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Peter Frampton: Thank You Mr Churchill
PETERFRAMPTON.COM, January 2011 - Thank You Mr Churchill takes Peter Frampton back to the beginning. Literally.
"This album is very autobiographical. It starts with my birth, in which I thank Mr. Churchill for bringing my father back from the Second World War," says Frampton of his new set. "I woke up one morning and I wondered what would have happened if Winston Churchill hadn't been at the helm and the British and the Allies had not won. Would my dad have not come back? Would I be here? Probably not."
Mr Churchill is Frampton's first collection since his innovative Grammy-winning instrumental album, Fingerprints. "Since Fingerprints, it's been a very creative period for me," he says. "I wrote over 50 songs between Fingerprints and choosing what will be the 11 on the record. Awards aren't supposed to enhance one's creative juices, but they don't hurt. With the Grammy I feel validated as the musician that I always felt I've been."
Frampton, pairing primarily with Grammy-winning songwriter Gordon Kennedy, wrote all the songs on the album, revealing sides of himself never before seen. "Gordon is an incredible storyteller and that's why I think we work so well together," Frampton says. The song "Vaudeville Nanna and the Banjolele" is exemplary of that notion. "It's the story of how my grandmother gave me a banjolele when I was very young which started my entire musical journey. What I write has got be something I've experienced. The only way I can write, really, is from my heart. I think that's why this album is so important to me because I've tackled issues that I've never tackled before."
That includes looking outward on such songs as "Restraint," about the Wall Street meltdown, and the stirring "Asleep at the Wheel," about Megumi Yokota, a Japanese teenager kidnapped by the North Koreans in the ‘70s. "I was watching a program on TV about Megumi's story. The North Koreans were abducting children from Japan for years and years. She was on her way to school when she was 13 or 14, which is the same age as my daughter, and never heard of again. It is the story of the parents' struggle between the Japanese and the North Korean government. Rumor has it that Megumi is the nanny of Kim Jong-Il's children."
Just as some of the 11 tracks address Frampton's look at the world, a number of songs, including "Black Ice" and "I'm Due a You," touchingly and poignantly look at his life before and after finding sobriety seven years ago. "‘Black Ice' is a very personal song. It's about how fallible we all are," Frampton says.