SUPERTRAMP'S Roger Hodgson talks to Entertainment Editor Gordon Barr about his gig at The Sage Gateshead this weekend.
“A LOT of people in Newcastle are probably saying Roger who?”
That’s from the singer’s mouth himself and it is true, when I told people I was interviewing Roger Hodgson, many did indeed say “who?”.
You may not be familiar with the name, but you will certainly know his voice and songs.
Roger was the driving force behind ’70s supergroup Supertramp, and he’s back on Tyneside for the first time in decades this Friday with a gig at The Sage Gateshead.
Universally acclaimed as one of the most gifted composers and lyricists of our times, Roger helped define a generation of progressive rock, and wrote and sang such globally successful and enduring anthems as Give a Little Bit, The Logical Song, Dreamer, Take the Long Way Home, Breakfast In America, School and Fools Overture – timeless songs that helped his former band sell well over 60 million albums to date.
Hodgson co-founded Supertramp in 1969 and for many fans was the heart and spiritual force behind the band for 14 years. His passion for his music and his art shines through in the magic and intimacy that is felt when he performs his songs in concert.
In recent weeks, Roger has come forward to make sure fans of his music are aware that, despite how it is being advertised, he is not part of the current Supertramp. “It upsets me when fans write to me telling me that misleading advertising using my songs and voice led them to believe I would be at the concerts, and how disappointed they were not to see me there.”
Roger left Supertramp at the height of their success in 1983, but he never stopped creating and writing music. Fans will be glad to hear he will also be performing the hits of old at The Sage.
“I’m not one of those artists who says you have got to listen to my new material and to hell with the old material,” he tells me.
“I try and put on the best show I can and give people what they want. These songs I wrote 30 or 40 years ago have stood the test of time incredibly well and mean a lot to a lot of people and bring back memories.
“I never get tired of singing them, and that’s incredible.
“They still sound very fresh and current. I wrote a lot of them in my late teens, early 20s, and I didn’t have a clue they would even be successful, let alone stand the test of time.
“Music was where I went to express my deepest heart and what was going on inside me, that was my place of safety – little knowing I would be sharing that with millions of people around the world. I never set out to write a hit song. Writing was just what I did every moment I got, it was my passion,
“They came from a very pure place, a very uncontrived place, and maybe that’s why they have lasted.”
In his concerts Roger performs his classic Supertramp hits as well as his more recent works.
To the vast number of UK fans who have eagerly requested and awaited his return, he says simply: “I am delighted to be coming home again for a reunion with my British fans.”
Roger Hodgson is at The Sage Gateshead on Friday.
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