds of times.  So re-learning them was kind of like riding a bicycle.  It comes back to you pretty quickly.  None of us had ever heard Peter’s new song (second one on the video), so that was a brand new one to learn.

After the rhythm section rehearsal two days before the filming (during which we focused mainly on subtle details for each song which had evolved during the past 17 years), Peter joined us the next day and we ran though each song just once.  Everything went super smoothly so there was no need to over-rehearse.



 


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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michaelblue
Awesome! Did you do him any card tricks?


Haha!  No card tricks, Michaelblue.  But right before the end of my second stint with Frampton (2005 - 2007), I sat the guys down at a hotel near the pool and performed card magic which blew them away.  Best comment I got was “world class!” 


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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #9 
Nice!
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arthur stead

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Reply with quote  #10 

In 2006 or ’07 we recorded an all-instrumental album called Fingerprints, which won a Grammy.  One of the tracks on the CD was Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun.  Because Peter had invited a few other musical legends to play on this project, he wanted to recreate that sound live for the subsequent tour.  So we hired Gordon Kennedy as an extra guitar player.  Gordon’s a great guy but it wasn’t my favorite line-up.  I favored our original 4-piece with me playing keys and doubling on guitar.  Having an extra guitarist meant I had to play keyboards on some songs I preferred playing guitar on.  Plus, for our live PBS Soundstage taping in Chicago, I was shunted way off to the side, so that made onstage communication harder.

Nevertheless, as you’ll hear from this video, we did create one heck of a sound!  That’s Shawn Fichter on drums (now with Tim McGraw & Faith Hill), John Regan on bass, and Gordon & myself (purple shirt) on rhythm guitars.  The picture quality is poor (best to watch in smaller size), and the sound level is very low, so crank up the volume!  You’ll hear Gordon and my guitar parts are split left and right, with Peter in the center.




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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #11 
Love the tone Peter is getting on that Les Paul. Well done all around.

Mike
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