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Roger Hodgson of Supertramp in Utah on Sunday; interview

Published August 3, 2012 2:54 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It's time for "Breakfast in America." And I'm hungry for more than just a little bit.Roger Hodgson, co-founder and original singer-songwriter from Supertramp, brings his "Breakfast in America" tour back to the United States after successful sold-out shows in South America and Europe.Hodgson's 34-date U.S. tour continues tonight in Park City — marking his first major national U.S. tour since his departure from Supertramp in 1983.Some music fans might not know the name of the 62-year-old Hodgson, but we all know the songs from the prog-rock band he once led: "Breakfast in America," "Give a Little Bit," "Take the Long Way Home."For his "Breakfast in America" tour, Hodgson will be backed by a four-piece band and will perform the classic hits he wrote and originally recorded with Supertramp, as well as select highlights from his five solo album releases.Hodgson answered email questions about his first concert experience, how he has evolved as a singer and whether he still considers himself creatively hungry.

What was the first concert you attended? The first concert I attended was the Reading Festival in England. I was 16 and remember seeing Cream with Eric Clapton and the Nice with Keith Emerson along with many other bands. It made a huge impression on me and fueled my passion to be one of those musicians. Eight years later, I was one of the musicians onstage with Supertramp playing our set in the pouring rain getting electric shocks every time my lips touched the microphone — not exactly the dream I had imagined.

Do you have any memories of Utah or the Rocky Mountains? I fell in love with the Rockies when we recorded "Even in the Quietest Moments" at Caribou Ranch Studios in Colorado, near Boulder. I've returned since to Utah a few times, once attending the Sundance Film Festival, and always been awed by the natural beauty of the state.

How have you changed as a man, and musician, over the past 10, 20 and 30 years?Like most people, I have gone through my fair share of life lessons and have emerged wiser and feel I have much more to give now than I did during my time with Supertramp. I left the band in 1983, needing a break from the music industry, and following the call of my heart that was telling me I needed to take time to raise my kids and learn how to be a father. My time away from touring and the music business taught me a lot about myself. An accident in 1987, in which I smashed both of my wrists, meant I had to face life without music after the doctors told me I would never play again. That was a critical turning point in my life, after which I never took anything for granted, and learned to be grateful for everything that came to me, including the hard lessons. Obviously I proved the doctors wrong and I am playing better than ever today and feel that I am creatively and artistically in my prime.

After all your years as a performer, how is your voice?People are telling me that I'm singing better than ever, and for me that is confirmation that what is going on inside me, in my heart, is on track. I believe that the voice only reflects what is going on inside oneself. I have an incredible repertoire of songs that have stood the test of time and are now reaching new audiences as well as taking older generations back to their youth. They are truly timeless for me also — singing "The Logical Song," "Breakfast in America," "Give a Little Bit," "Dreamer," "School," "Take the Long Way Home," "It's Raining Again," "Fool's Overture" and so many others every night. You would think I would get sick of them, but I truly enjoy every minute of these highly personal songs. I am very proud of my time with Supertramp and I am now enjoying a second life in the public arena. I am very grateful that people are happy to see me again.

With so much success, do you still consider yourself hungry?Success is a very misunderstood word. I have experienced financial success, fame and been a part of the No. 1 band in the world and yet that did not satisfy the inner need for happiness, peace, fulfillment and belonging. It was my spiritual search and the incredible teachers that I've had along the way, as well as life itself, that has taught me who I am. I give concerts and tour the world from a place of service now — not from a place of needing success or even needing the applause or validation from the audience. I feel like the most fortunate man on Earth. Every night my job is to make people happy, take them on a journey to their heart and to the life memories that the music evokes. For me, my artistic hunger lies more in trying to dissolve the barrier between artist and audience and give audiences an ever-deepening experience of love and joy and enjoyment. But my only true hunger lies in deepening my relationship to true love and God, which to me are one and the same thing.

How did your upbringing in England affect you as a man and musician?I grew up in England at a time when the class systems were very strong and yet during a time of incredible change in England and the world, the huge changes in consciousness that happened during the '60s, spearheaded by The Beatles and the revolution in music that they were the pioneers of. While that was all happening on the outside, I was cloistered away in a very conservative rigid boarding school system in England that was very hard for me. Today I am very grateful for that whole experience because it really fueled my deep quest and longing for answers to the many questions that arose in me. I may never have written "The Logical Song" [in which I sing] "Then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible, logical, responsible." My search for meaning, my search for truth, my search for love, my search for a God that made sense spawned many songs and took me on a journey that eventually led to America and California, where I found many other seekers and a whole cultural spiritual revolution taking place that was spawning healthy organic food, yoga, meditation and many alternative lifestyles that opened my mind and expanded my view of the world and ultimately redefined who I was.

Roger HodgsonThe songwriter who co-founded Supertramp in 1969 will perform.When • Sunday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m.Where • Deer Valley Amphitheater, 2250 Deer Valley Drive, Park CityTickets • General admission lawn seating, $35; reserved seating, $45, $55 and $65; at doorInfo • Patrons with wristbands from Kimball Arts Festival can purchase lawn seats at half-price.






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