Guitarist Peter Frampton has revealed he has a degenerative muscle disease and that his upcoming tour will be his last.
The English rock musician said in an interview with Rolling Stone published Saturday that he's had the disease, called inclusion body myositis, for four years, but didn't feel the need to announce it publicly until now.
"In a year's time, I might not be able to play. Right now, it's progressing but I'm still at the top of my game," Frampton told Rolling Stone. "We decided to do a farewell tour now since I don't want to go out and not be able to play well. If I'm going to do a farewell tour, I want to play good. I want to rock it. I know that this tour, I will be able to do everything I did last year and the year before. That's the most important thing to me. I want to go out screaming as opposed to, 'He can't play anymore.' I'm not going to do that. I'm a perfectionist and I can't do that. I want to obviously go out there playing my best at all times until I can't. That's why this is the farewell tour."
Frampton said he and his crew may do the same thing for some limited dates in Europe next year, but it’s not a guarantee.
According to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services, inclusion body myositis, or IBM, is a progressive muscle disorder characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness, and atrophy. The rate of progression varies from person to person, but the disease progresses more rapidly when it begins in older people.
"What will happen, unfortunately, is that it affects the finger flexors," Frampton told CBS News. "That's the first telltale sign is the flexors, you know. So for a guitar player, it's not very good."
Frampton told Rolling Stone some people who have the disease have their swallowing affected, but that has not been the case for him, which means he can continue to sing.
"There's no specific treatment for IBM, Frampton said. "They have traditional medicine that is working. They are coming out with some drug trials. I'm hoping to be involved with those. That is something that is in the future. Right now, the only thing that works for me is exercise. I work out like a maniac all the time. It's strengthening the muscle that I have. It seems to be the best possible thing for IBM is to work out every day."
Frampton has recorded dozens of songs for an upcoming double album, as well as a single album.
“I want to record as much as I can in the shortest space of time,” he said. “I’m very much feeling that I’m playing like always. Some people are saying even better, but I’d let them say that.”
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