SUPERTRAMP: Did you know ? - ¿ Sabías qué ?

Photo: David Gilmour and Supertramp in 1985, during the recording of "Brother were you bound"
 
Gilmour Supertramp
 
 
 
Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson have played with Chick Churchill
in 1973 when they already were in Supertramp, for the album "You & Me", Roger on bass and guitar on 4 tracks. And Rick Davies on drums.
Rick Davies y Roger Hodgson han tocado con Chick Churchil
en 1973, estando en Supertramp, tocaron en el album "You & Me", Roger al bajo ya la guitarra en 4 temas. Y Rick Davies a la batería
.

 

David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) has collaborated with Supertramp
in 1985 for the album "Brother were you bound", David performed a guitar solo in the title-song
David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) ha colaborado con Supertramp
en 1985 en el album "Brother were you bound", interpretando un solo de guitarra en la canción del mismo nombre


John Helliwell has collaborated with Pink Floyd
in 1987, album "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason", playing saxophone. As a return-favour for the previous Gilmour collaboration.
John Helliwell colaboró con Pink Floyd
en 1987, album "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason", con su sonido inconfundible de saxofon
. Como una especie de devolver el favor de la colaboración previa de Gilmour
 
 
Roger, Rick and John performed couple songs, years after the split
in a special event for Jerry Moss, co-funder of A&M Records, in the Beverly Hills Hilton, in 1993. (Logical song and Goodbye stranger, together with Jeff Daniel) After that Rick and Roger started a short-term musical work together, recording demos of "You win I lose" and "And the light", but they finally parted company again. Both songs were included years later in Supertramp albums, but without Roger.
Roger, Rick y John tocaron juntos tras la separación
un par de canciones durante un evento especial para Jerry Moss, co-fundador de A&M Records, en el Beverly Hills Hilton en 1993. (Logical song y Goodbye stranger, con la ayuda de Jeff Daniel ) Y tras eso Rick y Roger comenzaron una tímida colaboración en la que se llegaron a grabar demos de "You win I lose" y "And the light", pero que finamente no llegó a buen puerto. Ambos temas fueron incluidos años más tarde en dos discos de Supertramp, pero sin la voz de Roger

 

John Helliwell has collaborated with Excalibur project by Alan Simon
Read more
John Helliwell ha colaborado con Excalibur project de Alan Simon
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John Helliwell has collaborated with Alan Parsons
Read more
John Helliwell ha colaborado con Alan Parsons
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Supertramp got several Grammys awards
Read more
Supertramp ha recibido varios Grammys
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Don't miss this "water gong" used in "Crime of the century"
This amazing sound effect (piece of metal in water) was used by Bob in the second part (instrumental) of the song "Crime of the century". This effect is used in several orchestral pieces.
See the video 
No te pierdas el sorprendente "gong de agua" usado en "Crime of the century"
Este ingenioso invento (una placa de metal introducida en agua) fué usado por Bob para dar inicio a la segunda parte (instrumental) del tema "Crime of the century". Podían haber hecho algo similar con sintes, pero prefieron experimentar con sonidos nuevos como este, que es usado en algunas piezas orquestales.
 
 
John Helliwell "playing" glasses in the BBC, Autumn 1974
John is memorable in these clips for “playing” water-filled wine glasses by rubbing the rims. (at the last part of "Dreamer")
This was supposed to be providing some of the sustained synth sounds but was merely an eye catching stage device.
John Helliwell usando vasos de cristal en la BBC. Otoño 1974
Es memorable la aparición de John en los clips que grabaron del tema Dreamer en la BBC, donde John hacía rodar sus dedos por la parte superior de unos vasos de cristal medio llenos de agua, imitando el sonido de los sintetizadores, que es lo que suena realmente en la canción, y no lo vasos. Se trataba solamente de una estratagema comercial para llamar la atención del espectador
 

 

The song "Land Ho" from the album "Retrospectacle" year 2005
was recorded in 1974, and published as a single that year, together with "Summer romance". In 1987 Roger Hodgson released a version, almost identical, on his album "Hai Hai", because he's the composer.
El tema "Land Ho" del album "Retrospectacle" en 2005 

fué grabado en 1974 por Supertramp y publicado como single dicho año junto con "Summer romance". Y es practicamente idéntica a la que Roger ya publicó en solitario en su disco "Hai Hai" en 1987, ya que es el compositor del tema.


The song "You started laughing"
surprised to all of us in the album Paris in 1980, because most of us didn't know that song, not included in any previous album. Actually was released as B-side single of "Lady" in 1975 . It was not included in the album "Crisis, what crisis ?" due to lack of physical space in the vinyl, without affecting the quality of sound.
La canción "You started laughing"
que tanto nos sorprendió a todos en el album Paris de 1980, ya que no la conocíamos de ningún album anterior, fué en realidad publicada en single como cara B de "Lady" en 1975, ya que no cabía físicamente en el disco "Crisis, what crisis ?", sin perjudicar la calidad del sonido (surco del vinilo mas estrecho)

 

Initial title for "Crisis ? what crisis ?" album
was "Second offence". Funny tittle after first hit "Crime". But during the oil-crisis at that time the final title was even better !. And the initial name for "Breakfast in America" album was "Hello stranger".
El titulo inicial para el album "Crisis ? what crisis ?"
fué "Second offence". ("Segundo delito"), gracioso titulo tras el primer "Crimen" que les llevó a la fama, pero es que en plena Crisis del pertróleo el título definitivo fué incluso mejor ! 
Y el título inicial para el exitoso "Breakfast in America" fué "Hello stranger".

 

The song "Gold rush" from the album "Slow Motion"
released in 2002, is actually an old Supertramp song. It was the opening number in all their concerts in the early times (circa 1970-72) and it was composed by R. Palmer (lyrics) and Rick & Roger (music-melodies)
La canción "Gold rush" del album "Slow Motion"
publicado en 2002, es en realidad una vieja canción de Supertramp, que usaban siempre para abrir sus conciertos en los primeros tiempos (sobre 1970-72) y fué compuesta por R. Palmer (letras) y Rick & Roger (musica-melodia)

 

Supertramp in Court
Time ago, the band members John Helliwell, Bob Siebenberg, Dougie Thomson, along with manager Dave Margereson, claimed to Rick Davies productions for the rights of exploitation of the discography of Supertramp between 1974 and 1983 (the golden era). .... and they won! The odd thing is that, time later, Rick offered them an employ for tour 2010 , and they accepted. Money is so powerful  .....
Supertramp en los tribunales
Los componentes de la banda John Helliwell, Bob Siebenberg, Dougie Thomson, junto con el manager Dave Margereson, demandaron hace unos cuantos años a Rick Davies productions por los derechos de explotación de la discografía de Supertramp entre 1974 y 1983 (la decada dorada)..... y Ganaron ! Lo curioso del caso es que posteriormente en 2010 Rick les ofreció salir de gira como músicos asalariados y aceptaron. Poderoso caballero es Don Dinero .....

 

Supertramp and Beatles
There are certain similarities between the two bands. There are also many differences, but that's another story ...
Both bands are based on two composers (Lennon / McCartney - Davies / Hodgson)
The end of Beatles coincided with the beginning of Supertramp, keeping a similar progressive-rock style.
In the beginning, when they were unknown, both bands played in bars and clubs in Germany (Hamburg / Munich).Both Roger and Paul, both guitarists began playing bass because no one else wanted to do it.They have different songs with the same name as "Two of us", "Free as a bird", "Oh Darling".
Supertramp y Beatles
Hay ciertas similitudes entre ambas bandas, curiosas de citar, sin necesidad de pensar mucho. Diferencias también hay muchas, pero eso es otra historia...Ambas bandas se basan en dos compositores (Lennon/McCartney - Davies/Hodgson)El fin de Beatles coincidió con los inicios de Supertramp, con un estilo rock-progresivo que parecía mantenerse.En sus inicios, cuando eran desconocidos, ambas bandas tocaron en bares y clubs de Alemania (Hamburgo/Munich).Tanto Roger como Paul, ambos guitarristas, comenzaron tocando el bajo porque ninguno otro quería hacerlo.
Tienen diversas canciones con el mismo nombre como "Two of us", "Free as a bird", "Oh Darling".

 

Supertramp and Pink Floyd, twin stories ?
Let's see: the early Pink Floyd in 1967 and Supertramp in 1969, both in London, just a couple of years gap.
Their first successful album was Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon" in 1973 and Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" in 1974, very close in time (one with references to the Moon, and the other one to the Universe, mythical covers ....)
In both bands there's a prominent composer of the hits, called Roger (Roger Hodgson / Roger Waters)
After this first success, they published two more albums rather than increased their fame, coincident in time (1975 -> "Wish you were here" vs "Crisis what crisis?", 1977 -> "Animals" vs "Even in the Quietest moments ")
In 1979 both bands released their most successful album ("The Wall" vs "Breakfast in America")
The tour that followed these releases, with all its pressures and constraints, caused great tension that later would lead to the break years later.
The next album released, in both cases, it was the end of the story..... and very similar titles in concept ("The Final Cut" 1983 vs "Famous Last Words" 1982)
After that, both "Roger" took to their solo careers, and the bands have continued with the rest of members.

Supertramp y Pink Floyd, historias paralelas ?
Veamos: los inicios de Pink Floyd en 1967 y los de Supertramp en 1969, ambos en Londres, con solo un par de años de diferencia.
El primer álbum con gran éxito de Pink Floyd fué "Dark side of the moon" en 1973 y el de Supertramp fué "Crime of the Century" en 1974, muy cercanos en el tiempo (uno con referencias a la Luna y otro al Universo, portadas miticas ....)
En ambas bandas destaca como compositor de los grandes éxitos el nombre de Roger (Roger Hodgson / Roger Waters)
Tras ese primer éxito, publicaron un par de albumes más que aumentaban su fama, coincidentes en el tiempo (1975 --> "Wish you were here" vs "Crisis? what crisis?", 1977 --> "Animals" vs "Even in the Quietest moments")
En 1979 ambas bandas publicaron su disco de más éxito ("The Wall" vs "Breakfast in America")
La gira que siguió dichos lanzamientos, con todas sus presiones y condicionantes, provocó grandes tensiones que posteriormente desembocarían en la ruptura años después.
El siguiente disco que lanzaron ambas bandas fué el último en ambos casos, y con unos titulos muy similares ("The Final Cut" 1983 vs "Famous last words" 1982)
Tras ello los dos Roger se lanzaron a sus carreras en solitario, y las bandas han continuado con el resto de miembros. Nunca se han vuelto a reunificar ambas bandas.

 

Tim Tjernlund's Time Line PART 2

1977

John guests on Thin Lizzy's "Bad Reputation" (SRM-11186)

 

January
12- Amsterdam, The Concertgebauw
16- Amsterdam, Congress Hall by the Rye
18- West Berlin
22- Hamburg
24- Hanover, Germany
27- Copenhagen, The Trivoli Gardens (first concert preformance of "Soapbox Opera")
29- Lund, Norway
31- Olso, Norway

 

January 20
Munich TV promos shot in a warehouse on Dachaustrasse

 

February
Jesse Siebenberg born, Hammersmith Hospital, London

 

1- Stockholm, Sweden
5- London, Royal Albert Hall (Recorded for King Biscuit Flower Hour)



February 15
Group leaves for America

 

April
6- Regina, Saskatchewan. First leg of tour
7- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
9- Winnipeg, Manitoba
10- Winnipeg, Manitoba
11- Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
12- Edmonton, Alberta. Concert cancelled because of Roger's illness



"Even In The Quietest Moments" released in US (SP-4634)

 

April 23
"Even" debuts on US Billboard Album Chart

 

May
"Even In The Quietest Moments" reaches UK #12 and US #16
Los Angeles (recorded for "Rock Around The World)

 

May 8
Featured on "Rock Around The World" (#144)

 

May 14
"Even In The Quietest Moments" makes US Top-40
"Give A Little Bit" enters Cashbox Top 100,
where it stays for 21 weeks, peaking @ #13

 

May 16
Featured on "Earth News" radio

 

June 4
"Give A Little Bit"/"Downstream" ( A&M 1938) enters US charts @ #77

 

June 11
"Give A Little Bit" @ #66

 

June 18
"Give A Little Bit" @ #63

 

June 25
"Give A Little Bit" @ #53

 

June
25- Moncton, New Brunswick
28- Montreal Forum
29- Montreal Forum
30- Ottawa Civic Center



July
"Give A Little Bit" climbs to UK #29

 

July 2
London "Give A Little Bit" enters Billboard's Top-40 singles chart @ #39
"Crime Of The Century" certified gold by RIAA

 

July 9
"Give A Little Bit" @ #35
Beginning of 150 date world tour

 

July 13
"Even In The Quietest Moments" certified gold by RIAA

 

July 16
"Give A Little Bit" @ #31

 

July 23
"Give A Little Bit" @ #27

 

July 30
"Give A Little Bit" @ #25

 

July
1- Ottawa Civic Center
5- Kitchener
14- Edmonton, Alberta (rescheduled)
15- Calgary, Alberta (rescheduled)



August
"Even In The Quietest Moments" reaches US #16

 

August 2
"Crime Of The Century" certified gold by RIAA

 

August 6
"Give A Little Bit" @ #23

 

August 13
"Give A Little Bit" @ #21

 

August 20
"Give A Little Bit" @ #17

 

August 21
Featured on the radio show "Nightbird & Company" (#329)

 

August 27
"Give A Little Bit" makes US #15 (peak)

 

August 28
Copenhagen

 

September 3
"Give A Little Bit" @ #15

 

September 10
"Give A Little Bit" @ #27

 

September 17
"Give A Little Bit" @ #48

 

September 23
Geneva, Switzerland. Le Pavillon des Sports.

 

September 24
"Give A Little Bit" @ #48

 

October 1
"Give A Little Bit" @ #99

 

October
England leg of tour
Birmingham
Liverpool
Manchester
Coventry
Newcastle
Glasgow, Scotland
Leicester
London, Wembly Empire Pool
London, Wembly Empire Pool
Brighton
Bournemouth



November
"From Now On/Dreamer" (A&M 1981) released in US
"Babaji/From Now On" released (UK)




1978

February 5
Featured On "The Best Of The Biscuit"

 

March
Rehearsals for new album started at Rick's home in Encino.

 

March 4
Re-release of 1970 album "Supertramp" (SP-4665) makes it up to #158
on Billboard Album Top 200

 

April
Rehearsals moved to management offices in Burbank with album working title, "Working Title"

 

late April
Rehearsals moved again, this time to Village Recorders, L.A.

 

May
New album working title, "Hello Stranger".

 

June 4
Featured on "The Best Of Rock Around The World" (#200)

 

September
Roger interview with Doug Pringle for Canadian radio show,
"The Pringle Program"
Bob bets Rick $100 that this album will go Top 10

 

December
Recording finished. Mixing started.




