Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Supertramp’s Roger Hodgson giving a little back to his fans

By Dean Goodman
March 2, 2011

Anyone who has ever been within earshot of a radio is familiar with Supertramp’s endless list of hit songs: ”Give a Little Bit,” “Dreamer,” “Breakfast in America,” “The Logical Song” … But the British singer/songwriter behind the tunes is, by his own account, “an unknown quantity,” not quite up there in name recognition with a McCartney, a Jagger or a Townshend.

“Roger Hodgson the name is not a very bankable name,” Hodgson told Reuters on Tuesday.

roger1Or, more to the point, promoters and agents in the United States are not quite as tuned in to his potential as their international counterparts.

Hodgson (pictured at the Grammy Museum on Feb. 28) quit the prog rock band in 1983 to focus on raising his family in verdant northern California. He returned to the business in 2001, and  is a hot commodity in Europe, South America, Canada and Australia.

But his 2011 U.S. tour consisted of two casino shows in southern California last week, and a showcase at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on Monday. From there, it’s a fairly full dance card of concerts in Canada and Europe through the end of October. Of the hundreds of shows he has performed since 2004, just seven were in the United States.

Hodgson hopes to launch a bigger U.S. tour next year, especially once promoters cotton to the fact that most of the fans on his website are from America.

Perhaps promoters are hoping Hodgson will rejoin Supertramp, which continues to tour under the auspices of co-founder Rick Davies. But don’t hold your breath.  After Hodgson quit, he agreed to let Davies take the band name on the condition that he use it as a vehicle for his own songs going forward. “Unfortunately that agreement was broken,” Hodgson said.

This was inevitable given that Hodgson wrote most of the band’s hit songs, while Davies’ biggest contribution was perhaps “Bloody Well Right.” Supertramp played seven Hodgson songs on its European tour last year, the band’s first outing in eight years.

Despite feeling “betrayed,” Hodgson said he still has a fondness for Davies based on their shared experience at the helm of one of the biggest bands of the ’70s. He made “overtures” to Davies about joining forces for a few shows for the benefit of fans, “and unfortunately was rebuffed” with the reasoning that a reunion would only benefit him and not Supertramp. Hodgson was philosophical, saying it wasn’t really something he wanted to do anyway.

Hodgson tours in three configurations: As a duo, with a band, and accompanied by an orchestra. The Grammy Museum gig saw him perform a half dozen songs with multi-instrumentalist Aaron McDonald. Hodgson alternated between 12-string guitar and keyboards, and then took part in a Q&A with a moderator, followed by questions from the fans.

“I’m not out here trying to have a rebirth of a career, or whatever,” he said. “I’m very happy that my songs are being remembered … It’s my way of giving a little bit of my love and passion to the world, and trying to do my bit to make things better.”

Other highlights:

* Most of his songs are a yearning to know God: “In every song, really, that was the place of longing for me. It’s always been a longing for love. And to me, God is love.” In a follow-up with Reuters, he said he was ”not a great espouser of organized religion,” but felt guided by a higher power when he worked himself into a pure songwriting state of mind. While he was wary of being preachy, he noted songs such as “Lord is it Mine,” “Even in the Quietest Moments” and “The Logical Song” — with the line “please tell me who I am” — were drawn from that mindset.

* Favorite songs: The Logical Song — “I nailed it;” Fool’s Overture – “I love that piece;” solo tunes Only Because of You and Lord Is It Mine; Give a Little Bit – “I thought it was too simple. I didn’t take it to the band for six years because I thought nothing of it.”

* Desert island disc – Debussy’s greatest hits

* Music industry woes: “Young artists really need sponsoring, need help to be allowed to grow. Record companies, for all their faults, they were the patrons of the new artist and we don’t have that, and they can’t afford to do it nowadays.”

(photos courtesy of Rob Shanahan and Howard Heckers)

Comments

This past year I happened to be on holiday in Paris and I was able to attend Roger Hodgson’s show there. What a magnificent experience I had. From that moment forward, I could not wait to see him in concert again. Imagine my delight when I found out he would be performing for two nights in California.

