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BOB SIEBENBERG in Modern Drummer, December 15, 2014

Supertramp’s Bob Siebenberg

Bob Siebenberg By Jane-Magarigal

December 15, 2014
Posted in: Drummers, Feature Stories

Reflecting on the fortieth anniversary of the band’s classic "Crime of the Century" album
by Adam Budofsky

Supertramp has always been tough to categorize. Is it a pop band with a fondness for complex arrangements, a progressive-rock band with impeccable pop smarts, or something else entirely? One thing’s for sure: Difficulties categorizing the group seemed not to hurt its popularity, as a string of hit albums, including Even in the Quietest Moments (featuring the hit “Give a Little Bit”) and Breakfast in America (“The Logical Song,” “Take the Long Way Home,” “Goodbye Stranger”) kept Supertramp at the top of the charts throughout the mid and late ’70s.

The group’s breakout album, 1974’s Crime of the Century, has recently been remastered and fleshed out with a second disc containing a 1975 concert at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, mixed from the original tapes by on-the-night engineer and regular Supertramp studio guide Ken Scott, who’d previously worked with the Beatles, David Bowie, and Mahavishnu Orchestra, among many others. Modern Drummer asked drummer Bob Siebenberg—whom Supertramp followers know from album credits as Bob C. Benberg—to reminisce about the recording, which still sounds remarkably vital today.


MD: It’s difficult to avoid superlatives when discussing Crime of the Century. The songs, the sounds, the performances, and the ideas are all so strong. At the time did you feel that you were on to something special and making a leap forward as a band?

Bob: The band was brand new. [Singer-songwriters] Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson had recorded two albums previously with two different lineups, without much success. There was a real feeling of optimism in the new lineup, and we jelled right away. We knew we had an interesting cast of characters and totally believed in ourselves. This was the first record with the new lineup, and it felt like we could do something special. The ingredients were all there. We had label support and tons of enthusiasm.

MD: Your playing is always graceful, yet your parts are often unexpected. The main drum beat of “Dreamer,” including how it sort of slips in during the buildup, is not typical. The removed backbeats in the verses of “Bloody Well Right” are really cool. The floor tom and delayed-snare bit in “Hide in Your Shell,” the offbeat cymbal crashes during the dual-vocal section of “Rudy,” those big flammed fills when you enter the title track—so many cool approaches. Did you make a habit of trying significantly different ideas when you were arranging your parts in the studio or rehearsal room?

Bob: Thanks for saying so. I appreciate it. The drumbeat in “Dreamer” evolved from an idea by Roger. He always had unorthodox ideas about drums, and sometimes it would turn out really cool. These ideas would get sent through my filter and feel and come out the other end. What you mention on “Bloody Well Right” was just how I heard it. It followed the feel of the riff. And, yeah, I was always in pursuit of being creative and solid. My job was to provide a steady but interesting backbone. If it didn’t need a fill, don’t do one; the transition setups could be served by just an extra bass drum kick or flick of a stick. If it needed a fill, make it count. Make it meaningful and keep the pulse seamless.

All these examples you have chosen came pretty naturally. It’s always a process of simplifying, listening back and deciding whether it was cool or not. It starts in rehearsal. We used to tape our rehearsals on a two-track and sit and listen and find the form. Things would evolve right through the backing-track stage in the studio. Once we get in there and hear the sounds, things can change.

The “Hide in Your Shell” piece you refer to was a production idea. By that I mean it’s not what I originally started to play. Roger and Ken pulled that one out on a particularly zany night. I’m [actually] playing it pretty straight in there. It’s a cool beat that sits up and hovers and always sits back down on the 1.

MD: There’s such clarity to your stick work. Did you have rudimental training when you were coming up?

Bob: I would have to admit I’ve had no rudimental training. It’s all seat of the pants. It’s how I learned to play—listening, emulating, and feeling. I grew up playing in bands. I never lived anywhere where I could practice.

MD: More than many drummers, you really work the floor toms into your creative ideas. The fills leading into the choruses of “Asylum,” for instance, are so powerful. And the way they’re treated with reverb there makes them sound even more dramatic. One could imagine these types of moments being the result of discussions between the band and Ken Scott. Was that the case?

Bob: Well, to begin with, we were so fortunate to have Ken at the helm. There was and is no one better in the studio as a producer/engineer than Ken. And that’s not to take anything away from our good friend and producer/engineer Peter Henderson, who we worked with on several records later in our career, including Breakfast in America. But it was a different time and stage in our career with Ken. He was totally absorbed and working hard to create something that would blow people away. He set the tone for what our records had to be for the rest of our career.

