“I play rhythm, you play lead”: Peter Frampton recalls his first time recording with George Harrison

“George was behind the console and it’s sort of like an apparition, you know? [to] see a Beatle”

Peter Frampton / George Harrison

Photos: Ethan Miller / Tim Boxer / Getty Images

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A casual meeting with George Harrison quickly led to Peter Frampton sitting in on his very first recording session with the Beatle. Frampton, in a new interview, has recounted the tale of how he ended up playing lead guitars on the Harrison-produced Doris Troy single, Ain’t That Cute.

It was a mutual friend, working for Harrison at the time, that offered Frampton a chance to meet with the Beatle. “I said ‘Oh my god, yes’ – this would be the first Beatle meeting, you know?” Frampton recalled his excitement.

The meeting took place at the London-based Trident Studios, where Harrison was in the producer’s chair for Doris Troy’s 1970 self-titled debut; his first album produced for Apple Records.

“As I walked in [to the control room], George was behind the console and it’s sort of like an apparition, you know? You see a Beatle,” Frampton told Reverb.com.

Much to Frampton’s surprise, Harrison quickly extended an invitation for him to play on the track.

“George says ‘Do you want to play?’,” Frampton recalled. “And I said ‘Yes, okay’ and he hands me that red Les Paul – the storied Les Paul – [he] shows me the chords and we’re starting to play a little bit.”

Not wanting to “stand out” or overstep his boundaries on Harrison’s session, Frampton initially took a back seat role in the jam, choosing to play “very quiet”. However, this only prompted Harrison to stop the session.

Frampton said: “He stopped and he said ‘No – I play rhythm, you play lead’, and I said ‘Oh really?’”

“So that’s when I ended up playing all the licks on [Ain’t That Cute]”

Have a listen to the full track below:

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