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Peter Frampton and his favorite guitar are together again following a 31-year estrangement, the New York Times reports.
The singer, who played the Gibson Electric Guitar on his 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive!, assumed the instrument had been wrecked in 1980 when a cargo plane crashed in Caracas, Venezuela, en route to Frampton’s concert in Panama. As it happened, the guitar was recovered — and sold to a musician on the Caribbean island of Curacao.
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“For 30 years, it didn’t exist – it went up in a puff of smoke as far as I was concerned,” Frampton told The Times in an interview.
Lo and behold, eons later, the 1954 Gibson Les Paul — made of Honduran mahogany — was back in Frampton’s hands last month, following two years of talks with the Curacao musician who owned it, the Times said. Also involved in negotiations: the head of the island’s tourist board, a Dutch Frampton fanatic and a customs agent who moonlights as a guitar repairman.
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The tourist board official, named Ghatim Kabbara, wound up buying the guitar and personally dropping it off at Frampton’s Nashville home. Frampton, emotional over the return, said he had fallen in love with the instrument after receiving it as a gift during a 1970 Humble Pie concert in San Francisco.
“I used it for both sets and my feet didn’t touch the ground,” he recalled. “This is the best guitar I have ever played.”
Frampton is known for such 1970s hits as “Baby, I Love You Way,” “Show Me the Way and “Do You Feel Like We Do.”
He released his 14th studio album, Thank You Mr. Churchill, in 2010. He also toured North America with Yes in support of the disc.
Last year, Frampton embarked on a 35th-anniversary tour of his hit album Frampton Comes Alive!
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