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LOS ANGELES (USA TODAY) — At a recent concert in Indiana, veteran rocker Peter Frampton got so fed up at being snapped by a fan's smartphone, he snatched it and threw it.

Now, in his first interview since the incident, Frampton — best known for the '70s-era mega-million seller Frampton Comes Alive double-album and hits such as Show Me The Way — explains why he did it. He says the use of smartphones at shows has gotten out of hand.

"I thought I was going to be castigated," he says. "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.

"It's like, why can't you just come to the concert and just live and enjoy the moment?"

Frampton's Twitter and Facebook feeds lit up with comments about the smartphone incident. Some argued that the rocker should get with the program and learn to live with how contemporary concertgoers enjoy shows. But he has no regrets.

"It was personal property, I shouldn't have done it, all that rubbish, but the guy got his phone back, it wasn't broken. He just didn't get the photos back." (The venue management in Indiana wiped them off the phone.)

Most concert halls announce at the beginning of the show that no photography is allowed. But if you've been on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram lately, you'll see that many, many concertgoers ignore the instructions and snap away.

Frampton now has a new policy: photos and video just during the first three songs.

"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 3-D, there's your HD."

One of the biggest questions on social media was why Frampton had to throw the phone at all. Why not just take it and put it down on stage. "Because I was making a statement. And it's rock and roll. So, tough."

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