Jose Sena Goulao / EPA
Peter Frampton plays during a performance in Lisbon, Portugal, on Nov. 5. The background image shows the musician during the "Frampton Comes Alive" era.
Peter Frampton has an axe to grind. A long lost axe.
The legendary guitarist has been reunited with his prized Gibson electric guitar 31 years after it was presumed lost in a cargo plane crash in Caracas, Venezuela.
Frampton, who used the black 1954 Gibson Les Paul on the 1976 solo album "Frampton Comes Alive," was handed the instrument last month in Nashville.
The New York Times reports that someone recovered the guitar from the burning airplane wreckage in 1980 and later sold it to a musician on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. A two-year negotiation to return the guitar involved the local musician who had it, a customs agent who repairs guitars in his spare time, a diehard Frampton fan in the Netherlands and the head of the island’s tourist board, according to the Times.
"I am still in a state of shock, first off, that the guitar even exists, let alone that it has been returned to me," Frampton said in a statement posted on Spinner.com. "I know I have my guitar back, but I will never forget the lives that were lost in this crash. I am so thankful for the efforts of those who made this possible ... And, now that it is back I am going to insure it for 2 million dollars and it's never going out of my sight again! It was always my #1 guitar and it will be reinstated there as soon as possible -- some minor repairs are needed."
Check out Frampton playing live in this clip from 1975: