His Story: Roger Hodgson of Supertramp

michele mcmanmon

National Music Examiner

Posted: March 8th, 2011 8:11 pm ET


Roger Hodgson of Supertramp
Photo: Michele McManmon

Roger Hodgson of Supertramp was honored The Grammy Museum a few weeks ago with a evening dedicated entirely to his talents.  Sharing his amazing musical abilities, insights, passions, and thoughts with the crowded room of older fans was an unusual delight.  Playing some hits around a lengthy Q&A, Hodgson was accompanied only by a keyboardist/horn player, which was incredible to watch  given the complexities of sounds in each song being so easily and simply executed.  Favorites “Long Way Home”, “Give a Little Bit”, “Breakfast in America”, and “The Logical Song” reverberated the genius of Hodgson.  http://www.rogerhodgson.com

“My songs come from a very personal place inside me, they carry my dreams and philosophy of life” Hodgson explained.  “Take a look at my girlfriend” was the one song that taught him a great lesson.  “I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that song.  My girlfriend didn’t like it, and it was the quickest way to end a relationship” he laughed.  Humor about his youthful ideas made the evening enjoyable beyond the music.

Major influences on this young British performer included The Beatles, Kinks, The Stones, and The Shadows.  Hodgson knew he didn’t fit into the blues or pop genres that his idols produced at the time and began to search out his own style.  Supertramp has been labeled a “Prog Rock” band, as reverberated by a Rolling Stone writer in the audience, but most of the songs by today’s standards seem pop.  “Labels come and go” Hodgson admits  “My songs come from my heart and touch people in a myriad of ways.  It’s a very personal connection I have with people and I honor it.”
Hodgson picked up his first guitar at 13 years old, had his first lesson and learned 3 chords, then wrote “8 or 10 songs” by the age of 15.  He wrote songs for others for a few years, and then himself.  He had an opportunity to form a band with Rick Davies, which became Supertramp.  “We needed a name, so we just thought that sounded cool.” Stated Hodgson who was in the band from 1969-83 and wrote half their hits.

The bands greatest hit came with ‘Breakfast in America” when it stayed at #1 in the US and went gold in just 11 days after its release on March 29th, 1979.  Billboard ranked it as the #22 selling LP of the seventies.  “I don’t remember writing most the album, but do recall writing ‘Dreaming” because I was daydreaming” reflects Hodgson.  “We couldn’t recapture the magic on the four track of the demo though” because he had played the song on available household items, like lampshades.  “We ended up recapturing part of it [in the studio] on a two track and then playing to it so as to basically duplicate [the sound].”

Ending his time with Supertramp, Hodgson began his current solo career.  His 2011 world tour kicks off  in his home state of 35 years, California.   Attributing California as being very “liberating”, this amazing artist is introducing his talents to yet another generation of music lovers.   


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