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March 10, 2010
Musician believes in sharing his gift
By Steve Scott
More than three decades after performing in Auckland with
British band Supertramp, lead singer and songwriter Roger Hodgson returns in
April for two solo concerts in Wellington and Auckland.
Hodgson, known for contributing many of Supertramp's most
memorable songs including Give a Little Bit, Dreamer, Take the Long Way Home
and The Logical Song, will perform them and selections from his solo albums
In the Eye of the Storm and Hai Hai when he begins his solo
Hodgson left Supertramp following the release of its album
Famous Last Words in 1982. While the band continued on with former
cohort Rick Davies, Hodgson decided it was time to concentrate on raising
Speaking from his home in the hills of Nevada City,
California, Hodgson says he took many years off from the colourful world of
music to concentrate on raising his children. "I decided I didn't want to
have regrets later that I wasn't there when they were growing up.
"Then when they left home my heart was telling me it is time
to start playing again." Combined with a continual stream of emails
and letters requesting him to perform, Hodgson once again picked up his
Touring the world now for the past six years, he has
discovered a new-found enjoyment and confidence he admits he never
experienced with Supertramp.
"I am enjoying playing live now more than I ever have before
and it is this great discovery that has led me and inspired me to keep on
touring." As witnessed on his just released live DVD Take the Long
Way Home (Live in Montreal), the sold out-crowd sang along to every song
with a constant look of joy on their faces.
"You know, they are great songs. They have stood the test of time
not just for the audience but for me as well. Also they have been the sound
track to a lot of people's lives."
"One of the reasons
Hodgson performs his solo tour is because of the close connection he can
have with his audience. Part of it he believes is the heartfelt feeling he
can put into his deliveries. "It has something incredibly special with the
Joining him on stage is Canadian saxophonist Aaron Macdonald whose
contribution was needed for songs including Take the Long Way Home, Give a
Little Bit and It's Raining Again.
"Between the two of us we
make a very big sound."
As a writer of very moving and searching songs, Hodgson admits he
is a spiritual person. "Yes that is my compass and foundation. It keeps me
grounded and keeps my heart intact.
"Whatever is happening around me, my spiritual place is where I
Back in 1987, it was his faith that helped him recover from a
tragic accident that left him unable to use his hands.
Asleep in a loft, Hodgson suddenly turned and fell eight feet onto
a concrete and brick floor. He crushed both wrists and doctors told him his
playing days were over. "It was a real life change for me because when so
much of what I want to do with my life is rapt up in music, smashing my
wrists was a real tragedy." Initially HOdgson went into a state of deep
"Doctors told me I would never play again. Then one day I woke up
and said I am not going to accept what they told me. I am going to play
again." From that moment on, with a lot of willpower, praying and physical
therapy, he brought his wrists back to functioning.
"They are perfect today, which is amazing considering how badly I
broke them. My faith was a large part of pulling me through."
Looking forward to returning to New Zealand, Hodgson could not
escape the question on the lips of many Supertramp fans - will the band ever
reform or tour again?
"No. It is not going to happen. I have been in talks with Rick
(Davies) and no, it will not happen." Hodgson says he is very happy with his
solo touring and he will continue on that course.
Looking back on over three decades of music, he says he would not
trade a second of his life.
"Life is not a breeze for any of us. But without the challenges we
are not going to grow, we are not going to get humble or learn compassion -
those things are very important to me. I have been through a fair gamut and
also lived a charmed life.
"I have lived every musician's dream, but I never take anything for
granted. We are just people who have a gift and our duty is to share it in
as pure a way as possible. Roger Hodgson plays Auckland on April 14.