1979

Album now called "Breakfast In America", after a song written by Roger Hodgson when 18 years old. Rick reportedly hated the song. Mixing taking place at Crystal Sound, Los Angeles
Bob guests on Phil Lynott’s "Solo In Soho" (WB-3405)

 

January 5
Roger and Karuna married

 

-WORLD TOUR BEGINS-
March
16- Boulder, Colorado
18- St. Louis, MO
19- St. Louis, MO
20- Kansas City, MO
22- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
23- Milwaukee, WI
24- St. Paul, Minnesota
25- Madison, Wisconsin
27- Green Bay, Wisconsin
28- Chicago, Illinois



April
3- Los Angeles, California - LA Forum
4- Los Angeles, California - LA Forum (recorded - "From Lunch To Ecstacy" IMP 2-109) Bootleg 5- Oakland, CA
8- Tucson, Arizona
9- Phoenix, Arizona
11- San Diego Sports Arena
12- Fresno,California - Selland Arena
13- Fresno, California - Selland Arena
15- Spokane, Washington - Coliseum
16- Missoula, Montana - Adam Field House
18- Seattle, Washington - Coliseum
19- Portland, Oregon - Coliseum
20- Pullman, Washington - WSU Field House
22- Corvallis, Oregon - Gill Coliseum
30- Tulsa, Oklahoma



May
1- Norman, Oklahoma
2- Ft. Worth, Texas
3- San Antonia, Texas - Arena
5- Houston, Texas - Coliseum
7- New Orleans, Louisiana
9- Nashville, Tennessee
11- Miami, Florida
12- Fr. Meyers, Florida
13- St. Petersburg, Florida
15- Atlanta, Georgia - The Omni
16- Greensboro, North Carolina
17- Largo - Capitol Center
18- New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
20- Detroit, Michigan
21- Buffalo, NY
23- Boston, Mass.
24- Boston, Mass
25- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The Spectrum
26- Rochester, NY 27 Troy, NY 29 Utica, NY
30- Springfield Civic Center
31- Madison Square Gardens, NY
(Supertramp is presented with it’s first platinum record awards here)



June
2- Cincinati, Ohio - Riverfront Stadium
3- Indianapolis, Indiana - Market Square Arena
4- Pittsburgh, Penn. - Civic Arena
6- Columbus, Ohio
8- Cleveland, Ohio - Richfield Coliseum
9- Birmingham, Alabama
10- Richmond, Virginia
11- Hampton, Virginia



July
17- Winnipeg, Manitoba
19- Toronto - Exhibition Stadium
20- Toronto - Exhibition Stadium
21- Toronto - Exhibition Stadium



August
11- Canadian tour ends in Vancouver, British Columbia



March 24
"The Logical Song"/"Just Another Nervous Wreck" (A&M 2128) enters US Billboard chart @ #86

 

March 29
"Breakfast In America" released in US (SP-3708).
Recording cost - $400,000 Front cover centers around actress Kate Murdock.
Back cover photo- graphed at "Burt’s Mad House" on LaBrea Ave, Los Angeles.

 

March 31
"The Logical Song" @ #76
"Breakfast In America" debuts on Billboard’s Top 100 Album Chart

 

April 1
"Breakfast In Ameica" (AMLK-63708) released in UK.
"The Logical Song reaches #7 on the UK charts

 

April 7
"Breakfast In America" enters US Top 40 Album chart
"The Logical Song" @ #66
"The Logical Song" enters CASHBOX magazine’s top-100,
where it stays for 19 weeks, peaking @ #4

 

April 9
"Breakfast In America" certified gold by the RIAA

 

April 11
Heidi Hodgson born at 7:45 p.m. in the family motor home, just outside of the concert hall.
Mother Karuna Hodgson attended by midwife and Dr. John Repair.
Roger appears onstage 15 minutes later.

 

April 14
"The Logical Song" @ #55
Article in MELODY MAKER magazine

 

April 21
"The Logical Song" @ #48

 

April 28
"The Logical Song" enters Billboard’s Top-40 @ #36

 

May 5
"The Logical Song" @#24

 

May 12
"Breakfast In America" peakes @ #3 on the UK charts.
"The Logical Song" @ #18

 

May 19
"The Logical Song" @ #14
"Breakfast In America" tops US Charts for the first of 6 weeks,
earning platinum status (1,000,000 units sold)

 

May 31
Rick pays off the $100 bet with Bob with the bill framed.
The plaque reads "You better not spent it, you rat!"

 

June 1
"Breakfast in America"/"Gone Hollywood" released (UK)

 

June 2
"The Logical Song" enters Billboard’s Top-10 @#9

 

June 9
"The Logical Song" @ #7

 

June 16
"The Logical Song" peaks on the US charts @ #6

 

June 21
2 page article in MELODY MAKER magazine

 

June 23
"The Logical Song" @ #6

 

June 30
"The Logical Song" @ #6

 

July 2
"Breakfast In America" the single, hits #9 in the UK

 

July 7
"Goodbye Stranger"/"Even In The Quietest Moments" (A&M 2162) enters US charts @ #78 "Goodbye Stranger" enters CASHBOX charts, where it stays for 16 weeks, peaking @ #16

 

July 12
ROLLING STONE magazine has feature article



July 14
"The Logical Song" @ #11
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #69



July 21
"The Logical Song" @ #24
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #56
Article in BILLBOARD Magazine

 

July 28
"The Logical Song" @ #41
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #45

 

August 4
"Goodbye Stranger" enters Billboard Top-40 @ #32
"The Logical Song" @ #84
"Breakfast In America" (single) peaks @ #9 (UK)

 

August 6
Magazine article in MACLEANS

 

August 11
"The Logical Song" @ #100
"Goodbye Stranger" @ # 26

 

August 18
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #20
"Goodbye Stranger" enters Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart.

 

August 25
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #18
The Barron Knights release a parody song, "The Topical Song" (Epic 9-50755)
which stays on the charts for 3 weeks before disappearing.

 

September 1
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #16
"Goodbye Stranger" (AMS 7481) released in UK
"The Topical Song" @ #70

 

September 8
"Goodbye Stranger" peaks at #15 (BILLBOARD)
"The Topical Song" @ #99

 

September 15
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #15

 

September 16
Featured on "What’s It All About"

 

September 22
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #25

 

September 29
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #49

 

October 1
"The Logical Song" lyrics featured in SONG HITS magazine

 

October 6
"Goodbye Stranger" @ #76
"Take The Long Way Home/From Now On" released in UK

 

October 13
"Take The Long Way Home/Rudy"(A&M 2193) released in US and debuts on
BILLBOARD charts @ #70
"Take The Long Way Home" debuts on CASHBOX charts where it stays for 17 weeks,
peaking @ # 15

 

October 20
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #54

 

October 27
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #43

 

November 3
"Take The Long Way Home’ enters BILLBOARD Top-40 @ #31
Also enters the Adult Contemporary charts

 

November 10
"Take The Long Way Home’ @ #23
"Goodbye Stranger" makes UK #57

 

November 17
"Take The Long Way Home’ @ #17

 

November 24
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #15

 

November 29
Concert at the Pavilion in Paris is recorded and filmed

 

December 1
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #13
Article in SEVENTEEN magazine

 

December 2
Cover story in magazine ROCK & FOLK (France)

 

December 8
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #11

 

December 15
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #10 (peak)

 

December 22
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #10

 

December 29
"Take The Long Way Home @ #26



1980


John guests on Chris DeBurgh's "Eastern Wind" (SP-4815)


January 5
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #26


January 12
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #35


January 19
"Take The Long Way Home" @ #94


February 16
Watermark Inc. broadcasts "Profiles In Rock" (#PRB 801-7)


March
Bob's home destroyed by fire Dougie buys a yacht "Trinity"


May 9
"The Logical Song" named "Best Song, Musically & Lyrically" at the 25th Annual Ivor Novello Awards, held at London's Grosnevor House Hotel


June
TEEN Magazine article Review of "Breakfast In America" in Hi-Fi magazine


September
"Paris" (SP-6702) released in US with cover art by Cindy Marsh and inside photo by Mark Hanauer "Paris" (MP-44001-2) released in Japan


September 20
"Dreamer"(live)/"From Now On" (live) (A&M 2269) enters US charts @ #67 "Dreamer"(live) enters Cashbox Top-100 where it stays for 17 weeks, peaking at #15


September 27
"Dreamer"(live) @ #46


October
"Paris" hits UK #7


October 4
"Dreamer (live)" enters Billboard's Top - 40 @ #33


October 6
Roger interviewed on "Off The Record with Mary Turner"


October 10
Roger interviewed on "The Robert W. Morgan" radio show ( #SWB 804-2)


October 11
"Paris" makes US Top-40 Billboard Album Chart "Paris" peaks @ #7 on the U.K. Music Week charts "Dreamer"(live) @ #26


October 18
"Dreamer"(live) @ #23


October 19
Featured on "The BBC Rock Hour" (#142)


October 24
"Dreamer"(live) @ #20


November
"Dreamer"(live)/"You Started Laughing"(live) (AMS 7576) released in UK


November 1
"Dreamer"(live) @ #17


November 8
"Dreamer"(live) climbs to US #15. "Paris" hits US #8


November 15
"Dreamer"(live) @ #15


November 22
"Dreamer"(live) @ #23


November 29
"Dreamer"(live) @ #45


December 6
"Dreamer"(live) @ #56


December 10
"Paris" certified gold by RIAA


December 13
"Dreamer"(live) @ #86 "Breakfast In America (live)"/"You Started Laughing"(live) (A&M 2292) enters Billboard charts @ #82 "Breakfast In America (live)"
enters Cashbox Top-100, staying for 7 weeks, peaking at #69


December 19
The Source broadcasts "The Supertramp Special"


December 20
"Dreamer"(live) @ #98 "Breakfast In America" @ #72


December 27
"Breakfast In America" (live) peaks at US #62



1981

Bob guests on Gary Wright's "The Right Place" (WB 3511)


January
John breaks his leg bicycling


January 3
"Breakfast In America" (live) @ #62


January 10
"Breakfast In America" (live) @ #62


January 17
"Breakfast In America" (live) @ #69


January 24
"Breakfast In America" (live) @ #76


January 31
Andrew Hodgson born
"Breakfast In America" (live) @ #95


March 5
"Paris" @ #63 in ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE'S top-100


March 19
"Paris" @ #77 in ROLLING STONE


May
Double cassette (Crisis/Even..) released (UK)


May 23
Featured on The Robert W. Morgan Special Of The Week (#SWB 812-8)


August 9
John appears on The Robert Klein Radio Show (#42)
John guests on Ali Thomson's "Deception Is An Art" (SP-4846)



Tim Tjernlund's Time Line

The Supertramp Time Line by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Revised 3/21/97



1944

July 22
Richard Davies born at Eastcott Hill in Swindon, Wiltshire England, to Dick and Betty Davies.

 


1945

February 15
John Anthony Helliwell born in Todmorden, England.

 


1947

September
Richard Palmer born.

 


1948

November 27
Dave Winthrop born.

 


1949

October 31
Robert Layne Siebenberg born in Glendale, California.

 


1950

March 21
Charles Roger Pomfret Hodgson born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.

 


1951

March 24
Dougie Thomson born in Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland.

 


1956

Rick becomes member of the British Railways Staff Association.
Brass & Silver Jubilee Band as a drummer.

 



1959

Rick joins "Vince & the Vigilantes" featuring Ginger Frantic.

 


1960

John joins the Todmorden Symphony Orchestra on clarinet
John forms TGS5 (Todmorden Grammar School Five).

 


1962

Roger starts playing guitar, given to him by his mother, Gill.
Rick forms "Rick's Blues" while at Swindon Art School. Raymond (Gilbert) O'Sullivan is member and drummer.

 


1963

Roger sent to The Stowe Boarding School, Buckingham.
John moves to Birmingham to work for ICL, Britain's largest computer firm.
Roger gives his first concert in Oxford, of all original songs.

 


1964

John joins "The Dicemen".

 


1965

May
John joins "Jugs o' Henry".
Rick disbands "Rick's Blues" and takes on job as welder at Square D.

 


1966

Bob joins The Expressions.

January
John joins the Alan Bown Set.

THE ALAN BOWN SET MK I

Jeff Bannister - keyboards, vocals
Stan Haldane - Bass, vocals
John Helliwell - Sax
Vic Sweeney - Drums


September
Rick joins The Lonely Ones.

THE LONELY ONES

John "Andy" Andrews - bass/vocals
Trevor Williams - guitar/vocals
Keith Bailey - drums
Rick Davies - keyboards/vocals

 


1967

April 23
The album "Outward-Alan Bown" completed for MGM records.

May 1
The Lonely Ones head for Rome for two week engagement.

May 15
The Lonely Ones head for Geneva, Switzerland.

July
The Lonely Ones change name to The Joint.

September
Bob joins the Ilford Subway. Scott Gorman(Thin Lizzy).

October
Alan Bown release "Toyland" on MGM The Joint play the Etonnoir in Geneva.

December
The Ilford Subway play in Mammoth, CA.
The Joint records the soundtrack for "What's Happening" in Munich including the
"Russian National Anthem".

 


1968

February
Alan Bown release "Storybook" on MGM.

March
The Joint records music for the films "Jet Generation" & "Lieber und so Weiter"
Roger graduates from boarding school.

May 30
Roger's group, People Like Us, record demo, "Duck Pond"/"Send Me No Flowers".

PEOPLE LIKE US

Roger Hodgson - guitar/vocals
George Bowser - Bass
Chris Tookey - piano
Mark Henshall - drums

 

June
Steve Brass joins the Joint.

July
Stanley August Miesegaes "SAM" meets the Joint in Geneva. He becomes financial backer and manager who has strong commitment to the music of Rick Davies.

July 5
Alan Bown release "We Can Help You" on Music Factory label.

October
John named Player of The Month by BEAT INSTRUMENTAL MAGAZINE.
Alan Bown "Second Album" (SLM-1049) released .

 

ALAN BOWN MK II

Jeff Bannister - Keys, vocals
Stan Haldane - Bass, vocals
John Helliwell - Sax
Jess Rodin - vocals



1969

Roger records "Mr. Boyd"/"Imagine" on Congress Records (C-6013) US. Elton John and Nigel Olsson playing on the "Mr. Boyd" session. He is backed by studio musicians whom the record label names "Argosy"

 

ARGOSY

Roger Hodgson - vocals
Caleb Quaye - guitar
Nigel Olsson - drums
Reg Dwight - piano
 
January
The Joint record a 5 song demo in Munich.

February
The Joint signed to the Robert Stigwood Organization.

May 13
The Joint appear on Swiss TV in Geneva.

June
The Marquee Club, London.
Dougie graduates from grammar school.

August
Sam rents Rick a place called Botolph's Bridge House to start a new group. Rick places ad in MELODY MAKER, offering "GENUINE OPPORTUNITY". Roger's mother takes him to his first audition at The Cabin in Shepherd's Bush, where he plays acoustic guitar and sings
"Dear Mr. Fantasy".

 

During a break, with hundreds of other musicians at the audition, Roger finds himself having a beer with Rick where they share their musical dreams. A friendship is struck, and soon Rick and Roger have started a group with the odd name of DADDY.

 

November
Bob forms Redeye.

REDEYE

Bob Siebenberg - drums
Scott Gorman - guitar
Derek Beauchemin - keyboards
Rick Hart - bass


Alan Bown Set release "The Alan Bown" (Deram 18032).
Alan Bown release "Gypsy Girl" on Deram records.




1970

January
Documentary Film "Daddy-Portrait 1970" shot in Munich.
Group is renamed Supertramp by Richard Palmer after a 1910 book entitled,
"Autobiography Of A Supertramp" by R.E. Davies.

June
Signed to A&M records and record first album at Morgan Sound Studios.

July
Work on "Purgatory" soundtrack in Munich.
Bob fronts a new band "Benbecula" with Scott Gorman & Derek Beauchemin.
Sam buys out Roger's recording contract with Blue Mountain Music for $500.

July 14
"Supertramp" (AMSL-981) released in UK w/ reception at The Revolution Club, London.

July 27
Plays on second day of UK's Isle of Wight Festival, East Afton Farm, Godshill.

 

Bands that played that day:
-Groundhogs
-Andy Roberts & Everyone
-Black Widow
-Howl
-Terry Reid
-Supertramp



"Supertramp" (SP-4274) released in Canada.
"Supertramp" (27 041 XOT) released in West Germany.

 

November 20
The album "The Alan Bown - Listen" is released by Island records (ILPS-9131).

December
Robert Palmer quits after gig at The Zoom Club, Frankfurt, West Germany.



1971

January
Robert Millar suffers a nervous breakdown and quits after a disasterous tour of Norway.

February
Kevin Currie ( John Walker, Billie Davis, Orange Bicycle), joins the band.

February 28
Stowe, England w/ Genesis.

March
Bob marries Vicki Gorman, sister of Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorman.
Recording starts at Olympic Studios on what will be "Indelibly Stamped".

April
Frank Farrell (Ray King Soul Band, Joe Jammer, Johnny Johnson & the Bandwagon) joins band.
Roger switches to guitar.

 

Recording of "Indelibly Stamped" continues.