I had the tremendous fortune of seeing both of Roger’s shows this past weekend at Pechanga Casino and Resort in Temecula, where he kicked off his 2011 World Tour. What fantastic shows. Both nights were amazing. Roger owns the stage and keeps his audience mesmerized. Every single song performed was stunning and that voice of his is sheer perfection. I really believe Roger sounds even better today than he does on my Supertramp albums from 30 years ago.

In addition to some amazing material from his solo albums, it was so wonderful to hear the classics Roger wrote and composed such as Dreamer, Give a Little Bit, Fool’s Overture, Breakfast in America, The Logical Song, Take the Long Way Home, Hide in Your Shell….I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, both nights Roger mentioned that it was hard for him to choose which songs to perform and that “we could possibly be here all night.” If only that could have happened. Without a doubt the whole house could have listened to hours more.

I can’t wait to see Roger in concert again. One show ends and I am already looking forward to the next one. Get yourself to a Roger Hodgson concert. If he’s not performing near you, make a vacation out of it and see his show. You will be so very glad that you did. For tour details, visit Roger’s site at http://www.RogerHodgson.com or his facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RogerHodgsonOffi cial.

Posted by NumberNineDream | Report as abusive
 

Thank you for a great piece on Roger. He is one of the finest, most engaging performers I’ve ever seen. His shows are non-stop hits, performed perfectly. His voice is better than ever, and he has such a marvelous rapport with his audiences. It is truly a joy to see him perform.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to see Roger at Pechanga, but was fortunate enough to see him twice last year. I am very pleased to know that he is going to try to work more US shows into his schedule next year.

If you have an opportunity, don’t miss seeing Roger Hodgson perform. Whether he’s with his talented sideman, Aaron MacDonald, with his band, or with a full orchestra, his shows are an amazing experience. People of all ages leave Roger’s shows with smiles on their faces and, often, tears in their eyes. He’s fantastic!

Posted by JoniD | Report as abusive
 

Roger’s concerts are magical! He takes you on a journey, makes you enjoy the ride and you will never forget the experience! I have to repeat what’s already been said: his voice is shining brighter today than on the original recordings or former live recordings with his old band – seems the old band at some point was just baggage and he did right to free himself of that. If you don’t believe me, check it out – he’s got a CD with new live recordings from last year, it’s called “Classics live” and you can download it from his homepage.

There’s something another musician said which for me perfectly describes what Roger’s music and concerts mean to me: “One of the greatest compliments you can get as an artist is when people find sanctuary in your works – when they find room, space to linger for while. Imagery creates space and space allows growth. Combined with music you’re able to produce a haven, a sanctuary.”

Posted by Hairo | Report as abusive
 

It’s a shame that an artist of this quality, a musical genius, whose masterpieces like Fool’s overture will outlast us, like those of Mozart, is underestimated by the music industry!!!! Is this the fate of geniuses that their names are unknown or ignored by promoters and agents? The true music lovers have never been mistaken. While Mozart was buried in a pauper’s grave in 1791, all bells of Prag were ringing in his honor!!! Today’s music lovers aren’t mistaken either!. They ask again and again new concerts of Roger Hodgson!! Somebody who has once heard this great artist in concert, wants only one thing: to attend his live show again!.
Between reality TV and the “low-class’ musiciens” proposed by medias every day or the real artistes, there is a choice. Fans of Roger Hodgson have made their choise and promoters are wrong to ignore the real needs of music lovers! And, maybe, they should change professions. Because music education is needed!
While Mozart, who died so young, couldn’t see that his wonderful music have stood the test of time , Roger Hodgson can. His greatest hits, written at the time of Supertramp, have not taken a wrinkle!

Posted by miila | Report as abusive
 

I was able to attend both of the US performances at Pechanga Casino and Resort in Temecula, California and thank you for your honest responses of:

“more to the point, promoters and agents in the United States are not quite as tuned in to his potential as their international counterparts.” and

“Hodgson hopes to launch a bigger U.S. tour next year, especially once promoters cotton to the fact that most of the fans on his website are from America.”

