Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
In many ways, Peter Frampton, who performed Thursday night at a soldout Capital Centre, has been good for rock.
Of course, rock has been good for him. Selling 14 million copies of a double album is bound to do something for a musician's security and finances. But the massive adulation of the last two years has been the result of methodical career planning, which included constant touring.
What Frampton has done almost singlehandedly is to remove the menace from heavy rock, replacing it with a wholesome, almost romantic innocence that still manages to rouse an audience.
It is immensely listenable music, with a solid mix of mellow ballads and agitated rockers. Frampton has been criticized as the Farrah Fawcett-Majors of rock, and his success has indeed been systematically orchestrated, and with his long hair and lean look he does somewhat resemble FF-M, as the Tele-Screen closeups verified.
But Frampton has talents, ranging from the feistiness and facility of his guitar playing to an extremely personable voice. He also has an uncanny ability to project vulnerability: The word "you" is ever present in his songs and Frampton's buoyant energy transcends the distance between him and his audience and makes his music very personal.