 

SUPERTRAMP MARK II

Rick Davies - keyboards
Roger Hodgson - guitar
Kevin Currie - drums
Frank Farrell - bass
David Winthrop - sax


April 30
Bob and Vicki arrive in London.

May
Rick & Roger approached about joining the group Free.
Marian Hollier, from Bristol, is paid 45 pounds for having her tattooed breasts photographed on the cover of the new album.

Recording of "Indelibly Stamped" completed after 100 hours of recording.

June
Indelibly Stamped (AMLH-64306) [UK] released.

July
Bob joins Bees Make Honey.

BEES MAKE HONEY

Ruan O'Locklainn - piano, guitar, sax
Barry Richardson - bass/vocals
Mick Molloy - guitars/vocals
Deke O'Brien - guitars/vocals
Bob Cee - drums


"The Alan Bown, Stretching Out" (ILPS-9163) is released by Island Records.

ALAN BOWN MKIII

Jeff Bannister - Keyboards, vocals
Tony Catchpole - Guitar
Mel Collins - Percussion, production
Andy Brown - Bass, vocals
John Helliwell - Sax
Gordon Neville - Vocals
Vic Sweeney - Drums


September
Dougie joins Alan Bown replacing Andy Brown.

September 14
UK tour begins in Bristol with Ten Years After and Keith Christmas.

September 15
Liverpool - cancelled due to gear not arriving.

October
"Forever/Your Poppa Don't Mind" released in UK.

October 4
UK tour ends in Birmingham.

"Forever/Your Poppa Don't Mind" (A&M 1305) released in US as a radio promo only.

Fall
"Bees Make Honey" album released in UK (EMC-3013).




1972

July
Roger takes LSD for the first time.
Bees Make Honey release "1971/72" (UK only).

October 6
Sam officially breaks with group, forgives all debts,
lets them keep their instruments and wishes them well.

Fall
Tour of Scandinavia.




1973

Roger & Rick play on Chick (Ten Years After) Churchill's album,
"You And Me" (CHR-1051) (U.S.).
Soundtrack of "Extremes" (SML-1095)(U.K.) released with two songs from the first Supertramp album. Not on the album, but in the movie, the only live recordings of Supertramp Mark II.

January
Roger, Frank & Kevin back Chuck Berry in London.

February
Frank Ferrell leaves band. New band auditions held at the Pied Bull Pub in Islington.
Dougie tries out and leaves feeling very sorry for the band.

June
Dougie is asked into the band and also takes over as business manager.

August
Bob Siebenberg joins the band, but spells his name, Bob C. Benberg.

September
John Helliwell auditions for the group. He is never formally asked to join.

October
A&M Records believes group wants out of their recording contract, but Roger, Rick and Dougie ask for one more album.

November
A&M moves the group to a farm in Southcombe, Somerset, to begin writing what turns out to be "Crime Of The Century".

SUPERTRAMP MARK III

Rick Davies - vocals, keyboards, harmonica
Roger Hodgson - vocals, guitar, pianos
Bob C. Benberg - drums, percussion
John Anthony Helliwell - saxophones, clarinet, vocals
Dougie Thomson - bass




1974

February
Band leaves Southcombe to move to London to begin recording. First sessions at Trident Studios with Ken Scott producing.

March
"Land Ho"/"Summer Romance" released in U.K.

June
Recording completed at Ramport Studios. Mixing begins at Scorpio Studios.

September
"Crime Of The Century" released in U.K. (AMLS-68258).

October
"Crime Of The Century" released in US (SP-3647).

December
Concert - Preston.
"Dreamer" release in UK.
"Crime Of The Century" reaches #4 on U.K. album charts.

December 7
"Crime Of The Century" enter Billboard LP charts in US.




1975

- UK tour starts -

 

January
23-City Hall, Sheffield, S. Yorks
24- Leeds Town Hall
26- Birmingham Town Hall
27- De Montfort Hall, Leichester
29- Manchester Free Trade Hall
30- Newcastle City Hall

February
1- Edinburgh Usher Hall
2- Galsgow, Scotland - King’s Theater
6- Oxford New Theater
7- Brighton Dome
8- Guildford Civic Hall
9- Bristol - Colston Hall
10- Plymouth Guild Hall


- END OF TOUR -


March 3
"Dreamer" makes U.K. #13.

April
Charles Helliwell born.

April 4
American Tour begins - Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1st stop of 25 date tour.

April 11
Beacon Theater, New York City - Chris DeBurgh opening.

April 12
"Bloody Well Right"/"Dreamer" (A&M-1660) enters US Billboard Top 100 @ #85.

April 19

"Bloody Well Right " @ #74
"Bloody Well Right" enters Cashbox Top 100 (US),
where it stays for 7 weeks, peaking @ #53.

April 25
Santa Monica Civic Center.

April 26
"Bloody Well Right" @ #63 .
Tour continues through Texas, to the East Coast, north to Montreal..

May 3
"Bloody Well Right" @ #53.

May 5
"Crime Of The Century" makes US Top-40 album chart.

May 10
"Bloody Well Right" @ #43.

May 17
"Bloody Well Right" enters Billboard's Top-40 singles chart @ #37.

May 24
"Bloody Well Right" @ #35.
"Crime Of The Century" peaks on the US charts @ #38.

May 31
"Bloody Well Right" @ #47.

June 7
"Bloody Well Right" @ #61.

June 14
"Bloody Well Right" @ #92.

Summer
Recording "Crisis" at the A&M studios in Los Angeles.

August 23
Plays 2nd day of the 15th National Jazz, Blues & Rock Festival
near Reading, Berkshire.

October
Ramport Studios & Scorpio Studios in England to finish album tentative
title for album is "Second Offense".
"Lady"/"You Started Laughing (When I Held You In My Arms)"
(A&M 1793) released in US.

November
"Crisis? What Crisis?" released in US (SP-4311).
"Lady/You Started Laughing" released in UK.

November 13
Beginning of 30 date UK tour. Colston Hall, Bristol w/ Joan Armatrading.

November 22
Feature article in "Melody Maker" (UK) by Brian Harrigan.


November
24- Birmingham
25- Manchester
29- Sheffield

December
8-
Liverpool
12- Plymouth
15- Southampton
20- Kursaal, Southend, Essex.


- END OF TOUR -


December 6
"Crisis? What Crisis?" reaches UK #20.

December 13
"Crisis" debuts on US Billboard Album Chart.




1976

Bob guests on Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver" (WB-2868).

January 31
"Crisis? What Crisis?" makes US #44.

February
First world tour begins.
Performance at The Royal Albert Hall, London.

May 3
Featured on "Earth News" radio show.

June
"Sister Moonshine/Ain't Nobody But Me" released in UK.
"Sister Moonshine"/"Ain't Nobody But Me" (A&M 1814) released in US.

August 23
Reading Festival.

November 13
Second world tour begins, Briston, England.

November 21
Radio Glasgow interview: playing of "Goldrush".

November
14- Lancaster
15- Leeds University
16- London, Croydon Fairfield Hall
17- Brighton Dome
19- Bournemouth, Winter Garden
20- Portmouth
22- Newcastle City Hall
24- Glasgow, Scotland. The Apollo Theater
25- Dundee, Caird Hall
28- Cardiff in Wales, Capitol Theater
29- Birmingham Odeon
30- Manchester, Palace Theater


December
1-
Leicester, DeMontfort Hall
2- Stoke-On-Trent, Hanley Victoria Hall
4- Sheffield City Hall
5- Coventry theater
6- Hammersmith Odeon
7- Hammersmith Odeon
9- Hull, ABC Movie theater
11- Preston
12- Liverpool, Empire Theater
13- Ipswich, The Gaumont
14- Great Yarmouth ABC theater
16- Plymouth
18- Swansea, Brangwyn Hall
19- Southampton Gaumont
20- Southend, the Korsaal



Move to Caribou Studios, Colorado to record "Even In The Quietest Moments"



The name of SUPERTRAMP / El Nombre de SUPERTRAMP

book

The first name of the band in 1969 was "DADDY".
The name SUPERTRAMP cames to Rick Davies inspired in a book that Richard Palmer was reading at that time,
called "Autobiography of a Supertramp" by W.H. Davies (don't confuse with Rick Davies !! ) Early 1970.
And that was the definitive name for the band for their first album in July 1970.


La formación inicial de Supertramp en 1969 se llamó "DADDY".
El nombre de SUPERTRAMP se le ocurrió a Rick Davies inspirado en un libro que estaba leyendo Richard Palmer,
llamado "Autobiography of a Supertramp" de W.H. Davies (¡¡ no confundir con Rick Davies !! ) Era a principios de 1970.
Y ese fué el nombre definitivo del grupo a partir de 1970 para su primer disco (Los Supervagabundos) publicado en Julio
.


foto_tramp2

SUPERTRAMP for experts

classicsupertramp2lineup

Welcome !
I guess you know Supertramp, the band and their albums, and, you would like to know, in a quick view, what's available around the world apart from the official discography.
Congratulations !! You are in the right place !!
After many years in touch with the band and the fans, exchanging material over the years, I was able to list all the material, both Audio and Video recordings.

Obviously I've listed the more interesting, best (or acceptable) quality, aired on radio and TV the most.
I didn't included lot of audience-recordings I got due to the bad quality and low representative.
If you love the band, this is much more than you need, for sure.
All this is not too difficult to get thanks to teh Internet, just exchanging material with other fans, forums.
There are a lot in Youtube also. You don't need to buy things to a collectors. All this material is shared by the fans.

I've classified it in two areas:
Supertramp (with and without Roger) and Roger Hodgson (after Supertramp)


SUPERTRAMP

SUPERTRAMP Video Footage

SUPERTRAMP Audio rare recordings

 

ROGER HODGSON

ROGER HODGSON Video Footage

ROGER HODGSON Audio rare recordings

ROGER HODGSON Other works

 

¡ Bienvenidos !
Se supone que sabeis bastante sobre Supertramp, el grupo y su discografía, y os gustaría saber de un vistazo qué os que corre por ahí además de la discografía oficial.
Felicidades !! Habeis caído en el sitio perfecto !!
Tras muchos años en contacto con la banda y con fanse intercambiando material, he podido elaborar esta exhaustiva lista de todo lo que han dado de si tanto en Audio como en Video.

Evidentemente aquí he relatado todo lo más interesante y de mejor calidad, emitido por radio y TV la mayoría.
No he incluido muchas grabaciones privadas que han llegado a mis manos por su baja calidad o poca representatividad. Si os gusta la banda, esto es mucho mas que suficiente.
Todo esto es relativamente fácil de conseguir con un poco de interés intercambiando con fans en foros de Internet.
También hay mucho de esto en Youtube.
No necesitais acudir a coleccionistas a gastaros los dineros. Todo este material está muy repartido entre los fans y nadie posee nada en exclusiva.


Lo he separado en dos partes: Supertramp (con y sin Roger) y Roger Hodgson (tras Supertramp).

 MAC

SUPERTRAMP_group SUPERTRAMP_piano

supertramp5

 

SUPERTRAMP para novatos

¡ Bienvenidos !

Imagino que conoceis alguno de los éxitos de Supertramp que aún suenan en la radio (Dreamer, The Logical song o Give a little bit por citar algunos). Pero no teneis ni idea quién o qué hay detrás de todo ello. Felicidades, habeis encontrado el sitio adecuado !!!

Supertramp ha sido uno de los grupos más famosos de la historia de la música moderna, con millones de discos vendidos, y megagiras en las que batieron records de asistencia, y entraron en todos los hogares en las decadas de los 70 y 80.
Pero siempre se ha caracterizado por ser poco mediático, una banda sin rostro. Su interés se centraba en hacer buena música y mantener su privacidad. Es lo que querían y así ha sido.

De hecho no fué un grupo de facilonas canciones pop o baladas al estilo Abba u otros, sino todo lo contrario, musica muy precisa y sofisticada, llena de matices y gran calidad y letras con contenido. De ahí lo raro de su tremendo éxito, en lugar de haber pasado solo como banda para minorías como otras. Desde luego un fenómeno curioso.

Para entender qué hay detrás de todo ello, solo teneis que mirar la foto y el secreto quedará descubierto ....

 roger y rick
Supertramp se basó principalmente en la unión de King Arthur (a la izquierda)
y el mago Merlin (a la derecha) como se aprecia claramente en la foto.
Aunque desde un punto de vista informático también se podrían describir como un procesador doble
trabajando en paralelo gracias a un potente bus serial y a tres buenos periféricos :o)

¿ QUIENES ERAN ?
Ahora en serio....
El de la izquierda, llamado Rick Davies, un genio del Rhythm and Blues con una peculiar voz nasal.
A la derecha, Roger Hodgson, un genio multi-instrumentista con una prodigiosa voz, a la vez cálida y aguda, que es capaz de convertir en mágica cualquier melodía.
Ambos fueron los pilares de Supertramp.

A ellos les acompañaba una potente y sólida base rítmica (Bob a la batería y Dougie al bajo) y un
extraordinario y extrovertido saxofonista aficionado al jazz, y maestro de ceremonias en los conciertos de Supertramp, llamado John Helliwell.

Esa formación de 5 miembros es la que les llevó al éxito desde 1973 hasta la marcha de Roger en 1983, la década gloriosa .....
Se habían formado en Londres, pero desde la grabación del album Crisis en 1975 se trasladaron y establecieron a Los Angeles, donde están los estudios de A&M. Roger se compró una casa de estilo español, aunque más tarde se trasladó a las montañas del norte de California. Rick y los demás en la zona de Los Angeles. ( John en Topanga Canyon por ejemplo)

Roger está en la onda de la meditación, vida sana y comida vegetariana, y vive desde mediados de los 70 en una cabaña sin grandes comodidades, lo justo, en las montañas de Sierra Nevada (California), su base de operaciones.

Rick tras varios años en Los Angeles se trasladó a Long Island en New York, donde el paso de las estaciones le recuerda más su tierra natal... disfrutando de la vida junto con su mujer y seguro que disfrutando de buenas veladas "bluseando" con sus amigos.

John vivió muchos años en Topanga pero hace pocos años se volvió a Manchester, su tierra (me dice que por las pintas de cerveza, ente risas...) donde continuó sus estudios de saxo y montó una banda de jazz.

Bob se trasladó años después de LA a una granja también en Sierra Nevada (California) pero viaja bastante, le encanta hacer escapadas para surfear en Mexico.

Dougie se trasladó a Chicago, en donde lleva una productora importante (entre otros artistas tiene a Moby)

Era pues una banda británica formada en Londres, con un batería californiano.
En la actualidad, décadas después, y por paradojas de la vida tras la marcha de Roger y Dougie, y con Rick (Roger también) nacionalizado americano, se podría decir que ahora es una banda americana con un saxofonista inglés ....


SUS CANCIONES Y PERSONALIDADES

Sus canciones casi siempre se basan en sonidos de piano de cola (Take the long way home, Babaji, Ain't nobody but me o Breakfast in America por poner un ejemplo) o de piano eléctrico Wurlitzer (el que suena en Dreamer, Logical song, Goodbye stranger, Oh Darling por ejemplo) interpretados tanto por Rick como por Roger en sus respectivas composiciones (ambos excelentes teclistas) así como bastantes temas compuestos por Roger a la guitarra acústica de 12 cuerdas (Sister Moonshine, Give a little bit, Even in the Quietest moments por ejemplo).

Todo esto acompañado por el peculiar estilo de Roger a la guitarra eléctrica y del también peculiar estilo de John al saxofon, con la potente y concisa y nada recargada batería de Bob, siempre protagonista también.

Todas las canciones están compuesta exclusivamente por Roger y Rick, y cada uno canta sus propias canciones, con lo que es fácil saber de quién es cada tema, aunque siempre han firmado Davies/Hodgson siguiendo el estilo de Lennon/McCartney de los Beatles o Waters/Gilmour en Pink Floyd (bandas que tienen ciertas semejanzas con Supertramp), para evitar suspicacias o problemas y dar una imágen de equipo y discreción.
Esto más tarde le creó un problema a Roger a la hora de separarse, pues el grupo siguió tocando algunas de sus canciones a pesar de un acuerdo verbal entre Rick y Roger, en el que Rick se quedaba con el nombre de la banda, pero Roger con sus canciones, para tener ambos cierta seguridad en sus respectivos futuros profesionales.