I believe the US has not as easily recognized the gifts of Roger Hodgson. In my opinion this has developed from the time he spent in his former group where the people remained fairly faceless as the members of “Pink Floyd” had for many years. However, more and more his face and music are being connected and celebrated by the people in the US. The voice grows louder everyday asking for Roger to share his gifts more with the people in America……

One only needs to experience Roger performing one time and you will be hopelessly hooked. His humble presentation leaves fans completely understanding he knows where his power lays, the sea of faces before him. He gentle offering of his life through his music is spiritual experience that cannot be easily described in words.

Travel to see him for I have gone to Europe and across the US to experience his magic, you will never forget the time spent with Roger and his music…. never…..

For more information on where Roger is playing visit his website: http://www.rogerhodgson.com/documents/to ur.html
I sit thinking, “Where can I see Roger next…….truly”

Posted by Guitar62player | Report as abusive
 

Roger enjoyed himself playing and we enjoyed too in each show. It’s a big pleasure to attend his concerts, because magic flies in the air. Roger has a special connection with his fans since the first minute he is on stage. I feel shivers along my spine each time I hear his voice and his songs.

And, I must say, many friendships all around the world are born because Roger’s music. His fans are like an international family, and it’s a big celebration to meet and enjoy together attending Roger’s shows.

I’m eagerly awaiting his Tour in Europe, specially in Spain

Posted by nuskysa | Report as abusive
 

We have been lucky enough to experience seeing Roger in his solo show (with Aaron McDonald)and with an orchestra. This year we get to see him in the UK with his band. There are not many artists who can offer such a range of musical evenings. The concerts take you through a long history of Roger’s ompositions and the whole show goes by so quickly you are on a high from the concert but also have a sadness that it has gone by so quickly. This is not a performer who is on stage to promote an album…Roger gives 110% in every concert, taking the audience along with him. It would have been great to see Roger at the Grammy Museum, but failing that will contend with seeing him at the magnificent Royal Albert Hall in London in May this year.
Tazcee

Posted by Tazcee | Report as abusive
 

All you have to do is see Roger once & you will be forever changed… you’ll find yourself dreaming of his next show & even the one after that! Very few artists have an unchanged voice after all these years, and I promise you Roger *never* disappoints. He is the genius behind the many hits of Supertramp and this is the Breakfast In America World Tour with a full band! The audience will soon become your friends, sharing in all of the joy and the beautiful, ethereal music. Just imagine him, with his twelve-string guitar… “Even in the quietest moments, I wish I knew…” From one heart to another, go see him. You will leave glowing from the inside, your soul uplifted & a guaranteed smile on your face. :) “You find your way,” & “I’ll meet you when you’re there!” :)

Roger’s official sites:

Website: http://www.rogerhodgson.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rogerhodgsonoffi cial
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerHodgson
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/MrRogerHodgson

Visit the Tour Page at http://www.rogerhodgson.com/documents/to ur.html for the latest up to the minute news about added tour dates or changes. There you will find Roger’s complete schedule of shows, including ticket links, fan presale & on-sale information, maps, reviews, and more…

Message from Roger to All Who Came to His Recent Shows
“Thank you for welcoming me back to America so enthusiastically. I’m really happy to be back touring and singing my songs that have meant so much to you for many years. I often tell people that I have the greatest fans in the world – and I look forward to playing for many more of you this year.”

Posted by RissaCiociola | Report as abusive
 

Take my hand and come with me to a place you have never been before…to see Roger Hodgson is like a dream, absolutely surreal. This is the Breakfast In America World Tour, his largest tour in 30 years with a full band! Not only the co-founder, writer, & composer of many Supertramp hits, but numerous successful solo songs as well! “In Jeopardy”, “Had A Dream” & “Open the Door”, only to name a few!
I have seen him several times in the past and I intend to see him again many more… every time is better than the last! I have made many friends across the world because of Roger, he brings us all together in more ways than we can imagine. You can really tell the love he has for his fans when he plays. Your fan letters don’t end up in a pile in the corner, he reads them on stage & dedicates songs to fans in the audience. During the concert he even requests to keep the “house lights” on so he can watch you sing with him! Please give Roger a chance to change your life, he has absolutely changed mine. :)

Posted by RissaCiociola | Report as abusive
 

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