In the popular consciousness, he'll forever be associated with one album, one of the quintessential records of the 1970s with an iconic cover that depicted him as an angelic-looking pop star.
But Peter Frampton was a guitar hero long before "Frampton Comes Alive!" came out in 1976 and made him the biggest star in music for a year or so.
He's 64 now, and his famous flowing curls are long gone, but Frampton is still drawing concert crowds.
The fans who come to his shows now, he said, want to hear it all. They like the "Frampton Comes Alive!" tunes, but they also want the songs he did with the Herd, with Humble Pie, and from the Grammy-winning instrumental album he released in 2006.
"My audiences have really good memories," Frampton said in a phone interview from his home in Nashville. "I have an acoustic guitar that I used with Humble Pie, and when I pull that out and tell a story about it -- I have a lot of guitar stories -- it always gets applause."
Frampton will be in Sarasota next week, for a concert Wednesday at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Frampton isn't the mainstream pop star he was in the 1970s, but he hasn't been taking it easy these days. He's just finished a year-long tour co-headlining with the Doobie Brothers, and in June he released "Hummingbird in a Box," an album of music inspired by works of the Cincinnati Ballet. (Frampton used to live in Cincinnati, and the ballet has choreographed several pieces to his music.)
"It's come full-circle," he said of his career. "With the Herd and Humble Pie, I was known as a guitar player, and then I was thought of as a pop singer, and now, because of 'Fingerprints,' an instrumental album that absolutely everybody told me I shouldn't make, and that I ended up winning a Grammy for, it's back to the guitar."
He liked touring with the Doobies, but he's having a better time on this current solo tour.
"On this one," he said, "we get to play as long as we want."
Frampton said that he's sick of all the songs on "Frampton Comes Alive," but he's still obviously proud of his legacy.
At a recent concert date in Arizona, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, came backstage. Giffords, still recovering from being shot in 2012, came up to Frampton and put her hands on each side of his head.
"Red hair," she said in a halting voice.
Kelly corrected her, because Frampton's hair is no longer red.
"But she was talking about the red hair I had on 'Frampton Comes Alive,' and saying she missed it," he said. "It was such a touching moment and we've become friends."
Details: 8 p.m. Oct. 1, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $52.62-$95.42. Information: 941-953-3368, vanwezel.org.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.