Los estilos musicales de Rick y Roger son bastante distintos, pero complementarios, y gracias a ellos se creó la magia de sus canciones. Musicalmente el estilo de Rick (influenciado en el jazz) es más blusero y rítmico, a veces con aire Soul y Godspell, más oscuro y potente, mientras que el estilo de Roger (influenciado por Beatles, Steve Winwood, etc) es más melódico y pop, también rítmico, pero con aires místicos en ocasiones y potente en otras. Con aires folk en ciertos temas de guitarra.

Pero grandes genios ambos dos, sin ninguna duda. Cualquier experto en piano y guitarra os podrá hablar de las extraordinarias melodías y armonías, nada triviales.
El resultado es difícil de etiquetar pero se considera pop/rock progresivo, o "sofisto-rock" como lo llegó a describir John Helliwell.

En cuanto a las letras, las de Rick son más bien irónicas o criticas cínicas sobre la sociedad y las de Roger más bien trascendentales, introspectivas, siempre buscando respuestas sobre el sentido de nuestra existencia y comportamiento ....

El tercer disco del grupo, Crime of the Century, que fué el primero con esta formación y el primer disco que les llevó a la fama, gracias al tema "Dreamer" que Roger compuso con 17 años, bastante antes de entrar en Supertramp, lo que demuestra la tremenda influencia de Roger en el éxito de la banda.
Este album fué en realidad la última vez en la que Rick y Roger colaboraron en la composición.

Han comentado en entrevistas su mutua colaboración en la composición sobre todo en los temas School y Crime of the Century, tanto en las melodias como en las letras.
Pero a partir de ahí solo colaboraron en ciertas aportaciones sueltas cada uno sobre temas del otro ya acabados, como por ejemplo las frases "come on dreamer, come along" de Rick en el tema Dreamer, la frase "what you got? Not a lot" de Rick en Logical song, o las segundas voces de Roger o solos de guitarra eléctrica de Roger en temas de Rick.

Las canciones de Roger, algunas de ellas compuestas años antes de entrar en Supertramp, cosa que le gusta remarcar (los éxitos Dreamer, Breakfast in America y Logical song por ejemplo) son las que llevaron a Supertramp a los primeros puestos de las listas, por su caracter más pop y comercial, siempre sin dejar la faceta espiritual o trascendental (salvo excepciones como Breakfast in America) , más fáciles de emitirse por las radios y sin duda porque tienen la especial característica de Roger de conectar con la gente de todo tipo, tanto en la música como en la letra.

Pero por otra parte hay canciones de Roger menos comerciales pero más intimistas que ponen la piel de gallina a la mayoría de la gente, por su especial maestría en hacer crecer una simple melodía en pocos minutos hasta convertirse en algo grandioso,
una epopeya musical, propio de los grandes clásicos. Melodías que empiezan casi sin darte cuenta, acaban creciendo hasta alcanzar un climax grandioso que te hace tener un "subidón" en tu ánimo cuando las escuchas.

Roger Hodgson cursó estudios básicos de música, y aunque excelente pianista, se considera a si mismo más como guitarrista acústico básicamente. Es el instrumento que le da más libertad, se lo puede llevar a todas partes y componer en cualquier momento de inspiración, en un hotel, en la playa, en la montaña, etc. Para eso el piano tiene más limitaciones (por ejemplo es un problema que tenía Rick durante las largas giras)

Además siempre utiliza guitarra de 12 cuerdas, que tiene un sonido mucho más especial y lleno que la normal de 6 cuerdas.
Roger comenta que el sonido es como más oriental y exótico y si pones atención verás que es así. Sobre todo en los arpegios, que suenan mágicos y solo el sonido de la guitarra lo llena todo. (en la 12 cuerdas, cada vez que golpeas una cuerda, en realidad golpeas 2 a la vez, una fina y otra grave, que dan una sonoridad especial que no tiene la 6 cuerdas)
Pero también es más difícil tocarla, exige más precisión. De ahí lo de tocar con pua.

Roger es muy perfeccionista en lo relacionado con sus canciones, y le gusta que todo suene tal como el lo tiene en mente desde la composición, cada cosa en su sitio, el bajo de tal manera y los golpes de batería de tal otra, de forma muy precisa y sin cambiar nada. Por eso siempre componía en solitario y grababa una demo completa de la canción con bajo y percusión incluido, que luego mostraba al grupo para que lo interpretara al pie de la letra. Solo se añadían pequeñas aportaciones de los demás como las ya comentadas y quizás el único que tenía algo más de libertad en su parte era John, en los huecos que Roger le dejaba, aunque siempre siguiendo las indicaciones de Roger.

Dicho esto, y aunque no colaboraban en la composición, aún así es evidente que el estilo de John al saxo/clarinete y el estilo de Bob a la batería le añaden cierto aire personal que enriquece el resultado. Bob seguía al pie de la letra la composición de Roger, pero los redobles de mano izquierda del jazz y ciertos "tics" en los golpes y transiciones que se repiten en muchas canciones son marca de Bob. Un sonido muy sólido y preciso.
La prueba es que si escuchas viejas grabaciones de las BBC series de antes de 1973, donde no estaba Bob, se nota otro mundo en las canciones, la percusión se nota más simple y atolondrada, sin gancho.

Definitivamente la percusión de Bob aporta bastante al sonido final, junto con el especial cuidado de Ken Scott al grabar los sonidos de batería, muy trabajados, y se puede decir que es uno de los puntos fuertes en los discos de la década gloriosa, y a mi personalmente fué una de las cosas que más me llamó la atención cuando descubrí a Supertramp a mediados de los 70, y luego he podido comprobar que a otra gente le ocurrió lo mismo.
(mi experiencia personal es que gasté mi primer salario en un equipo hi-fi con grandes altavoces de 3 vías para escuchar a todo volúmen la batería en Hide in your shell, Dreamer, Asylum, Crime of the Century, y sentir en mis pulmones los increibles climax finales de los temas de Roger,...... el sonido espectacular de bajo sintetizado final en "Lady" hacía temblar las paredes, para molestia de mi familia y vecinos .... ¿ lo habéis escuchado a todo volúmen ?)

Con respecto a Rick, no es tan quisquilloso en la composición, y una vez compuesta la canción, da más libertad al resto para incorporar sus partes. (aunque es bien sabido que se inició en la música como batería y seguro que también daría buenas indicaciones al respecto)
Pero el es más un músico de blues o jazz al que le gusta tocar en compañía de buenos compañeros tomando una cerveza, sin buscar un objetivo concreto más que pasar un buen rato, ya me entendeis.

John representa el lado práctico de la vida.
Le encanta tocar y disfrutar esta pasión con la gente. Una persona sencilla que disfruta de cosas sencillas como tocar jazz con buenos músicos, dar paseos en bici o tomar una cerveza en el pub.
Ama su profesión, se tomó muy en serio su carrera de saxofonista y tiene un talento fuera de duda en su interpretación.
Muchos de sus solos como en "If everyone was listening" o "Lord is it mine" te ponen la piel de gallina aunque los escuches 100 veces. Hoy día a los 60 años sigue disfrutando con ello. Toca aún mejor que antes, con más matices y experiencia.
Le gusta la gente, la buena comida, y entiende bien tanto a Rick como a Roger, pues tiene ciertas caracteristicas de ambos: por un lado tiene los pies bien asentados en el suelo, y por otro lado valora mucho la amistad y las personas, y le gusta hacer
feliz a la gente, aunque sin llegar a la trascendentalidad de Roger y destaca sin duda por su diplomacia.....  se podrían escribir libros sobre ello ....
Lo que ha tenido que "capear" este hombre, sobre todo con las incisivas preguntas de la prensa :o)

Dougie fué un buen elemento para el grupo en cuanto aportó estabilidad. Era como el pegamento que mantenía personalidades tan diferentes unidas. Buen amigo de Roger, ayudaba en la Producción e incluso en el management, y sabía cómo intermediar en los conflictos por su buen caracter escocés.
De hecho, años después de la marcha de Roger, fué el único en criticar el hecho de interpretar temas de Roger, y eso le distanció de Rick, que ya no contó con él para el siguiente disco "Somethings never change".


SUS CONCIERTOS

Siempre se han caracterizado por llevar sus discos tal cual al directo, sin improvisaciones, y sonando lo mejor posible.
Quizás algo frío comparado con otras bandas del momento, pero con un sonido potente en todo caso.
John ha comentado en alguna entrevista que su objetivo era que en sus conciertos sonaran sus discos como en un gran equipo estéreo, mejor que escucharlos en casa.

Rick y Roger se mantenían en un segundo plano y el que se dirigía al público era siempre John, también por su caracter extrovertido y en parte porque Rick y Roger estaban más ocupados con todo el peso de las canciones.
Con Crime of the Century comenzaron a desplegar una puesta en escena más dramática y espectacular, que fué mejorando y aumentando con los años. Llevaban una pantalla gigante de cine tras ellos para proyectar algunos videos a juego con la música como el alucinante viaje en tren en Rudy o el firmamento estrellado en Crime of the Century.
Introdujeron ciertos toque irónicos, como la sombrilla y amaca de la portada del Crisis en un lado del escenario, donde se tomaba una copa alguien del equipo.... o estrambóticos coros de gente disfrazada en los coros finales de "Hide in your shell" u otros temas.

Eso junto con su música tan particular les dió popularidad en las giras y llenaron estadios. Compraron su propio equipo de luces y sonido, lo mejor de la época, para no depender de nadie, con el que recorrieron el mundo.
Pero tampoco llegaban ni de lejos a la espectacularidad y teatralidad de Pink Floyd por ejemplo, que en 1979 ya viajaban con su mega-espectaculo "The Wall", bastante más teatral.
De hecho Supertramp tampoco buscaba eso.


LA EVOLUCION

Los dos primeros discos con las formaciones anteriores, aunque eran buenos trabajos, no atrajeron demasiada atención mas que en circulos universitarios y gente entendida del mundillo.
En algunos temas se adivina algo de lo que vendrá después (la voz y guitara de Roger, el sonido Wurlitzer y Hammond, el estilo de Rick, etc)
Crime of the century es una obra maestra en muchos aspectos, y les catapultó a la fama. Curiosamente no incluye ningún tema a la guitarra de Roger. De hecho, las canciones escogidas para al album no eran las que consideraban las mejores entre las que tenían preparadas, sino las que mejor se complementaban y encajaban en la idea que tenían para el album, desde tiempo atrás.

El siguiente disco, Crisis, ya incluye temas de guitarra, y fué grabado con un poco de prisas y presiones de la discográfica ante el éxito inesperado del disco anterior. No lo pudieron trabajar tanto como les hubiera gustado, pero el resultado es excepcional y en la línea del Crime, tan potente y sólido, pero algo más marchoso.
Para muchos, me incluyo, Crisis recoge lo mejor de la banda.

A medida que pasaban los años, el propio éxito de las canciones de Roger y el interés de Roger por el perfeccionismo en las grabaciones y en la Producción, provocaron que los temas y la influencia de Roger tuvieran cada vez más peso en los albumes, y eso ya se nota en el siguiente disco (Even in the quietest moments).
De hecho a Rick le aburría tremendamente trabajar en la mesa de mezclas, y dejaba que Roger y el ingeniero hicieran de las suyas. En el fondo lo agradecía, pues el resultado valía la pena.
Roger impuso en cierto modo un cambiar de registro en este album, grabado en un estudio en las montañas Rocosas, (¿ a quién del grupo le gusta vivir en la montaña ? ) buscando no tanto la perfección del sonido como la calidez e intimismo de las canciones.
Cuatro canciones de Roger por tres de Rick. En este album Roger introduce ya elementos de su influencia yoga: "Even in the Quietest moments" está grabada en tono "Om" un tono mantra muy profundo y relajante que se usa en la meditación, que ayuda a conectar cuerpo y mente. O el tema Babaji, un personaje divino sacado del libro "Autobiografía de un Yogui" que Roger acababa de leer, un libro muy extendido en ambientes Yoga.

En el siguiente álbum, Beakfast, de nuevo el peso de Roger vuelve a ganar, supongo que para frustración de Rick que acabó cediendo en estas decisiones, y se impone su visión de hacer un disco más pop y ligero tras tres albumes más serios. También porque ellos estaban madurando y los tiempos estaban cambiando.
y la jugada les salió bien a nivel comercial, aunque para los fans enganchados a los discos anteriores (yo me incluyo) supuso una pequeña decepción, esperando una nueva epopeya musical, algo grandioso.
El punto positivo de eso, entre otros, es que sirvió para que mucha otra gente en el mundo descubriera las obras maestras anteriores de Supertramp.

Como se ve, Roger es muy inquieto y no para de pensar en cambios, evolucionar. De hecho Los Beatles y otros grupos lo hicieron. Sino, te estancas. Tras el Breakfast, los puntos de vista musicales de Rick y Roger se distanciaban mucho y parecía imposible que encajaran por más tiempo. Aún así encontraron la forma de trabajar en un último proyecto (de ahí el nombre "Famous last words") aunque con muchas concesiones y limitaciones, y guardándose cada uno buenas canciones para posteriores proyectos en solitario. Las grabaciones fueron complicadas, entre los studios de Los Angeles y el estudio de Roger en el norte de California, a gran distancia. A Roger no le gustaba bajar a Los Angeles y a Rick no le gustaba subir a la montaña.

El resultado es un disco no demasiado equilibrado, en el que volvieron en cierto modo al sonido más dramático e intimista que les había llevado a la fama. Obras conmovedoras como "Know who you are" o "Waiting so long", salpicadas también con alegres toques pop como "Crazy" o "It's raining again" o un R&B intrascendente como "Put your old brown shoes" con cierto aire Godspell, o una balada "retro" como "My kind of lady". Por cierto, cuando pruebas a tocar "Know who you are" te das cuenta que son puros acordes de bossa-nova !!! sólo un genio como Roger puede hacer que eso no se note en absoluto .... Increible.

Un buen disco en general, que les sirvió para hacer una última gira, a la vez despedida de Roger.
Pero que salió al mercado en una época en donde la música estaba cambiando a pasos agigantados, la música pop-disco había evolucionado al "New age" de grupos jovenes con buena estetica y electrónica (Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Thompson Twins, etc..) y nuevos estilos como Police, U2, y por tanto los dinosaurios de los 70 ya empezaban a no encajar y dejaron de estar de moda rápidamente a mediados de los 80.

 

 supertramp3


SUS RELACIONES INTERPERSONALES

Como en todas las bandas, prácticamente sin excepciones, las relaciones entre los miembros a medida que pasan los años nunca son del todo fáciles. No fueron malas, pero tampoco es que tuvieran mucho en común entre ellos, con aficiones e ideales muy diferentes.
Las personalidades de Rick y Roger son totalmente opuestas por ejemplo.
Roger era algo tímido en público en aquella época, pero bromista y extrovertido en privado, casi más que John. Mientras que Rick es más introvertido y distante. Disfruta mucho con la música y tocando en grupo, pero no es fácil relacionarse con el.
Lo raro no es que se separaran, lo raro realmente es que estuvieron 14 años juntos !!! pero con la juventud ya se sabe, nada es imposible !!

Luego, a medida que te haces mayor, tienes dinero, familia, proyectos personales, presiones de la discográfica, todo se hace más complicado....
Cada uno se fué comprando su casa en diferentes puntos, montandose su vida tras muchos años de lucha en el mundo de la música, y eso crea distancias, aunque eso no quiere decir que las relaciones fueran malas.
John, Bob y Dougie son personas muy afables que nunca dieron problemas.
Más allá de la tipicas discusiones a la hora de preparar discos o giras, no hubo ningún problema destacable entre ellos.

