Roger Hodgson has
been widely recognized as one of the most gifted composers,
songwriters and lyricists of our time. A co-founder of Supertramp in
1969, Hodgson remained with the band for fourteen years before
embarking on a solo career. It was Hodgson's tenure with the
band that became the driving force behind their monumental
success. Writing music that
defined a generation of progressive rock.
Hodgson wrote and sang Supertramp’s most enduring
anthems, including "Breakfast In America", "Give a Little Bit",
"Take the Long Way Home" and "It's Raining Again". Songs which
helped the band sell more than 60 million albums. His trademark
way of setting introspective lyrics to upbeat melodies resonates
in the hearts and minds of people from all over the world.
Accompanied by a four-piece band, Hodgson will
bring his rich, musical legacy to the Sands
Event Center in Bethlehem, PA on
Sunday, Nov 9.
Hodgson talks about his career and what fans can
expect from his Bethlehem performance in a recent interview.
What can fans expect from your Bethlehem
People often tell me I am one of music’s
best-kept secrets. I have many fans following me around the
world because the show I am currently doing with my band is so
special. Even many huge Supertramp fans are admitting that the
band I have put together actually sounds better than the
original, so the audience is in for a wonderful surprise. This
year, in addition to my popular duo and orchestral shows, I am
performing with an excellent band of four very versatile
musicians. They are high caliber musicians and passionate about
You will hear songs that I have written on my
life journey – of course I’ll be performing all the songs people
want to hear from my time with Supertramp. You can expect to
Logical Song,” “Breakfast
in America,” “Give
a Little Bit,” “Dreamer,”
the Long Way Home,” “It's
Raining Again,” and “Fool's
Overture”. as well as some of my later material – "In
Jeopardy", "Lovers in the Wind" and "Death and a Zoo".
What’s your writing process like?
Songwriting is an amazing and magical process.
For me, the music always comes first. There are usually a few
lines of lyrics that come at the same time. For a two or three
week period I sing the new song every opportunity I get. It's
like a brief love affair; the emerging song just goes round and
round in my head the whole time. It has that consuming quality
to it, like falling in love. The structure and melody come to me
relatively quickly - the lyric usually takes much longer.
I do realize I have written some wonderful songs
and have an ability for writing great melodies, but I think the
reason these songs have stood the test of time so well is
because they came from a very pure place and were not contrived.
I never sat down to try and write a hit song. Music was where I
went to be alone to express my deepest emotions, my deepest
longing, my deepest pain and joy and questions. And I think that
is why the songs have endured so well over time.
Can you tell me a little about your Spiritual
connection with your songs?
For me, music was where I went to express my
longing to know God, to know true love, my longing to feel truly
at home inside myself. I put this inner quest into my songs and
I believe, because they came from such a deep place, this is one
of the reasons they have such an enduring quality. They touch
that place in everyone who is searching for true happiness,
belonging, for God - whatever you want to call it.
So, yes, a lot of my songs have a spiritual theme
to them – when I write music, I am always alone and it’s very
much an inner communion for me. It’s not generally known that I
never wrote with the band, and the other members of Supertramp
didn’t share many of the spiritual beliefs that I wrote about –
so all my songs – new and old - are all very personal
expressions for me.
It’s now been more than thirty years since you
left Supertramp. Do you have any regrets about it?
When I left Supertramp in 1983, it was to follow
my heart, which was telling me it was time to make home, family,
and spiritual life my priority. I wanted to be with my children
as they grew up. I had become disenchanted with the music
business. Supertramp had been my baby, my life for 14 years but
I felt a completion. At that point I chose to have my primary
focus be my family and not my career. I also pretty much left
the music industry and took my family to a healthier place to
raise my kids - up in the mountains of Northern California. I
moved out of Los Angeles and built a home studio so I could
continue to create music and although I made a few albums, I
never toured behind them. My kids are now grown and I'm older
and wiser and very happy to be touring again these last years.
Contrary to what people believe, Supertramp did
not break up because I wanted to start a solo career or because
of difficulties between me and Rick [Davies].
Do you ever foresee a reunion of Supertramp?
Many fans used to ask me about a possible
Supertramp reunion. Because I knew how much it meant to the
fans, I did make an offer to Rick Davies and his agent to join
the band for some special Supertramp reunion concerts in 2010,
but they declined. So at this point, the time for a reunion has
passed. The ship has sailed.
What inspires you as an artist?
One of the things that I like most about making
music is how it has brought people together from all over the
globe and how many lasting friendships have been made through a
common love of my songs. It is a very special and personal
connection I have with many of my fans and that the fans have
with one another. I feel it's because my songs came from my
deepest longing and joy and pain and touch those same places in
the hearts of the people who listen. At my concerts I’m now
seeing three generations singing along with me and it’s
wonderful to see more and more young people discovering my
Roger Hodgson will
perform at The Bethlehem Sands Event Center on Sunday, Nov 9.