Hodgson's DVD 'an answer to requests from fans'

Tom Harrison

The Province

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's a testament to Quebec's loyalty that Roger Hodgson's DVD, Take the Long Way Home, went straight to No. 1 in the bestselling DVD charts this summer.

Hodgson was with Supertramp in the '70s, which broke through in North America first and vividly in Quebec. Although Hodgson left Supertramp in 1983, the Quebecois haven't forgotten him. They, more than anyone else, propelled the DVD. That it was filmed in Montreal is probably another factor, but this is a spare DVD, mostly just Hodgson performing 20-year-old songs on piano or acoustic guitar with sax accompaniment.

"It was really an answer to requests from fans," explains the likable Hodgson. "They were coming to the shows but they didn't have anything to take home with them, and we didn't have anything to give them."

There is a new record in the future, as Hodgson has 60 songs "burning a hole in my pocket," but he doesn't figure the time is right for a CD. For the moment he is concentrating on touring and talking up his DVD.

"I had some misgivings," he admits of making a DVD. "It was 75 minutes of me and I don't jump around."

Director Gerard Pullieino convinced him that his performance would be beautifully lit and filmed, and Hodgson proceeded, concentrating on the songs he'd written with Supertramp -- "Take the Long Way Home," "Give a Little Bit," "The Logical Song," "Dreamer" and more.

"I think one of the things I like about the solo show is that the songs sound like I wrote them," he says. "Am I surprised by how well they've endured? Truthfully, yes.

"I left the music scene and didn't play these songs for years and years," he continues. "But I'm older and wiser now and certainly happier. When I chose to to do those songs again, I was pleasantly surprised."

Hodgson left Supertramp to devote his time to being a parent. Supertramp struggled without him, but has managed a modest comeback in the last few years.

"When I left it was probably not the wisest decision and, yeah, there are a few songs I don't resonate with now. But, you know what, they didn't resonate with me then."

The Supertramp songs he left behind and has come back to, reveal an optimist.

"I think, foundationally, that's what we all want to do: To give a little bit. Basically, I think, collectively and individually, to quote one of my songs, we are taking the long way home."