 

LA SEPARACION EN 1983

Se puede deducir de lo explicado anteriormente que es algo que tenía que pasar tarde o temprano, en una banda con dos compositores.
Todo en esta vida llega a su fin. Con intereses musicales diferentes, con formas de vida diferentes (uno en la ciudad y otro en el campo), con familia, diferentes ideales, etc, es dificil mantener eso por mucho tiempo. (ya lo dice Rick en el video "The story so far": cuando dos pintores intentan pintar sobre el mismo cuadro, llega un momento en el que uno quiere poner el rojo y otro el azul en el mismo sitio ....")

Y ha pasado con los Beatles, los Pink Floyd y la mayoría de las bandas de la historia.
Solo algunas raras excepciones como los Stones ( básicamente porque es una banda basada en un lider y por tanto no hay discusión posible) rompen esta norma universal. Pero es ley de vida.

Si leeis alguna entrevista de la gira del Breakfast en 1979, ya tienen muy claro que va a ser su última gira, pues están agotados de ese ritmo de vida desde jovencitos. (el círculo album y gira sin final) Roger por ejemplo pasó de la escuela a Supertramp con 19 años, sin transición, y eso no te permite una vida normal, disfrutar de las cosas normales de la vida, tener una familia, pues cada día cuando te levantas no sabes dónde estás y acabas viviendo en una burbuja.
Por tanto necesitaban un cambio.
Pero a pesar de ello hubo un nuevo disco y gira dos años después, en parte pienso que para despedirse de los fans como banda y hacer promoción de cara a sus próximos proyectos, estár en la mente de la gente, cuestión de marketing (mi opinión) pues no hay que olvidar que la música es su fuente de ingresos.

Por tanto no tiene sentido buscar respuestas sobre la separación o buscar culpables. Eso no lleva a ninguna parte. Es parte del ciclo de la vida, todo es cambio y negarlo es rechazar la evidencia.
Es la suma de todos estos factores, muy meditado por parte de Roger y consensuado con la banda, que preferían seguir en la misma línea.
Roger se planteó la posibilidad de compaginar trabajos en solitario con la banda, pero le veía más inconvenientes que ventajas, pues no se veía haciendo el mismo tipo de cosas con la banda, sería como engañarse a si mismo, en eso era honesto.

Durante la gira 83 el mismo Roger se dedicó a despedirse cada noche de los fans, agradeciendo su apoyo durante años, y explicando que los cambios son buenos en la vida y que este cambio iba a suponer buenas cosas para ambas partes en el futuro.

De hecho era la primera gira en la que Roger se dirigía a la audiencia cada noche, que siempre había dejado ese papel a John, más extrovertido en público.
Y el calor del público le dió confianza en su proyecto en solitario.

De hecho tenía acabado el nuevo disco y preparada la promoción antes de comenzar la gira de Supertramp de 1983, lo que le hizo ir con prisas para llegar a tiempo. Ese disco se llamaba "Sleeping with the enemy", pero por razones que solo Roger podría explicar, decidió aparcar el proyecto hasta después de la gira de Supertramp, y finalmente tras la gira decidió cambiar el proyecto, cambiando algunas canciones (para hacerlo menos intimista y más potente y alegre) y llamándole "In the eye of the storm", deshaciendo todo lo programado.

El disco se promocionó con dos temas bastante pop y quizás continuistas con la línea del Breakfast (los temas "Had a dream" y "In jeopardy") y en general el album no reflejaba un verdadero cambio en el estilo sea por la razón que fuera. Buenas canciones, los fans lo disfrutamos como un tesoro, pero sin excesiva sorpresa.
También la imágen con la que Roger se presentó al mundo era de artista pop (se afeitó la barba y se cortó el pelo y vestía ropa de rockero de colores vivos) abandonado la imágen de místico con el pelo largo y vestuario hippie siempre blanco en Supertramp. Era un cambio difícil de asimilar...

El siguiente album "Hai Hai" era aún más pop y menos intimista. Roger explicó que tenía que atender a las presiones discográficas, y que no pudo hacer el disco que deseaba, pero por lo que sea nos quedamos sin saber qué tipo de cambio estaba buscando cuando dejó Supertramp, pues a partir de ahí, debido el terrible accidente doméstico en que se rompió las muñecas justo en el lanzamiento del album, se retiró de la música por una década, dedicando sus esfuerzos a su familia y su realización personal, un poco harto quizás de todas las presiones, de tener que complacer siempre a todo el mundo y no poder seguir a su corazón, mi opinión, por su caracter afable y fácilmente influenciable.
Realmente un tipo encantador, todo corazón.

Por su parte el resto de la banda, bajo el nombre Supertramp (Nombre en poder de Rick y su mujer, "Rick Davies Productions"), también lanzó dos albumes coincidiendo con los de Roger.
El primero "Brother were you bound", mantenía la líneas de los temas de Rick en Supertramp, que gustó bastante en general, pero sin el éxito de antaño.
Rythm and blues de calidad, con un buen sonido y una buena transición de canciones, fácil de escuchar. Solamente el largo tema de la segunda cara, que da nombre al album, se hace un poco largo , con un trozo en medio dificil de digerir, y un mensaje catastrofista y ya desfasado, y una pequeña colaboración a la guitarra de David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) desaprovechada, pues podía haber sido firmada por cualquier otro guitarrista, nada especial.
Todas las críticas a ese disco entre los fans son buenas, excepto la importante falta de Roger, claro... pero el material estaba bien. Solo la primera canción, "Cannonball", se apartaba del estilo tradicional de la banda, buscando un sonido más "disco" siguiendo la moda del momento. No fué un mal intento y funcionó bastante bien. Destacaría que tanto John como Bob pueden lucirse en muchos temas y eso hace que el sonido te sea familiar y guste.

En cambio el segundo album "Free as a bird", es bastante flojo, frío, con poco carisma. Temas con aires disco, pop e incluso latino y alguna balada antigua que Rick recuperó de sus archivos. El mismo Rick no quedó contento con el resultado ( ver el video oficial "The story so far").
En este album el trabajo de John y Bob pasa casi desapercibido, salvo en algún tema. Y se incorporaban temas con la voz de Mark Hart (ex-Crowded-House) que interpretó algunas canciones de Roger en la gira correspondiente.(1988)

A partir de ahí, una década de silencio tanto por parte de Roger como por parte de Supertramp, que en 1997 volvieron a publicar discos. 

 GranCanaria_2007_2

Roger Hodgson en Gran Canaria. Octubre 2007. Foto: Miguel Angel

 

EL FUTURO

A día de hoy (Septiembre 2010) Roger sigue en activo haciendo giras por todo el mundo (ver sección ALL TOURS  de Roger Hodgson) tanto en conciertos en solitario acompañado de un saxofonista, o conciertos acompañado incluso de otros músicos y de grandes orquestas sinfónicas (los más espectaculares) interpretando sus temas que compuso para Supertramp y después de Supertramp. Se puede decir que ciertos temas de Roger, interpretados por una orquesta sinfónica, como "The fool's overture", alcanzan así su verdadero sentido y esplendor.
Todo esto con gran éxito de público y crítica, gracias a conservar una buena voz, una gran maestría en la interpretación y una gran carisma con el público, con el que conecta fácilmente, cumpliendo sus sueños de juventud de tocar para gente que realmente quiere disfrutar el show y repartir un sencillo mensaje de paz y amor a través de la música.

Supertramp dió su última gira en 2002. Esa gira y la anteriores, se han basado pricipalmente en el material de la década gloriosa, que es lo que los fans esperan escuchar, con apenas algunas pocas canciones de los nuevos discos, e incluso algunos blues standar de otros artistas.
Desde entonces no se había vuelto a tener noticias. Cada uno de los miembros estába ocupado con sus respectivos proyectos personales.

Ahora en Septiembre 2010 arrancan una nueva gira, de nuevo sin ponerse de acuerdo con Roger, que lo sigue intentando. De momento no hay noticias de nuevo album, solo re-ediciones especiales de antiguos discos con algunas rarezas de conciertos.

Sobre una posible reunificación de Roger con sus excompañeros de Supertramp no hay buenas noticias de momento para los que esperen eso (aunque no hay que olvidar que Roger ha tenido colaboraciones en diversas giras o conciertos por parte de John Helliwell, Bob Siebenberg, e incluso Dougie, pero nunca todos juntos. Y que Rick y Roger colaboraron por un corto periodo a principio de los 90, pero no fructificó)

Durante una época Roger no fué partidario de una reunificación, que no aceptaba las condiciones de Rick, y ahora la pelota está en el tejado de Rick, que no acepta las condiciones de Roger que ahora si se muestra favorable.
El caso es que no hay acuerdo y parece que a estas alturas no lo habrá (con Rick de gira a los 65 años) .... aunque cosas más raras se han visto....

¿ Acaso no trabajó Sean Connery en "Nunca digas nunca jamás" en 1983, doce años después de haber dejado de hacer de James Bond en "Diamonds are forever" en 1971 ?


Miguel Angel Candela


Para saber más, leer las ENTREVISTAS a SUPERTRAMP

 

1974 Supertramp1974

1977 Supertramp1977

1983 Supertramp83photo

1986 Supertramp1986

SUPERTRAMP for beginners

                                                                                            Versión en ESPAÑOL

Welcome !                                                              

I guess you know some of the Supertramp hits, still being played on the radios around the world, Dreamer, The Logical song or Give a little bit to mention a few, but you have no idea about who, or what, is and was behind all this. Congratulations, you've found the right place !!!

Supertramp is one of the most famous bands in the history of modern music, with millions album sold, several endless tours around the world in which they beat attendance records, and their music penetrated every home through the 70s and the 80s.
However, Supertramp was a band without a face. Their aim was to make good music and to keep their privacy, more than becoming pop-stars. This is what they wanted and they got what they wanted.
In fact Supertramp was not a band producing light and catchy pop songs or ballads like Abba or other groups, but on the contrary, it was very precise and sophisticated music, full of nuances and good quality, with deep messages in the lyrics. Hence, it's hard to understand their tremendous success, instead of being just a band for minorities. Of course, a curious phenomenon.

In order to understand what is behind all this, just take a look at the picture and the secret will be shown.... 

roger y rick
Supertramp was based mainly on the union of King Arthur (left)
and the wizard Merlin (right) as the photo proves.
Although from a computational point of view, it could also be described as a dual processor system,
parallel working thanks to a powerful serial bus and three good peripherals: o)

WHO WERE THEY ?

Now seriously ....
On the left, Rick Davies, a rhythm and blues genius with a distinctive nasal voice.
On the right, Roger Hodgson, a genius, a multi-instrumentalist musician with a prodigious voice, warm and sharp at the same time, able to sing high notes, who is able to convert any simple melody into a magical thing.

They were accompanied by a powerful and solid rhythmic base (Bob on drums and Dougie on bass ) and an extraordinary and extroverted saxophone player, fan of jazz, and master of ceremonies in the Supertramp shows, called John Helliwell.

This 5 member line-up is the one that took them to the big successes from 1973 until the departure of Roger in 1983, the glorious decade .....
The band was born in London, but they moved to Los Angeles in 1975 for the recording of the album "Crisis, what crisis?", in the A&M studios. L.A. became their base of operations for the following years. Roger got a Spanish-style house, but he moved to the mountains in north California years later. Rick and the others were based in the Los Angeles area. (John was in Topanga Canyon for example).

Roger is into meditation, vegetarian food and a healthy lifestyle, and has lived in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada (California) since the mid-70’s in a little house without many luxuries, just the basic needs. His base of operations.

Rick, after several years in Los Angeles, moved to Long Island in New York, where the passing of the seasons reminds him of his homeland ... enjoying life with his wife and, for sure, enjoying good evenings jamming with friends.

John stayed many years in Topanga, but he came back to his homeland -Manchester- a few years ago, (due to the pints -good beer- he told me just joking ...) where he continued saxophone studies and formed a jazz band, his passion.

Bob moved to a farm in the Sierra Nevada (California), but he's travels a lot, he loves surfing and is used to escaping to Mexico.

Dougie moved to Chicago, he's an important manager for artists (Moby and other artists)

Supertramp was a British band formed in London, with a Californian drummer.
Now,a few decades later, the paradoxes of life, after the departure of Roger and Dougie, and Rick (Roger too) nationalized Americans, one could say Supertramp is an American band with an English saxophone player ....


THEIR SONGS AND PERSONALITIES

Their songs are almost always based on grand piano sound ,"Take the long way Home", "Babaji", "Ain't nobody but me" or "Breakfast in America" for instance, or electric piano Wurlitzer ( “Dreamer”, Logical Song”, “Goodbye Stranger”, “Oh Darling “for example ) as interpreted by both Rick and Roger in their respective compositions (both excellent keyboard players), as well as quite a few themes composed by Roger to the acoustic 12-string guitar: "Sister Moonshine", "Give a little bit",
"Even in the Quietest moments" for example.
All this accompanied by the peculiar style of Roger to the electric guitar and also the peculiar style of John on the saxophone, together with the powerful, concise and not overloaded percussion, by Bob, also a protagonist.

All the songs are composed exclusively by Roger and Rick, and each one sings their own songs, so it's easy to know the "owner" of each song, although they always signed Davies/Hodgson imitating the style of Lennon/McCartney in the Beatles or Waters/Gilmour in Pink Floyd (both bands have certain similarities with Supertramp), in order to avoid suspicions or problems and to give an image of a "team" and discretion.

This decision was a problem later for Roger by the time of the split, as the group continued playing some of Roger's songs despite the verbal agreement between Rick and Roger, in which Rick retained the name of the band, but Roger kept their own songs, in order to asure their professional future careers.

The musical styles of Rick and Roger are quite different, but complementary, and this rare balance contributed to the magic of their songs. Musically, Rick's style (jazz influenced ) is more rhythm and blues, sometimes soul and godspell , darker and powerful. On the othe hand, Roger's style (influenced by the Beatles, Steve Winwood, Traffic, etc) is more melodic and pop, good rhythm too, but sounding mystical sometimes and powerful too. There is even a little folk flavour on some guitar numbers.
Both composers are great geniuses, without a doubt,any piano and guitar expert will tell you about the extraordinary melodies and harmonies, not trivial at all.
The result is difficult to label, but it's considered progressive pop/rock, or "sophisto-rock" as John Helliwell liked to say.
As for the lyrics, Rick's are basically ironic and cynical criticism of our society, and Roger's are more introspective, always looking for answers about the meaning of our existence and behavior ....

The third album, Crime of the Century, actually was the first album by this line-up, and it took them to the top, thanks to the song "Dreamer", composed by Roger when he was 17, years before Supertramp. This is an evidence about the huge influence of Roger in the Supertramp's big succes.
This album was actually the last time that Rick and Roger collaborated in the composition.

They explained in some interviews their mutual collaboration in the composition, like the songs "School" and "Crime of the Century", in both aspects, music and lyrics.
Since then, they only collaborated with certain single contributions on the other's songs, once finished, such as Rick's sentence "Come on dreamer, come along" in "Dreamer", or Rick's "What you got? Not a lot" in "Logical song", or the backing vocals by Roger or the electric guitar solos by Roger in many of Rick's songs.

The songs composed by Roger, some of them composed years before he joined Supertramp, (the hits Dreamer, Breakfast in America and Logical song for example) took Supertramp to the top of the hit parades, because of their pop aspect, but without leaving the spiritual or transcendental dimension (with some exceptions such as "Breakfast in America"). Roger's hits are more suitable for radio broadcast and they have that special feature of Roger’s, of touching all kinds of people, music and lyrics.

On the other hand there are also Roger's songs, less commercial but more intimate, that chill most people. Roger is a supermaster in the art of developing a simple melody until it becomes something grandiose in few minutes, an epic musical, like what the big classics used to do. Melodies that start innocently, increasing to a grand climax that make you get high when listening.

Roger Hodgson studied in a music school, and although he's an excellent pianist, he considers himself an acoustic guitar player basically. This is the instrument that gives you more freedom, you can carry it around and compose at any moment of inspiration, in a hotel, on the beach, in the mountains, etc... For this reason, the piano has more limitations (for example this was a problem for Rick during the endless tours)

Roger always plays the 12-string guitar, which has a better sound, compared to the regular 6 strings. Roger says that the sound is more far-eastern and exotic and if you pay attention, you will realize that. Especially in the arpeggios, that magical sound when only the sound of the guitar fills the room. (On the 12 strings, each time you hit a string, you actually hit two strings at the same time, a thin and another bass, which gives a special sonority, impossible for a 6 strings guitar), but playing is more demanding, it needs more precision, and Roger always use a pick.

