The Truth About Peter Frampton’s Rolling Stones Audition

Early in Peter Frampton’s solo career, the Rolling Stones members Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts considered him as a possible addition to the band. But in a past interview with Steven Rosen, the singer made it clear that he never auditioned for the role. He explained:

“No, no, no, I did not [audition]. My bass player John Regan auditioned for the Stones when Bill left, not surprisingly. No, what happened was I had recorded the ‘Frampton’ record. It was out, and it was getting really good airplay around the country.”

About the record, Frampton said:

“It was my first small success. It peaked before ‘Comes Alive’ came out; it peaked at around 350,000 copies, which was as many as all my solo records together up until that point.”

Looking back on his departure from Humble Pie, he added:

“So I’m driving into Manhattan, feeling pretty good about myself. At this point, I’m thinking, ‘I’m on the way. It wasn’t a mistake to leave Humble Pie,’ which I’d been thinking all along. You know, ‘Oh God, I made a big mistake!’ especially when ‘Rockin’ The Fillmore’ shot up the charts, you know?”

Following the success of ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ in the ’70s, Rolling Stone put a shirtless photo of Frampton by Francesco Scavullo on its cover. Years later, the singer expressed regret about that picture, as it caused people to question his credibility as a musician.

In 2022, he told Classic Rock:

“So, now I’m hated by the guys and loved by the women. I’m back in the same position I was in The Herd. And it was so frustrating because I couldn’t control the way I looked. There’s an assumption: ‘Oh, you got there because of your looks.’ And I’m thinking: ‘Hold on, I really didn’t. I fought my way up as a guitar player.’ […] It’s not what I wanted at all.”

Still, the former Humble Pie guitarist went on to release new solo material in 1977. He recorded his next album, ‘I’m In You,’ at the same studio as Mick Jagger around those years.

The singer even asked Jagger about the band’s decision not to take him in despite including him in the possible choices when they crossed paths. In response, the Rolling Stones vocalist claimed that they knew Frampton would be successful at the time.