Peter Frampton is still alive and heading to San Francisco 

Most artists keep tight creative-control reins on their image, but not ex-Humble Pie guitarist Peter Frampton.

He’s well aware of his own pop-cultural trademark — the feather-haired, pinup-ready powerchorder on the cover of his multiplatinum 1976 breakthrough "Frampton Comes Alive!," an album he’s revisiting on a 35th anniversary tour that hits The City on Friday.

"But I’ve always had a great sense of humor, and I’ve never been the serious rock star with the serious poses," he says. "My music is very important to me, but as far as poking fun at myself? I’m the first one with my hand up."

He jumped at the chance to portray Humble Pie’s seedy road manager in Cameron Crowe’s 1970s-set 2000 flick "Almost Famous." He also appeared — in animated form — in both "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," just because they asked him to.

When "The Simpsons" people first phoned him, they explained that — as himself — he would be headlining a "Hullabalooza" concert in Springfield.

"And there was definitely silence on my end, until I said ‘But I wouldn’t be doing that,’" he says. "And then there was uncomfortable silence on their end, and I said, ‘D’oh! Joke!’ I instantly got it."

In his "Family Guy" cameo, Frampton is kidnapped by Death and forced to sing for Peter Griffin’s wife Lois.

"And the part where Death comes to visit me and I assure him that he should be at Keith Richards’ house, not mine? We actually use that clip in our current show, to introduce the second set," he says.

The first set is "Alive!," played in its entirety. The second part features Humble Pie chestnuts and material from his recent Grammy-winning, all-instrumental effort "Fingerprints" — "which I think is the best thing I ever did, because I did it solely for me," he says of the disc.

Unlike other Dorian Gray rockers from his era, Frampton has opted for a buzzcut and let his hairline recede gracefully, which makes him look much younger than his 61 years.

"I tried hair extensions for about six weeks, and it ripped out all the remaining hair I had," he says. "So I’m glad the hair’s gone, even though it’s definitely a fixation people have about me."

On tour, fans can relive those long-tressed days with a line of retro "Alive!" merchandise, and through a film-photo trip through Frampton’s past that culminates in a towering projection of that iconic cover shot.

"Then there’s little old me with the gray hair, in front of the mike," he says. "But hey, I plan on being around until the Scooter Store is our sponsor!"


Peter Frampton

Where: The Warfield, 982 Market St., San Francisco

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Tickets: $42 to $66.50

Contact: (800) 745-3000,

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Tom Lanham

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