Roger is a perfectionist for everything related to his own songs, and he wants everything to sound like the sound he has in his head for the composition. Everything in it’s place, the bass line and the percussion bits have to be exactly to his design, very precise and without changing anything. So he always writes solo, and used to record a full demo of the song including the bass line and percussion, which he then showed to the group to be performed literally. Just adding small contributions from the others as already described before, and perhaps the only one who had some more freedom was John, in the gaps that Roger left him, but always following the directions of Roger.

Having said that, though they didn't contributed in the composition process, it's obvious that that the style and skill of John on saxophone/clarinet and of Bob on drums adds to the final result. Bob follows Roger's directions, but his left-hand roll of drums (from the jazz influence) and certain patterns in the fill-in you can hear in many songs, are Bob's.
Typically Bob's sound is very solid and accurate.
The evidence that proves this, are the BBC series recordings, before 1973. Bob was not there, and you can realize that the same songs sounds very different, another world, the percussion is simpler, not special.

Definitely Bob's percussion improves the final sound a lot, along with the special care of Ken Scott in the recording of the drum sounds, a very hard job and very well done. It could be stated that this is one of the good points in the albums of the glorious decade, and in my case, it was one of the things that caught my attention when I discovered Supertramp in the mid-70, and now I know that other people had the same feelings as well.
My personal experience, I spent my first salary on a stereo hi-fi with big speakers 3-way in order to listen to the drums in "Hide in your shell", "Dreamer", "Asylum", and "Crime of the Century", etc and to feel in my lungs the incredible end-climax in several of Roger's songs,...... the spectacular synthetized-bass sound at the end of "Lady" made the walls shake, to the annoyance of my family and neighbors .... Did you listen to it that loud ? )

Rick is not as fussy in the composition, and having composed the song, he gives more freedom to the rest of the parts. Although it's well known that he was a good drummer in the early years, so he was able to give the best tips and advice about the drums parts.
However he's more a blues/jazz musician who loves playing together with good musicians drinking a beer, having a good time, just for fun, without any mysticism or the goal of fame in mind, you know what I mean.

John represents the practical side of life.
He loves playing and enjoys sharing this passion with people. A simple man who enjoys simple things like playing jazz together with good musicians, going for a bike ride, a bicycle ride or having a beer in the pub.
He loves his profession, he took his career very seriously and his talent and skill were proved.
Many of his solos, for instance "If everyone was listening" or "Lord is it mine" are chilling, even after listening a hundred times. Today, he's around 60 years old and continues to enjoy his work. He plays better than ever, with more "colours" and experience. He likes people, good food, and he understands both Rick and Roger pretty well, he has some characteristics from both, in some ways he has his feet firmly on the ground, and on the other hand he loves people and appreciates good friendship, and likes to make people happy, but he doesn’t reach Roger's spirituality. His best point is diplomacy ..... He could write several books about it ....
What has he had to mediate on, this nice man over the years, mainly during the interviews :o)

Dougie was a good element for the group as he provided stability. He was like the glue that held such different personalities together. Roger's good friend, he supported the production tasks and even the management tasks, and he knew how to mediate in the conflicts thanks to his nice Scottish character.
In fact, years after the departure of Roger, he was the only one who criticized the fact that they performed Roger's songs, and this distanced Rick who didn’t count on him for the next album
"Somethings never change."


LIVE SHOWS

The main feature was transporting their albums to the live shows with no changes, no jamming, and trying always to get the best sound quality. Maybe a little bit cold compared with other bands of the moment, but powerful shows nevertheless.
John has commented on some interviews that their goal was to manage the albums so they sounded live, like a big stereo hi-fi, better than listening at home.

Rick and Roger remained in the background letting John be the speaker and master of ceremonies, also because of his extrovert character and partly because Rick and Roger were busier with the full weight of the songs.
By the time of "Crime of the Century", they began to deploy a bigger scenario, better lights and a more spectacular stage, which was improving and growing over the years. They carried a giant movie screen, installed behind them for projecting some videos synchronized with the music, like the amazing train ride in "Rudy" or the dark sky full of stars and galaxies in "Crime of the Century".

They introduced a certain ironic touch, like the umbrella and hamaca (from the cover of the Crisis album) on one side of the stage, where some crew had a drink during the show .... Funny choirs or people disguised in the final choruses of "Hide in your shell" or other songs.
All that, along with their peculiar music gave them fame and popularity on the tours and large audiences in big stadiums. They brought their own lights and sound equipment, the best at that time, in order to avoid being dependent, and toured the world.

But their show was never as spectacular as Pink Floyd for example, more in the theatre and visual side, Pink Floyd had already performed their mega-show "The Wall" in 1979.
In fact, Supertramp was not looking for that show concept either.


THE EVOLUTION

The first two albums with the previous line-up, although they were good, did not attract much attention except in schools and University circles.
In some numbers you can guess some of the sounds and features that will come later ( Roger's voice and guitar, the Wurlitzer and Hammond sound, Rick's style, etc.)

The Crime of the century album is a masterpiece in many ways, and catapulted them to fame. Curiously it does not include any acoustic guitar song from Roger. In fact, the songs chosen for the album, which were not considered the best they had ready, but the most suitable in the running order, following the idea they already had in mind some time earlier for this project.

The next album, Crisis, includes guitar songs, and was recorded a little bit in a hurry under pressure from the record company due to the unexpected success of the previous album. They weren’t able to work on the album as much as they would have liked, but the result is excellent. A similar quality compared to Crime, as powerful, strong and intimate, but something more rock.
For many people, me too, Crisis gather the best from the band.

As the years passed, the real success of Roger's songs and his interest in perfectionism in the recordings and production, meant that his songs and influence had more weight in the albums, and that's already noticeable in the next album (Even in the quietest moments).

Actually, Rick gets terribly bored working on the mixing desk, and so he left Roger and the engineer to do the job. And he felt grateful because the final result was worthwhile.

Roger inspired or persisted in some way, a change of concept for this album, recorded in a studio in the Rocky Mountains,(who in the band loves living in the mountains ? ) The goal this time was not the perfect sound, but the warmth and intimacy of songs.
Four of Roger's songs and three of Rick's. In this album Roger introduces elements from his yoga/meditation influence: "Even in the Quietest moments" is on "Om tune" -mantra, used in meditation- very relaxing, which helps to connect your mind and physical body. And "Babaji", a divine figure from the book "Autobiography of a Yogi" that Roger had just finished reading, a book well-known in the yoga environment.

In the next album, ”Beakfast”, the weight of Roger won again. It's easy to guess Rick's frustration after yielding to all the decisions. Roger inspired or persisted again his point of view about making an album more pop and light after three "serious" albums. Also, due to the fact that the guys were maturing and the times were changing.

And the bet was good again, at least in the commercial and business side, but for the fans hooked on the previous albums (me too)it was a little disappointing, we were hoping for a new musical epic, something great.
The positive point was, among others, it served to introduce Supertramp to the rest of the world, and many people discovered the previous masterpieces as a result.

As you can see, Roger is very restless and always thinking about changes, evolution. In fact, The Beatles and other groups did it. If not, you would stagnate. After Breakfast, Rick's and Roger's musical viewpoints became more distant and it seemed impossible to fit any longer. Even so, they found the way to work on a final project (hence the name "Famous last words") but with many concessions and limitations, and each one keeping the good songs for future solo projects. The recording sessions were difficult, some times in L.A., some times in Roger's studio in north California, far away. Roger didn't like to go down to L.A. and Rick didn't like go up to the mountain.

The result is a not too balanced album, where they returned, in some way, to the old dramatic sound that took them to fame. There are some wonderful numbers like "Know who you are" or "Waiting so long", splashed with light catchy-pop songs like "Crazy" or "It's raining again" and a light R&B like "Put your old brown shoes" with a certain Godspell taste, and a ballad "retro" like "My kind of lady."
By the way, when you try to play the song "Know who you are" you realize the chords are pure bossa-nova !!! only a genius like Roger can do that .... That's incredible.

A good album anyway, which served as a last tour and Roger's farewell at the same time.
But this album was released, unfortunately, in a changing time for music: new groups, new styles, new technology. The market at that time was changing quickly, pop and disco music had evolved into the "New Age" groups, young people with a new look and electronic help (Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Thompson Twins, etc. ..) and new styles such as Police, U2, etc, hence the big dinosaurs of the 70s started to be non-fashionable quickly in the mid-80s.

 

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THEIR INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Like in all bands, almost without exception, the relationships between members over the years, are never too easy. They were not bad, but they didn't have much in common (different hobbies, goals, etc) .
Rick and Roger are totally different for instance.
Roger was pretty shy on stage at that time, but a joker and extroverted privately, almost more than John. While Rick is a more introverted and distant person. He really enjoys playing music in a band a lot, but it's not easy to get on with him.

So, the split was not an unusual thing. Actually, the unusual thing was the fact that they were 14 years together !! But during our youth, we know, nothing is impossible !!
Then, as you get older, you get money, family, personal projects, pressure from the record company, etc, everything becomes more complicated ....

Every member of the band got a house in a different place, their own lives, after many years of struggle in the music world, and all that creates distance, but it does not mean that the relationships were bad.
John, Bob and Dougie are very affable people who never caused problems.
Apart from the routine discussions during the preparations for the albums and tours, there was no remarkable problem between them.


THE SPLIT IN 1983

From what you've read until now, it can be inferred that the split had to happen sooner or later, in a band with two composers.
Everything in this life has an ending. And, with different musical goals, with different ways of life (one in the city, one in the country), with family, different ideals, etc., it's very difficult to manage it for long time. (Rick explain this very clear in the video "The story so far": when two painters try to work on the same picture, there are problems when one wants to put the blue and the other one wants to put the red colour in the same place....")

This situation happened with the Beatles, Pink Floyd and most of the bands.
There are only a few rare exceptions such as the Stones to break this universal rule, because it was, and is basically a band based on a leader and therefore, there are no fights. But it's just the law of life.

If you read some interviews from the Breakfast-tour in 1979, Roger and Rick explained very clearly that the endless tours were killing them and they decided that the Breakfast-tour would be their last tour. They were exhausted with this way of life, since their youth, recording albums and touring again and again. Roger for instance, went from school to Supertramp when he was 19 years old, without transition, and that does not allow for a normal life, enjoying the normal things in life, having a family, because it's like living in a bubble.
Therefore they needed a change.

But despite this, there was a new album and a tour two years later, in some way, I think, to say goodbye to the fans as a band and also to promote their future projects, to stay in the minds of people, just marketing (my opinion), since it must not be forgotten that music is their source of income.

Therefore it makes no sense to look for magic answers about the split or looking for someone to blame. That take you nowhere.
It's part of the cycle of life, everything is changing and to deny that is just to reject the evidence.
It was the sum of all these factors, a very meditated decision by Roger and agreed with the band, who preferred to keep working in the same direction.
Roger raised the possibility of working in solo projects as well for the band, but he saw more disadvantages than advantages, he didn't want to do the same sort of things with the band, it would be deluding himself, he was honest.

During the 1983 tour Roger was devoted to saying goodbye every night to the fans, thanking them for their support over the years, and explaining that changes are good in life and this change would mean good things for both parts in the future. In fact it was the first tour in which Roger was speaking to the audience every night. He always left that role to John, the more extroverted on stage.
And the warm feedback from the public gave him confidence for his solo adventure.

In fact the new album was finished and the promotion ready, just before starting the Supertramp tour in 1983, which made him work in a hurry to do it on time. This album was called "Sleeping with the enemy", but for some reasons that only Roger could explain, he decided to shelve the project until the end of the Supertramp tour. And finally after the tour, he decided to change the project, changing some songs (in order to make it less intimate and more powerful and joyful) and the new name was "In the eye of the storm," undoing everything already scheduled.

The album was promoted with two pop songs, continuing the same style as the Breakfast album (songs "Had a dream" and "In jeopardy") and, the album did not reflect a real change , for some reason. Good songs, the fans treasured them, but without big surprises really.
Also Roger's image to the world during the promotion was of such a pop star (he shaved his beard and cut his hair and wore colourful rocker clothes) leaving the image of a mystic with long hair and white hippie clothes in Supertramp. It was a big change, hard to assimilate ...

The next album "Hai Hai" was even more pop and less intimate. Roger explained that he had to yield to the market pressures, and he was not able to do the album he would have liked, but whatever the reasons were, we can not know the kind of change he was seeking when he left Supertramp, because after that, due to the terrible accident he suffered at home, both wrists broken, the album promotion was cancelled, and he left his music career for a decade. He spent the following years focusing his efforts on his family, bringing up the kids, and on personal self-realization. Perhaps, just my opinion, a little bit tired of all the pressures from the market, having to always please everybody and not being able to follow his heart, because of his affable nature and being easily influenced. A really nice man, big heart.

On the other hand, the rest of the band kept going under the name "Supertramp". (this name is the property of Rick and his wife, "Rick Davies Productions") They released two albums coinciding with Roger's.
The first album "Brother were you bound," just Rick's style obviously, good feedback from the market, but not a big success like in the glorious decade.
Rhythm and blues quality, with a good sound and a nice listening. Only the long track on the second side, which gives the name to the album, is a bit long, with a part in the middle difficult to digest, and a negative and out-dated message in the lyrics. It includes a small contribution from David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) on electric guitar, wasted, because it could have been signed by any other guitarist, not special at all.

All the feedback from the fans about this album are good, except the important absence of Roger, of course ...
But the material was fine. Only the first song, "Cannonball", didn't follow the traditional style of the band, looking for a "disco" sound, according to the tendency of the moment. It was not too bad a try, and it worked well. I'd like to point out that both John and Bob were able to shine in their playing and that makes the sound familiar.

On the other hand, the second album "Free as a bird", was pretty weak, cold, with no charisma, some tracks disco and pop and even latin styles, some old ballad Rick recovered from his archives (the tittle track for instance). The same Rick was not too happy with the result (see the official video "The story so far").
In this album the work of John and Bob passes almost unnoticed, except in some little parts. And a new voice, Mark Hart (ex-Crowded House), which also performed some of Roger's songs on the tour. (year 1988)

From then, a decade of silence by both Roger and Supertramp. They returned in 1997 with new albums.

 

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Roger Hodgson in Gran Canaria. October 2007. Foto by Miguel Angel

 

THE FUTURE

Today (September 2010) Roger is still touring around the world (see the section Roger Hodgson's ALL TOURS) Some solo (acoustic) concerts together with a saxophone-player, and even concerts with large symphony orchestras (the most spectacular) playing the songs he wrote for Supertramp, before Supertramp and after Supertramp.
It could be said that certain songs of Roger's performed by a symphony orchestra, like "The fool's overture," reach their true meaning and glory.
All this with great audience and media success, thanks to his great voice and playing, and a great charisma with the public. Roger connects easily to the audiences, he's a loved man, and now he's doing what he has wanted to do for ages, just make the people happy, giving and receiving a little bit of love, and spreading a simple message of peace and love through the music.

Supertramp did their last tour in 2002. That tour and the previous ones have been mostly based on the material of the glorious decade, which is what fans expect to hear, and only a few songs from the new albums, and even some classic blues from other artists.
Since then, we had no news. Each member was busy with their own personal projects.

But now, September 2010, Supertramp is on tour again, without Roger, who keeps trying a reunion. No news about a new album at the moment, just re-editions deluxe (remastered) including some rare live shows.

