Interview with Supertramp's Roger Hodgson

Singer/songwriter Roger Hodgson (www.RogerHodgson.com) will be “giving more than a little bit” to his fans when he plays one show only on Saturday, October 7 at Seneca Allegany.

 

Hodgson co-founded the band Supertramp with Rick Davies, which released their first album in 1970. Selling over 60 million records during the 14 years his legendary voice and songwriting talents made its undeniable sound in the music industry, the list of hits kept coming … “The Logical Song”, “Breakfast in America”, “Give a Little Bit”, “Take the Long Way Home” and “Dreamer”.

 

I recently caught up with the singer/songwriter and we talked about his leaving the band after 14 years and the reason why … in which he says was a good decision that led to his being in good shape physically and spiritually today as he garners rave reviews as a solo artist.

 

“The way I'm touring is really under my own conditions now,” said Hodgson. “My belief is that I'm in a service industry. Never a day goes by that I do not express gratitude for the privilege and blessings of being able to do what I love for a living and make people happy.”

 

For ticket information visit www.senecacasinos.com and click on Allegany.

For more information on Hodgson visit www.RogerHodgson.com. 

To view recent montage from Hodgson click over to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fVQ2Rq2U0o

 

 

A CONVERSATION WITH SUPERTRAMP’S ROGER HODGSON

 

HULICK: We are so excited you are playing the Seneca Allegany Casino on October 7 in Salamanca, NY. Do you have a message for your fans who will be attending? 

HODGSON: I'm very excited about coming up and playing the Buffalo, New York area again. I have many wonderful memories of that part of the country and I'm happy to be playing the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino for the first time. Fans are going to be in for a treat. The band has never sounded better and the songs that have been with me for so many years have never sounded better - “Breakfast in America”, “Take the Long Way Home”, and many others.

 

HULICK: Your career as lead singer of the legendary group Supertramp was huge, but you have had a remarkable solo career since you left the group. Did you have any doubts when you made the decision to go it alone, and how do you feel it has turned out?

HODGSON: I did not leave Supertramp in order to go it alone. It was really a question of following my heart and trusting that what I was feeling was the correct choice. I knew I had to change my lifestyle … to make raising my kids a priority. It wasn't just that I left Supertramp; I left the music industry for quite a long period of time, for many years.

 

HULICK: When you made the decision to come back, were you concerned about it at all … with the reaction from not only the industry, but from your fans?

HODGSON: I had no idea what would happen to my music career both, in leaving Supertramp, and also in taking the sabbatical I did from the music industry for so many years. It was a huge leap of faith. All I knew is that I had to follow my heart … which was telling me to stop for a while and be present as my children found their formative legs and grew up. I did not know what to expect when I came back to stage again. Initially, it was me alone on a stage putting out feelers to see if people even remembered me … and here I am 16 years later from those formative steps. The happiness from so many people to see me again, to hear me again, and to hear the songs that I've written has been overwhelming. I feel like the luckiest man alive. Looking back, it was a good decision. Supertramp had been my life for 14 years and I'm very proud of the legacy that I contributed to and the songs that I gave birth to during that time, many of which I still play today and they still sound as fresh as ever. I think my time away from the music business was very good for me and is one of the reasons that I'm in such good shape physically and spiritually today. People always tell me I'm singing so much better today than I did with Supertramp and I can hear it. It's not because my voice is better, but I'm better on the inside.

 

HULICK: You started writing songs at the age of 12, after learning guitar, and had your first concert of original music at age 13 all while at boarding school. It’s been said your guitar became your best friend during those days. Had you not gone to boarding school, would you still have pursued music?

HODGSON: I inherited my first guitar from my father at the age of 12 when my parents got divorced. Yes, it did become my best friend at boarding school in England, and it was where I went to express the deeper questions and deeper longings of what was happening inside me, as well as the difficulty in finding answers to it all at school. Who knows if I would've had the drive or the same dreams that music provided me had I not gone to boarding school? I think so. Certainly the experiences of boarding school gave me a lot to write about, “The Logical Song” being one obvious example.

 

HULICK: An interesting piece of music trivia had you recording your first single, “Mr. Boyd”, with a session band that included pianist Reg Dwight, who became known as Elton John. I hope you have a video or photos of that somewhere.

HODGSON: Many people would think I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, having my first recording experience as Argosy at the age of 19 being with a session band that included pianist Reg Dwight, who later became known as Elton John. I remember being pretty awestruck at the level of musicianship that I was suddenly surrounded by and the whole experience. The song “Mr. Boyd” became very close to being a hit in the UK, which would've probably changed my destiny because I wouldn't have met Rick and gone in a different direction with Supertramp. 

 

HULICK: The 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana just passed at the end of August. You played at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium per request of Princes William and Harry, which became one of the “goosebump moments” for them as well as the 65,000 attendees, when all stood and sang along with you. What were you feeling at that moment?

HODGSON: I always regretted never meeting or playing for Princess Diana because I had so much love and respect and compassion for her and because she was such a fan ... specifically of my songs that I wrote and later recorded with Supertramp. That regret was healed when I had the chance to honor her memory at Wembley Stadium when Princes William and Harry invited me to be a part of the concert honoring their mother.  It truly was a goose bump moment for me as well, when the whole of Wembley Stadium stood up to sing “Give A Little Bit” with me … including Princes William and Harry. It was hard for me not to burst into tears.

 

HULICK: What one song title of your songs from the Supertramp catalog, or your solo catalog, best describes the four decades of your career?

HODGSON: That's a difficult question. I would have to maybe say “Dreamer”, as I'm a boy whose dreams really have come true.

 

HULICK: What song title would describe your personal life?

HODGSON: I would probably have to say “Only Because Of You”, as I cannot separate my life and musical journey. With my deep longing to understand and know God, “Only Because Of You” represents the inner inspiration and longing that has driven me to write many of the songs that have come through me.

 

HULICK: What’s next for Roger Hodgson? Working on any new projects?

HODGSON: One year at a time (chuckles). I have a very busy touring year this year, and again I'm so happy to be playing a handful of select shows in America, and happy that one of them is in Salamanca.  I do hope I can get a few of the 60 plus songs that I have burning a hole in my pocket that I have not recorded out there somewhere for fans to hear. Otherwise, now the demand to see me is growing and I'm unable to fulfill all the requests around the world for me to come and play. I expect to stay pretty busy for the foreseeable future … touring and playing my songs for my fans. I am greatly looking forward to seeing our friends and fans in Salamanca on October 7.

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