Peter Frampton’s Les Paul Custom. In the 1970s, when Humble Pie was on the brink of a huge breakthrough, Peter Frampton had an iconic Les Paul Custom in his possession. The guitar helped the teen phenom and proto-metal guitarist become one of the most beloved musicians in rock history.
However, the guitar was almost lost for good in a cargo plane crash. It wasn’t until 31 years later that it was reunited with its namesake.
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Peter Frampton’s Les Paul Custom
Gibson has teamed up with Peter Frampton to create an electric guitar that pays homage to Frampton’s legendary Les Paul Custom — aka the “Phenix.” The Phenix was seen on the cover of Frampton Comes Alive! and was thought to have been lost forever in a 1980 cargo plane crash. However, it was later recovered.
The Peter Frampton Custom is a solid-body electric guitar that’s designed with comfort and resonance in mind. It’s equipped with three humbucking pickups for a versatile tone and has a jumbo-sized fretboard that makes it easy to play and feel the strings at all times.
It’s built with a mahogany body that features weight-relief chambers, the custom “Phenix” neck profile, and three humbucking pickups (neck: ’57 Classic, middle: ’57 Classic Plus, bridge: 500T). The jumbo-sized frets are comfortable to hold and provide a more even playing surface throughout the entire neck.
Some features enhance the instrument’s comfort and control, like a Tune-o-Matic bridge, Grover tuners, and Schaller strap locks. Additionally, it has a gold finish and Peter Frampton’s signature on the block inlay at the 12th fret.
Lastly, the Phenix has hardware that’s designed for professional use. It features proven Schaller Security Locks for absolute security on the strap, and a resonant combination of Tune-o-Matic bridge and lightweight aluminum stopbar to ensure direct sound transmission into the body.
As a result, this guitar offers a rich, full sound that has plenty of sustain and is very easy to play. It also has a comfortable ebony fingerboard with 22 jumbo-sized frets that offer an outstanding feel and playability up and down the neck.
In addition, the Gibson Custom Shop Peter Frampton Phenix Inspired Les Paul Custom comes with a Tune-o-Matic truss rod and lightweight aluminum stopbar, making it a well-equipped and extremely comfortable solid-body guitar. This is a great option for gigging pros and fans of Peter Frampton.
The Peter Frampton Custom is a high-quality guitar with a lot of potentials. It has a lot of different sounds to offer, and the quality of the wood will have little influence on the final tone.
Peter Frampton is a legend of the music industry, having toured the globe with his band Humble Pie and as a solo artist while garnering widespread recognition for his innovative guitar work. His guitar playing and songwriting have earned him a place among the top artists in rock history.
For a decade, Peter and his cherished 1954 Les Paul Custom carved a multi-million-selling career together. Its famed jumbo-sized body was the perfect complement to its powerful tone and signature talk box effect. Their partnership was showcased on some of rock’s most renowned recordings, including Humble Pie’s Rock On and Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive!, which became one of the best-selling live records ever released.
Unfortunately, after a long tour of South America in 1980, Peter was left without his beloved Les Paul, which was believed to have been destroyed in a cargo plane crash near Caracas, Venezuela. This devastating incident was only discovered later on, thanks to a Curacao customs agent named Donald Valentina who recognized the faded blue Les Paul.
The guitar was rescued from the wreckage and returned to Peter 30 years later, earning him the nickname Phenix. The Gibson Custom Shop has recreated this epochal Les Paul as an artist model, complete with the same classic cosmetic appointments including gold hardware and Grover tuners.
In addition, Gibson outfitted the Phenix with their iconic CustomBucker pickups. These humbuckers represent the company’s truest PAF-style offerings and are unpotted for extra bite and a hotter tone. They feature Alnico 3 magnets and more than 10,000 turns of wire, and they’re designed to evoke the sound of the original hand-wound pickups that were made in the ’50s.
The Phenix’s humbuckers also feature Gibson’s “Frampton Wiring,” which regulates the pickups via volume and tone controls for each position. The result is an incredible sound that can be shaped to fit any musical style or mood. Its versatility is just one reason why the Phenix has become a must-have for any serious guitar player.
Peter Frampton was a guitar player who had an incredibly long career, from forming Humble Pie at the age of 18 to becoming one of the most famous solo artists in history. He’s toured the world and recorded with many of the most famous names in music, including Stevie Nicks, David Bowie, Cheap Trick, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and more. His most famous album, Frampton Comes Alive, remains one of the top-selling live records in history.
His guitar is a 1954 Les Paul Custom VOS, which he calls “Phenix.” The nickname came about because he thought the guitar was destroyed in a cargo plane crash during his 1980 tour of South America. The story of how the guitar returned to Frampton is a fascinating one, but it’s even more incredible that the original instrument survived the crash.
The guitar was rescued in the 1990s, when a local musician brought it to a guitar repair shop in Caracas, Venezuela. The luthier, Donald Valentina, recognized the guitar’s appearance and was able to bring it to Gibson for repairs.
This particular guitar was used by Frampton on most of his tours and was a key component in his success. It was also the model he played on his debut solo album, Frampton Comes Alive!
When the guitarist was a teenager, he borrowed a shiny black guitar from a friend, and it was the first thing that truly sounded good to him. It was a three-pickup model, meaning it had a different pickup in the middle of the guitar. This additional pickup gave him a whole new sound that he never had before, and it became his favorite guitar ever.
In 1976, he used that same ’54 Les Paul on Frampton Comes Alive!, which was one of the most successful albums in rock ‘n’ roll history. He also played it on every single tour of his life, until the infamous cargo plane crash in 1980.
The ’54 was the only model that Frampton could play onstage, and it was the guitar that became his muse. He loved it so much, that when the crash occurred, he thought the guitar was gone forever.