Thanks to Uwe Nessler for this translation
Talk: Roger Hodgson about leaving Supertramp, his kids, and the important questions of life
Music as a key to the heart
From our editorial member Christine Maisch-Straub
He is one of the most gifted musicians of our time. With songs like “Dreamer” or “School,” Roger Hodgson has written pop history. But four years after he left Supertramp, a serious accident nearly ended his career. After a highly acclaimed performance at the Radio Regenbogen Ball of the Stars, the charismatic multi-talent spoke at the Hotel Steigenberger about dramatic failures in life, about a possible reunion with Supertramp, about his kids, and what happiness is about.
He tucked his shoulder-long hair behind the ears and focused his attention to his opponent: “Letīs get started.” Some of his hits are older than 30 years, but appearing timeless. How is he explaining this permanent fascination? He is taking time for the answer: “When I wrote them, I was young, full of dreams and questions. For example, ‘Logical Song.’ We go to school, getting educated, but we are still confused. Tell me who I am? A simple but profound question which is always remaining up to date.”
Family instead of career
To be there for his kids, even to teach them at home with his wife – “not to let them too early into the school system” – he already left Supertramp in 1983. “That was the main reason.” Most of the stories about controversy with colleague Rick Davies are not true. There were more influences from outside. Is it satisfaction for him, that Rick and Supertramp are “retired” while he is still filling the concert halls? Roger is laughing: “No, seriously, if Rick wants it, I will not stand in the way of a collaboration. We finally had a very close relationship. I am in harmony with myself, but a part of me would like to bring my story with Supertramp, especially with Rick, to a good end."
Deciding to stay with the family and against touring was not easy for him at that time: “But I never have regret it.” Are your kids digging your music? “Heidi has a beautiful voice. Andrew plays piano and is a good drummer. We are making a lot of productions together and he learned all the secrets from me. I am his biggest fan – and he is mine.”
There were also dark hours in Roger's life. In 1987, he fell off a tree and broke both wrists. “You will never play music again,” was the diagnosis. After ten years of fighting, “praying and physical therapy,” he took up the strings again. “It was an enormous challenge. I had to ask myself: How much will I like to be musician and share my talent with the people?”
What was his most touching performance? “Actually, this happens every time when I can discern from faces of the people what the songs can effectuate, that music can be something like a companion in difficult times. Thatīs how it is also for me. Music is a resource of power.” To see how people at the concert hall “are opening their hearts, that is happiness for me.” What he is no longer sharing with his wife, “not before the kids grew up,” he stated. Is there a new woman in his life? “No, but a lot of very good friends.” You believe that at once.
October 21, 2008