About a possible Supertramp reunion with Roger, there is no good news at the moment for those who are waiting for that (though you must know that Roger has had several contributions from John Helliwell, Bob Siebenberg and even Dougie, in some tours and shows over the years, but never all together. And Rick and Roger were working together for a short period at the beginning of the 90's, but that finally didn't work out)

For several years Roger was not in favour of reunification, he didn't accept Rick's conditions, and now the ball is in Rick’s court, who doesn't accept Roger's conditions. (Roger is in favour of reunification now)
The fact is that there's no agreement and it seems that at this point there won’t be with Rick soon, 65 years old.
Although, stranger things have been known ....
Didn’t Sean Connery do "Never say never again" in 1983, twelve years after giving up the role of Bond in "Diamonds are forever" year 1971 ??

Miguel Angel Candela


To know more, please read the SUPERTRAMP Interviews 

 

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SUPERTRAMP - HISTORY

 
 

MEMBERS

DADDY 1969 (the first name of the band)

Rick Davies Keyboards
Roger Hodgson Bass guitar
Richard Palmer Guitar
Keith Baker Drums

 

SUPERTRAMP 1970

Roger Hodgson (vocals, bass guitar)
Rick Davies (vocals, piano-armonica)
Richard Palmer (guitar)
Bob Millar (percussion)
Dave Winthrop (flutes, saxophones, vocals)

EarllySupertramp

 

1971 - 1972 (Indelebly Stamped album)

Roger Hodgson (vocals, guitars)
Rick Davies (vocals, piano, harmonica)
Frank Farrell (bass guitar, piano, accordion, harmony vocals)
Kevin Currie (Percussion)
Dave Winthrop (flutes, saxophones, vocals)

 

1973-1983 The Golden decade, 5 albums

Roger Hodgson - vocals, piano, guitars, keyboards
Rick Davies - vocals, piano, harmonica, keyboards, Melodica
Dougie Thomson - bass
Bob Siebenberg - drums, percussion
John Helliwell - saxophone, woodwinds, backing vocal, keyboards, melodica

supertramp3

 

1984-1988 (after Roger, two albums)

Rick Davies - vocals, piano, harmonica, keyboards
Dougie Thomson - bass
Bob Siebenberg - drums, percussion
John Helliwell - saxophone, woodwinds, backing vocal, keyboards, melodica
with
Marty Walsh - guitars
Mark Hart - vocals, keyboards, guitar
Lee Thornburg - backing vocals, trombone, trumpet (1987-1988)
Steve Reid - percussion (1987-1988)
Brad Cole - keyboards, saxophone (1987-1988)
Carl Verheyen - guitars (1985-1986)

 

1997 Somethings Never Change album

Rick Davies - vocals, piano, harmonica, keyboards
Bob Siebenberg - drums, percussion
Mark Hart - vocals, keyboard, guitar
John Helliwell - saxophone, woodwinds, backing vocal, keyboards, melodica
Carl Verheyen - guitar
Lee Thornburg - backing vocals, trombone, trumpet
Cliff Hugo - bass
Tom Walsh - percussion

 

2002 Slow Motion album

Rick Davies - vocals, piano, harmonica, keyboards
Bob Siebenberg - drums, percussion
Mark Hart - vocals, keyboard, guitar
John Helliwell - saxophone, woodwinds, backing vocal, keyboards, melodica
Carl Verheyen - guitar
Lee Thornburg - backing vocals, trombone, trumpet
Cliff Hugo - bass
Jesse Siebenberg - backing vocals, percussion, acoustic guitar (playing "Give A Little Bit in live performances)

 


The NAME Supertramp

Where does Supertramp name comes from ?

De dónde viene el nombre de Supertramp ?


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Pete Makowski traces the success of Supertramp

Sounds

December 27, 1975

Two years and two months, that’s how long Super tramp have been together believe it or not. Two years and two sensational albums – ‘Crime Of The Century’ and ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’ – Supertramp have carved their name in a market that’s literally crying out for quality. That’s what the ‘Tramp are; a quality band who, with bands like 10cc, set themselves high standards that they continually maintain.

Supertramp are: Rick Davies (keyboard/vocals), Roger Hodgson (guitar/keyboards/vocals), Dougie Thompson (bass) John Helliwell (saxophone, various instruments) and Bob C. Benberg (drums). But Supertramp have been around for quite a while in various forms, this line-up is the culmination of years of ‘paying dues’, I caught the band towards the end of their tour, where they reflected on their past exploits which led them to join together on their musical venture.

 BEGINNINGS

 *"The actors and jesters are here

 The stage is in darkness and clear

 For raising the curtain

 And no one’s quite certain whose play it is."

 The story really begins with Rick Davies who debuted his professional career with The Lonely Ones, a band from Folkstone formerly led by Noel Redding. "We worked in England for about six months playing should stuff," he explained, "then we went to Europe for supposedly two weeks but we got stuck there….didn’t come back for a year and a half!"

The band eventually found themselves stranded in Munich. "We were gigging at night and making film music during the day. It was good experience but Germans make the worst films in the world. We were just a cheap way for them to get music on their films. We worked for a guy called David Lluellyn, who was an unbelievable character we met over there. He used to get us all these film jobs.

"The band were broke when Dave mentioned the fact that he knew this guy in Switzerland who was a millionaire. We thought ‘sure pull the other one’, but then again it was worth a try. We were all destitute at the PN Club living on soup. We’d play at the weekends and that would give us enough money to last us through till Thursday then we had to pilfer until Saturday.

 "It was on a Saturday that Dave went to see this guy and then he just didn’t get in contact for about three months, and we thought ‘that’s it, he’s gone’. Then we got a telephone call from Dave saying that the guy would be interested in seeing us. We wouldn’t believe it! We were all walking around in a dream thinking ‘this is it’".

 AND THEN THERE WAS SAM

The man Dave was referring to was none other that Same, the Dutch millionaire, to whom ‘Crime Of The Century’ is dedicated. Sam was the man responsible ‘for making it all possible’.

Rick: "He had these ideas for us to get classical themes and turn them into pop music. Of course we all went charging down to his house and when we got there we spent the first two weeks playing ping-pong. We had an attempt at getting this thing together. It was completely bizarre, this buy’s music and the pop idea on top of it. We eventually came over and signed to Robert Stigwood and ended up playing the Rasputin Club every week, that was about it."

UNTIL ONE DAY…..

Rick: "One morning Same phoned me up at nine o’clock in the morning and told me to have a look out of the window and I said ‘There’s nothing out there, except an old coach and he said;’ it’s yours boys’, so we got in and Andy (our singer) drove it around Finchley while we played football in the back. It’s only when we started playing the Marquee that it got to be a problem. We had to park in Oxford Street and you’d see a huge chain of people on Wardour Street carrying equipment, anyway that was taken away from us when something wasn’t pleasing Same. I went over to see what was grieving him."

It transpired that Sam didn’t feel that the group were living up to his expectations. "I knew the band wasn’t that good, but everyone was heartbroken when we had to split, we were so close." It seemed that the Dutch millionaire recognized a spark of songwriting talent developing in Davies and persuaded him to stay under his wing.

*"For we dreamed a lot

And we schemed a lot."

"I went over to Sam’s to try and write my own music, so I could get enough confidence to start something off my own back and I stayed there just writing. Of course all sorts of crazy ideas popped up from Sam, like ‘Rick Around The World In Eighty Tunes’ whereby we’d hire a few LAN drovers and go round the world.

"We’d sit in an Afghanistan village and be influenced by the music and then go onto somewhere else. It sounded fantastic but it wasn’t real at all. So I went back to London and I began auditioning for what was to become the first Supertramp."

*"If we’d known just how right we were going to be,"

ENTER ROGER HODGSON – FRESH FACED YOUTH FROM STOWE SCHOOL

Hodgson’s pale, gaunt, almost hawk like features seen either sitting behind a guitar, squeezing every ounce of emotion into each verse he sings, are a complete contrast to the cool, full-faced Davies, who only occasionally breaks his stern dead-pan features with a single grimace or offstage a burst of raucous laughter. This makes up the black and white of the Supertramp writing team.

While Hodgson walks on stage wearing kaftan and jeans, you’ll see Davies on the other side sporting a suit and shirt, looking like a latter day Irving Berlin. Both equally intense, both equally talented, both equally different. It’s hardly surprising that one of Hodgson’s mainmen is Stevie Winwood – they’re both vagabonds of the wind, eternal music makers, living in their own time, their own reality.

"When I joined Rick I had signed a contract with another guy the very same day," admitted a quiet spoken Hodgson. In fact he had been contracted by DJM to record a single under the name of Argosy.

"The single had Elton John on piano, Nigel Olsson on drums and Caleb Quaye on guitar…it also flopped…Tony Blackburn liked it."

When Hodgson first joined ‘Tramp, his main instrument was bass. "That’s my favourite instrument funnily enough, I love the bass more than any other instrument."

Davies got Richard Palmer (who had previously written some lyrics for King Crimson) on guitar and Bob Millar on drums, completing the line-up of Supertramp Mk I. Purpose?

Rick explains: "There was a huge change happening at the time I was away in Europe. That change was like Traffic, Jethro Tull, Spooky Tooth sort of nice up and coming bands, which I wasn’t away of until I went down to see Rory Gallagher and Taste at the Lyceum, only then did I reckon on the possibilities that something could happen, because I didn’t rate myself as a big pop star and I thought to get anywhere I was going to have to be like that. But with the new bands coming up, there was a new standard to live up to and that’s what we were aiming for.

"Roger, Richard and Bob were all aware of these groups, so having them in the band was sort of an education for me. It was great because Richard Palmer was going about Traffic and The Band getting into their lyrics and I had never thought about their lyrics before."

Supertramp signed to A&M and released their debut album in 1970. It was described in the liner notes of their second album as having a ‘melancholy mood’. The album vaguely indicates ‘Trams intention, without really making them clear. Not a totally memorable debut album, just interest.

Rick: "We were very green then. There was this thing about not having a producer. Bands weren’t using producers then, and we decided ‘yeah we’re not going to have a producer’. Paul McCartney’s not using a producer, why should we use one? (breaks into hysterical laughter) it was that sort of greenness" "It worked on the first one", argued Roger, "it had its own kind of magic."

IT’S A LONG ROAD

Rick: "That first year, we must have played to an awful lot of people. We were doing Top Gear all the time, it was keeping us alive."

Roger: "Our first album did sell quite a lot."

Rick: "Yeah it did. It almost took off in actual fact, because we did the Croydon Greyhound where we pulled in a lot of people just once, after that Bob left and then it must crashed."

Roger: "In that first year we were put in a country house together, we didn’t mix socially and the vibes got really bad. We never made any friends because the vibes were so bad, people hated coming up to the house."

TRY AGAIN…THE SECOND ALBUM – SUPERTRAMP Mk II

Rick: "We did that ourselves as well. The second album consisted of a different band. By that time Richard Palmer and Bob Millar had left. We got a guy called Dave Winthrop on saxophone, Kevin Currie on drums and Frank Farrel on bass."

The second album titled ‘Indelibly Stamped’ (a cover sporting a nude female body festooned with tattoos) was a much more meatier effort that it’s predecessor, developing theme upon theme in musical layers, a sound not too dissimilar to Traffic. The same feel.

Live gigs? Well that was a different story…

Rick: "It was all rock and roll really. We used to get people up on the bloody stage and it was just chaos, bopping away doing about three encores, but there was meat and potatoes behind it. No more or less people would come to the next gig."

Then came the next departure. Farrel left to pursue his own career, finally meeting up with Leo Sayer, while the very Scottish Dougie Thompson entered the scene. Like the rest of the band. Thompson is a quiet unassuming character. On stage you can see him bouncing around, pumping throbbing baselines that have become such an essential par t of Supertramps’ sound.

"I joined the Mk II Supertramp about six months before that I was playing in some weird West End strip clubs. I’d played a bit in Alan Bown’s band. That was at a weird period of that band’s existence, when they parted company with Alan and we tried to get something happening, but we didn’t really get anything sorted out at all.

"So I was just looking around for a job to get some money, and then I say this ad for Supertramp. Sometime before my brother, who’s one of our roadies now, had been to London and brought one of their album back. So I had been aware of them. I decided to go along and see what was happening. At this point they had been going through some incredible audition scenes. I remember going to the Pied Bull in Islington and there were some terrible scenes. Rick was there with his crash helmet and sleeping bag. Dave Winthrop had given up hope and had gone to play pinball. Roger and Kevin were they’re trying to get some kind of audition sorted out. So I went in, played my two minutes and left.

AND THEN:

"Roger phoned me up a couple of days later, asking me to come down to his house, and it just kind of evolved from there. It really was a strange period for the band, with Dave Winthrop. Sometimes he just wouldn’t come to gigs, and then he’d turn up a couple of gigs later almost as if nothing had happened…very strange."

Rick: "We did one gig in Swansea when the drummer didn’t turn up. So me and Rog split the drumming duties between us, because we needed the bread, otherwise we’d starve. It didn’t go down too badly."

Doog: "Towards the tail end of the Mk II band we did some gigs with Frankie Miller."  

Which leads us very neatly to the entry of Bob C. Benberg from Los Angeles, who at that time was drumming with those infamous pub rock dudes – Bees Make Honey. "That was at the time Frankie had recorded an album with the Brinsleys, in fact that introduced us to him," explained Bob. "Frankie used to hang around the Tally Ho and sometimes he’d jump onstage and join us for a couple of numbers. When it was time for him to go out and work, he took us along to back him up and we did about three gigs supporting Supertramp. One of them was at Streatham where I didn’t meet the band at all, I just recognized Doog because I had seen him playing with the Alan Bown Set at the Greyhound about three months before, and the only thing I remembered about the band apart from the saxophone player with a black sax was the bass player who moved around a bit.

"Then I remembered walking in one day and seeing this guy playing drums and thinking ‘hey he sounds pretty good’ and then 15 minutes later the drummer walked in." The guy Bob saw was Rick who began his musical life as a drummer. "A few weeks later we were at Barbarella’s, Birmingham, supporting Supertramp. We did our set, then everybody split, except the piano player and me, we stuck around and watch Supertramp, and they were pretty good. They were the first band that I had seen that I thought were nifty, and I thought I could get on playing with them. After that I was putting it around that they were pretty good. The way I put it was they were the closest thing to Traffic I’d seen, they were really punchy…

"At that time we were doing some of the second album and a lot of ‘Crime Of The Century’," added Rick, "completely different versions."

Bob: "The next time I saw them was when we were playing a gig in Barnet and I saw their drummer beaming in on me. About two weeks later Roger came up to me in The Kensington and said they were going to be doing a new album in September and the drummer was splitting and what did I think about doing sessions for them."

This was a whole different thing to the Bees.  

Bob: "In the Bees I never rehearsed for one day. We never rehearsed at all. With Supertramp it was different, the complete opposite. I remember the first time we got together was at the Furniture Cave in Kings Road."

Rick: "I’d never heard such a loud drummer in my life. I couldn’t hear anything except cymbals."  

"Yeah but they were pretty neat huh?’

Pretty neat indeed. Bob’s punchy, clipped drum work, along with Doog’s bass makes up an invaluable and distinguished part of Supertramp’s sound. In a way they kind of weld Davies and Hodgson together into one accessible format. Now that the rhythm section had been sorted out there was one more thing to do.

ENTER JOHN ANTHONY HELLIWELL

When Dave Winthrop finally stopped coming to gigs the band sat around and discussed their next move. Suddenly Doog remembered his old playing partner in the Alan Bown Set) the one Bob Benberg, referred to as the man with the black sax). John Helliwell, the band’s musician and comedian rolled into one. Doog immediately phoned John to find that his reed-blowing friend was away in Germany, still a lucrative home for out of work musicians. In fact John was playing air bases with ‘a 20 stone multi instrumentalist."

Doog: "So we bumbled around for a couple of weeks without a replacement and then John came back. So I phoned him up and asked him to come down for a blow. By this time we were working in Manfred Mann’s old studios in the Old Kent Road. So John came down."

Rick: "He had a blow, then he sat down and there was silence for about 20 seconds, and then he did his joke about the Irish man who got a pair of water skis for Christmas and spent the rest of the year looking for a lake with a slope. And everybody sat and I thought ‘who is this?’"

John Helliwell is one of those natural comedians who has a static, relaxed, lunatic atmosphere that surrounds him both off and onstage. He’s also a bloody amazing musician. As Doog once described him: "The man who’ll play anything he can get his hands on."

