Peter Frampton says he was making a statement when he took a fan's phone and threw it away at a gig earlier this month – and says the use of smartphones and tablets is out of control.
Frampton was playing at the Palladium in Carmel, Indiana, when a fan refused to stop taking shots. The exasperated guitarist then took the phone and threw it to the back of the stage.
And he says he would be “surprised” if people who take live footage at shows actually watch them.
Frampton tells USA Today: “It’s not so much what happened that night as to where we’ve come to. If one percent of the people who take iPad or iPhone videos of concerts watch them, I’d be very surprised.
“When I do a show, it’s my time, it’s about me. You haven’t come to see me if you’re in an armchair watching a video. It’s very distracting.”
Following the incident, the guitarist thought he would be in for a hard time, but says reaction has been positive.
He continues: “I thought I was going to be castigated but I was overwhelmed by the positive response. So many artists agree with me and the audience is fed-up watching with their heads buried in phones and tablets. Why can’t you just come to the concert and enjoy the moment?
“I was making a statement – it’s rock and roll.”
Frampton now has a new policy, allowing photos and film to be taken – but only during the first three songs. He says: “Then I ask them to put them down and I get applause every time I say that. When you put the phone down at the concert, there’s your 3D and HD.”
Frampton is currently on the road with his Hummingbird In A Box album – a seven-track project which came from a collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet.