Peter Frampton has accomplished a pretty unique feat: He’s the only guest artist on Dolly Parton’s upcoming rock album — aptly titled Rockstar — that appears on two tracks.
The guitarist explained to Ultimate Classic Rock in a new interview how he managed to pull this off. As it turns out, a friend of Frampton’s did some backup vocals on “I Want You Back,” Parton’s duet with Steven Tyler. This led the guitarist to phone his manager, who knows the country icon, to see if he could do a solo on the album.
“The next thing I know I’m on the telephone with Dolly’s producer, Kent Wells,” said Frampton. “He said, ‘I hear you want to do a guitar solo.’ I said, ‘Yes, I would love to do it.’ He said, ‘Is that all you want to do, a guitar solo?’ I said, ‘Well, I lowballed you with the guitar solo. I figured you had all your duets done.’ He said, ‘Well, would you ever think about doing one of your songs with Dolly?’ I said, ‘Let me think about … yes!'”
Wells told Frampton he’d get back to him, and he wasn’t kidding. Frampton says the producer called him back about ten minutes later saying Parton would love to record a cover of “Baby, I Love Your Way” with him. Obviously, he obliged and said Parton “takes it to a whole other level.”
But Frampton wasn’t done! He reaches back out to Wells saying that while he did an acoustic solo on “Baby, I Love Your Way,” he was also keen to record an electric solo. It was then he found out Parton was covering The Beatles song “Let It Be,” and she managed to get Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to sing and play drums on the cover. As if that weren’t enough, Mick Fleetwood is on the track, too, playing tambourine.
Understandably, Frampton jumped at the chance to play an electric solo on that cover. He said he’s “over the moon” about the solo, but stressed he doesn’t just stick to the same solo George Harrison originally recorded.
” … I’m gonna play Frampton,” said the guitarist. “But I did play through a Leslie [organ cabinet], but I had it on slow, not fast like on the record. It’s an interesting sound, and everyone seems to like it so far — even though I’ve transgressed the unwritten law and changed a Beatle thing. But I’m pretty proud of it.”
Rockstar comes out on November 17. The album is now available for pre-save on streaming platforms here. Meanwhile, fans can pre-order physical copies of the LP at DollyParton.com. There are over 35 guest appearances on Rockstar. Keep scrolling to see who else is appearing on the album!