Helliwell can tackle almost any musical task and look completely relaxed. Supertramp’s music has a certain sense of dramatics about it. Helliwell counteracts it, stopping it from becoming anywhere near pretentious and his decorative illuminations bring it closer to becoming brilliant. He’s also an ace guy.

Take it away John: "I went home after playing with them (Supertramp) and the wife asked me what it was like, and I said ‘yeah pretty good but I think I’ll go back tomorrow’. Then I went the next day and came home and she said ‘well how do you feel about it now?’ I said ‘It’s alright but I’ll have to go again’ and it kept on going like that.

"At the same time I had to do a job during the day. So I enlisted with Manpower and the first job I got was as a petrol pump attendant. Then I got a job screwing nuts and bolts together at a factory in Maidenhead." In fact most of the band had to get jobs to keep surviving.

Bob: "John recommended me to a friend of his who was playing in a band at The Park Towers Hotel in Knightsbridge and I played with them. I had loads of solo spots y’know we’d play about five sets a night, and I had about three solo spots in each set. If that wasn’t bad enough one night when we were playing our second set, d’y’know who rolled in? Carl Radle and Jim Gordon! They sat right in front of me! I was trying to play as good as I can…. but I was really nervous."

On asking Mr Helliwell for a brief resume of his musical career, his immediate reply was, "have you got three more tapes on you?" Indicating that he’s a lad with a bit of experience behind him. I then asked for the shortened version of the John Helliwell story.

"I was with Alan Bown for about six years through all the ups and downs, and then after that when it split up I went and worked for a few strip clubs. No hang on! The first job I got before that was working in a dry cleaning factory during the day and the Celebrity Club at night. Then when I sorted out my tax problem. I left the dry cleaning job and the Celebrity Club and went on to play the Twilight Rooms where Doog was working, and then I got my big break… I joined Jimmy Johnson and the Bandwagon! Then I joined up with Arthur Conley and later on with Jimmy Ruffin. Each one was a step up. Then I went to Germany and I came back in August to join this lot. They said they were making the album in September."

Bob: "That’s what they told me."

John: "Yeah that’s what they conned me into."

Bob: "We still haven’t been paid for those sessions."

Doog: "None of us were ever asked to join the group, we came along, stayed and nobody told us to leave.

Sometime during this period (late ’73) the band severed their ties with Sam, taking them from the lap of luxury and throwing them straight into the cold, had facts of rock and roll. Especially Rick, who before had limitless time to sort himself out, although he points out: "There was almost too much wasted time, you get to rely on that beg money man, there’s no urgency, your life doesn’t depend on it. By the time we left him I thought ‘wow we could sink like a stone’!"  

WHAT CRISIS?

John: "After the rehearsal studios in the Old Kent Road, we used to rehearse under Kew Bridge. Then we got together with A&M Records who hired a cottage for us in Somerset, we managed to wangle a stay there. So we all went there with girlfriends, wives, kids and cats. We were there for about three months trying to get a producer together."

One of the choices was Ian MacDonald: "He was just the wrong person, it was a simple as that," was the conclusion the band came to after MacDonald visited them. Then came Ken Scott, already renowned for his works with Bowie and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, to name a few. "We got him to re-mix our single which was called ‘Land Ho!’ and we dug what he was doing. So eventually we signed a contract for recording on February ’74. The birth of Supertramp Mk III!

RICK AND THE HOUSE

Rick: "That was really bizarre when we had that house, the big house in Holland Villas. This big house, Joe Cocker was in there and there was only supposed to be four people to pay the rent, which was astronomical, so there was 12 of us in the end. There were people in the roof all over the place. I was living in the shower.

Rick: "You should have seen the scene when the landlady came around to collect the rent. I’ve never seen anything like it. She came round about 10 in the morning, and it was like panicsville. The alarm went off, I got up, walked straight out of the door with me pullover on, it was pouring with rain and I just walked round Shepherds Bush. I didn’t have money for breakfast or anything. I ended up bumming a quid off that guy at the Cabin. I expected everyone to be out in the street when I got back. I was surprised everyone was still there. It was like a farce. People stark naked rushing from room to room as they were showing the landlady around, there were people hiding in the cupboards. They were going to check in the attic and of course there were tents in there!

The setting for the rehearsal of ‘Crime’ was a much more peaceful cottage in the country.

Doog: "We had a room in the back with the gear in it and the mixer was set up in the kitchen."

The band spent three months of solid rehearsals, and then laid down some backing tracks for Jerry Moss (the ‘M’ of A&M) to hear, "Fortunately he like them," quipped John, ‘he must have gone back to America and said let them get on with it."

I asked John if ‘Crime’ was an expensive album to produce.

"Well with A&M helping us out because we couldn’t work, it worked out that we’d have to sell three quarters of a million copies to break even, so we’ll be getting there soon enough."

Rick: It’s nearly there already."

John: "’Crisis’ was cheaper, not that much."

THE FIRST GIGS

The first time Supertramp played togethern their current format was a gig in Jersey for a Lord’s party. A friend of a friend of a friend, of a friend job. "I got so drunk I couldn’t play", revealed Bob Benberg, "so I spent the whole of the break sobering up and by that time the rest of the band got so drunk they couldn’t play!"

The first time the band played ‘Crime Of The Century’ was at an A&M gathering in the Kings Road Theatre. "There were so many thing happening backstage you just wouldn’t have believed it," said John, Rick "We never worked with a full lighting crew so when they went out we couldn’t see a thing. And I remembered on one particular number I had to open a number in complete darkness, I couldn’t see anything so I couldn’t play, which meant the lights wouldn’t go on. We really bluffed through it and hoped for the best."

Since those first gigs the band have toured Britain, Europe and the USA. It’s only been two years and two months but no one can accuse them of slacking, and they still enjoy playing ‘Crime Of The Century’.

Roger: "I’m enjoying it more this time than I did last time."

Rick: "I think it’s taken almost this long to get completely on top of it without worrying about little knobs and switches, so in a way you can go out there and relax. There’s only a couple of numbers that worry me technically.

"Once you start getting on top of it, that’s when you have to be careful that you’re not going to become complacent. When you stop thinking ‘is it going to be alright!’ and start thinking ‘this is going to be a piece of piss’ – it’s only on the last gigs that I’ve thought this is nothing, I can do this easy, but you soon get brought down to earth about it all. 

I asked Rick how he felt about the press reaction, second time around.

"I expected a slightly harder time with the album," he said referring to ‘Crisis? "opposite to what I initially thought, I expected it to be good for ‘Crime’ and not for this one. But the press are funny, there’s only a few people that you’ve got confidence in as far as what they think and sooner or later they blow it for you by saying something completely silly".

‘Crisis?’ features a lot of old material (never recorded before), indicating that the band have slowed down writing wise, which is hardly surprising when you consider how hard they’ve been working.

"There hasn’t been a great spate of writing," agreed Rick, "certainly not from me, I think Rog has done a bit more."

Doog: "It seems easier for Rog as he only needs a guitar, while Rick needs to be locked away somewhere with a piano."

Rick: "We need a break, where we can get fresh ideas."

Doog: "We never stopped, and it will have been two years solid work by the time we do stop. The important thing is that the music stays good. If it needs stop and thinking about then that’s what’s going to happen!"

Supertramp are here to stay.

* Lyrics taken from ‘If Everyone Was Listening’ on ‘Crime Of The Century’ published by Delicate/Rondor Music.  


From Wikipedia

Supertramp are a British art rock and pop band that had a series of top-selling albums in the 1970s.

Their early music included ambitious concept albums, but they are best known for their later, somewhat Beatlesque pop songs, including "Dreamer", "Goodbye Stranger", "Give a Little Bit" and "The Logical Song". Despite chart success, the band never attained superstardom in the UK (although they did in Canada, the United States and the rest of Europe); it was remarked at the height of their popularity that Supertramp was the best-selling group in the world whose members could walk down any street and not be recognized.

Beginnings

Backed by a Dutch millionaire named Stanley August Miesegaes, vocalist and pianist Rick Davies (born July 22, 1944 in Swindon, Wiltshire, England) used newspaper advertising to recruit an early version of the band in 1969, an effort which brought aboard vocalist/guitarist and keyboardist Roger Hodgson (born March 21, 1950 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England). Other members of this embryonic Supertramp group included Richard Palmer (guitar, balalaika, vocals) and Robert Millar (percussion, harmonica). Initially, Roger Hodgson sang and played bass guitar (and on the side, guitar, keyboards, cello and flageolet). The band was called Daddy from august 1969 to early 1970, when the band became Supertramp.

They were one of the first groups to be signed to UK A&M Records. The first album Supertramp, although very interesting musically, proved a commercial disappointment. Desperate to achieve success, Davies and Hodgson changed their style and lineup for the next album. Frank Farrell (bass), Kevin Currie (percussion) and Dave Winthrop (flute and saxophone) replaced Millar and Palmer, Roger Hodgson switched to guitar and the new album Indelibly Stamped featured rocking Beatlesque tunes, (Davies now serving as the band's second lead singer, alongside Hodgson, who suggested that the band should have two lead vocalists), a more commercial approach and eye-catching cover artwork. Supertramp had established themselves as a "cult" band. Sales, however, did not improve much, which lost them the support of Miesegaes (Miesegaes withdrew his support from the band after paying off debts) and caused another re-shuffling of the band. Hodgson and Davies were back at square one. In fact, Supertramp briefly disbanded.

Initial success and commercial breakthrough

In late 1972, after being persuaded to carry on, Davies and Hodgson went on an extensive search for replacements to be brought aboard in Dougie Thomson (born March 24, 1951 in Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland) (bass), Bob Siebenberg (born October 31, 1949 in Glendale, California, USA, drums, and often credited as Bob C. Benberg), and John Helliwell (born February 15, 1945 in Todmorden, Yorkshire, England) (saxophone, other woodwinds, occasional keyboards, backing vocals), joining original members Davies and Hodgson, completing the line-up that would create the group's defining albums. Hodgson would also begin playing keyboards in the band in addition to guitar, usually acoustic and electric pianos on his own compositions. His inspirational piano method would become a staple in the band, as heard on "Dreamer," "The Logical Song," "Take the Long Way Home," and many others, and would earn him the nickname "hammerheads" in the band. The classic Supertramp keyboard is a Wurlitzer electric piano with its unmistakable bright sound and biting distortion when played hard.

Crime of the Century, released in 1974, began the group's run of critical and commercial successes, hitting number four in Britain, supported by the top-10 single "Dreamer". Its B-side "Bloody Well Right" hit the US Top 40 in May 1975. Siebenberg would later note that he thought the band hit its artistic peak on this, their third album, though their greatest commercial success would come later.

The band continued its run with Crisis? What Crisis? (1975) and Even in the Quietest Moments (1977). During this period, the band eventually relocated to the United States and moved steadily from the progressive styles of their early albums towards a more song-oriented, pop sound.

This trend reached its zenith on their most popular album, Breakfast in America (1979), which reached Number 3 in the UK and Number 1 in the United States and spawned four successful singles, "The Logical Song", "Take the Long Way Home", "Goodbye Stranger" and "Breakfast in America". The album has since sold over 18 million copies worldwide.

The run of successes was capped with 1980s Paris, a 2-LP live album, in which the band stated its goal of improving on the studio versions of their songs. Interestingly, instead of focusing on songs from the hugely successful Breakfast in America, it included nearly every song from Crime of the Century, another testament to the importance of that album in the group's development.

Later career

Hodgson and Davies' differing singing and songwriting styles provided these albums with an interesting counterpoint, contrasting Davies' determined blues-rockers and songs of broken relationships ("Another Man's Woman", "From Now On", "Goodbye Stranger") with Hodgson's wistful introspection ("Dreamer", "School", "Fool's Overture", "The Logical Song"), but Hodgson felt constrained by the arrangement and left the band after the tour for their next album, ...Famous Last Words... (1982) which contained the Top 20 hit "It's Raining Again" and the Top 40 hit "My Kind of Lady". In an interview in the 90s, Roger stated that one of the main reasons he left the band was not so much his not getting along with Rick Davies; but his wife at the time and Rick's wife did not get along at all. It ended up causing so much tension for them and the band, he decided it would be better if he left Supertramp! He said there were never any real personal or professional problems between him and Rick Davies as some people thought.

Having left the band in 1983 Hodgson immediately began a solo career, his biggest hit "Had A Dream (Sleeping With the Enemy)" coming from his first solo album In the Eye of the Storm, in 1984.

The Davies-led Supertramp soldiered on, releasing Brother Where You Bound the same year. This included a Top 30 hit single, "Cannonball", along with the title track, a 16-minute exposition on Cold War themes highlighted by guitar solos from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour; the album reached #21 on the US charts. 1987's Free as a Bird included more straightforward Davies rockers, including "I'm Beggin' You", which reached Number 1 on the US dance charts, a curious accomplishment for an "art rock" band.

After 1988's tour, Thomson left the band due to a strong disagreement with Davies about the use of Hodgson-penned songs during live performances (such as "Take the Long Way Home" , “Breakfast in America” and "The Logical Song". These songs were usually sung by Crowded House's Mark Hart (Hodgson's replacement on stage), and the Scottish bass player was firmly against this move. When Supertramp reunited in 1997, Thomson declined an invitation to return and eventually quit playing for good.

In 1993, Davies approached Hodgson in an effort to bring him back to the band, but this attempt failed. In interviews published on his and other fan forums, Hodgson later claimed he had been more than willing to rejoin Supertramp, but only if Davies's wife, Susan, abstained from interfering in band affairs. Sue Davies was A&R at A&M (in charge of welcoming the band and helping them settle) when Supertramp moved to Los Angeles in the mid-70s, and, as the romance between Davies and her blossomed, she eventually quit A&M and started managing the band herself. Having to fight two Davieses instead of one accrued to Hodgson's frustrations and misery, and ultimately prompted his departure, though whether this was due solely to her management style or competence still remains unclear. Ultimately, Davies declined to sideline his wife from his professional affairs, and Hodgson never heard from him again.

In 1997, Davies finally managed to re-form Supertramp with former members Helliwell, Siebenberg, and Hart and a bunch of new musicians. The result was Some Things Never Change, a polished effort which echoed the earlier Supertramp sound. Ironically, that same year saw the release of Rites of Passage, Roger Hodgson's first solo album since Hai Hai in 1987. Rites of Passage was a live album featuring both new works from Roger as well as three songs he composed for Supertramp ("Take the Long Way Home", "The Logical Song" and "Give a Little Bit"). In an ironic reversal two years later, the re-formed Supertramp released a live album, It Was The Best Of Times while Roger released a studio album. Open The Door.

Early 2002 saw the release of another album, Slow Motion (album) (sold direct in North America).

Rick Davies has since left California behind and now resides in Long Island (East Hampton), less than an hour's drive from Manhattan.

In the past few years, Roger Hodgson has donated Give A Little Bit to raise funds for Tsunami Relief efforts and other causes. It's been used by the Red Cross, United Way, the Make a Wish Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey show requested the use of Give A Little Bit as part of their ”Gift of Giving Back Program“. In the UK it was used during the "ITV Telethon".

2006 was a busy year for Roger Hodgson. Throughout the summer of 2006, he has been touring Europe (France, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany), as well as the US (St. Paul, MN) and Canada (fall 2006) and his DVD "Take The Long Way Home – Live In Montreal" has gone Platinum and to the #1 spot in Canada, in its first 7 weeks of release. He has also been asked to mentor Canadian Idol’s Top 7 contestants, alongside Dennis DeYoung (a founding member of the group Styx).

In March 2006, Roger Hodgson was honoured for his song Give A Little Bit at the 23rd Annual ASCAP awards in Los Angeles. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers gave the award in acknowledgment of the song being one of the 50 most played songs of 2005.

Roger Hodgson appeared solo at the Diana Memorial Concert at Wembley Stadium on 1st July 2007. The band were one of the late Princess of Wales' favourites.

In 2008, Supertramp's music will be featured in the film movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh's best-selling novel Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance.

 

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