In the case of “Asylum,” those were the fills I had cooked up in rehearsals and modified ever so slightly in the studio. Ken recorded them and made them sound the way they do. There was always interaction between us in the studio. We were all in this together, and we had respect for one another and were all willing to take direction. Ken included.

MD: The sound quality of Crime is as good as anything being released today, forty years later, and it seems to really benefit from a spaciousness in the mix. Do you recall any details about the recording in terms of miking or mixing?

Bob: The arrangements to these songs are very streamlined and very well thought-out. Rick and Rog were totally absorbed in the process—as we all were—but these were songs they’d been cooking up for quite a while, and they had a pretty good idea how they wanted them to come off. As for the mixing, it was an all-hands-on-deck affair. Everyone had a job to do. All pre-automation, pre-digital—totally handmade.

MD: Do you recall what gear you used on the sessions?

Bob: I had brought over my drums from Los Angeles when I moved to London in 1971. [Siebenberg, the lone American in Supertramp at the time, had previously played with the popular British pub-rock band Bees Make Honey.] I had bought them in 1965. They were champagne sparkle Ludwigs. I used a 26″ Ludwig bass drum, with two on the top, one on the floor. I had picked up a Rogers 16×18 in London. My snare drum was a wooden Gretsch.

My cymbals were pretty raggedy from years of dragging everything around, and they were all Zildjians except for the main ride, which was a Zyn I had picked up somewhere while playing in Bees Make Honey. All of them except for the hi-hats were replaced after recording the album and there were a few bucks around to hit the road.

MD: Several of the tracks on Crime have dramatic drum entrances, sometimes a couple minutes after the song begins. When you play those songs live, are you really raring to go as the tension builds up to those entrances?

Bob: Well, yes, I guess you could say that. Being on the stage with Supertramp back then was a totally focused affair. I was always listening and inside the tune. I would start playing along in my head as my spot approached, and my body would start to move as if I was already playing, and bang. So I was totally in before I actually started. It’s a great band to play in. The band was always very, very focused on the music.




crime cover


Bob Siebenberg de Supertramp

15 de diciembre 2014

Reflexionando sobre el cuadragésimo aniversario del album "El crimen del siglo", una gran fita de la banda.
por Adam Budofsky

Supertramp siempre ha sido difícil de clasificar. ¿Es una banda de pop con afición por los arreglos complejos, una banda de rock progresivo con impecables toques pop, o algo completamente distinto? Una cosa es segura: Las dificultades a la hora de categorizar su musica parecían no hacer daño a su popularidad, con una cadena de álbumes de gran éxito, incluyendo "Even in the Quietest Moments" (con el hit "Give a Little Bit") y "Breakfast in America" ("The Logical Song", " Take The Long Way Home ", "Good bye Stranger") mantuvo a Supertramp en la cima de las listas de éxitos a mediados y finales de los 70.

El álbum de su despegue, "Crime of the Century" en 1974, ha sido remasterizado de nuevo y se acompaña de un segundo disco con un concierto de 1975 en el Hammersmith Odeon de Londres, mezclado de las cintas originales por su ingeniero en aquellos tiempos Ken Scott, que había trabajado anteriormente con los Beatles, David Bowie, y Mahavishnu Orquesta, entre muchos otros. Modern Drummer conversó con el baterista Bob Siebenberg, a quien los seguidores Supertramp también conocen como Bob C. Benberg por los créditos en los discos, para rememorar aquella grabación, la cual sigue sonando en nuestros días con una vitalidad extraordinaria.


MD: Es difícil evitar superlativos cuando se habla del “Crime of the century”. Las canciones, los sonidos, interpretaciones y las ideas son tan potentes. ¿En aquel momento érais conscientes de que estábais grabando algo tan especial y dando un salto gigantesco como banda?

Bob: La banda era completamente nueva. [Los cantautores] Rick Davies y Roger Hodgson habían grabado dos discos anteriormente con dos formaciones distintas, pero sin mucho éxito. Había una verdadera sensación de optimismo en la nueva formación, y todo encajó enseguida. Sabíamos que teníamos un interesante conjunto de personalidades y creíamos totalmente en nosotros mismos. Este fue el primer disco con la nueva formación, y sentíamos que podíamos hacer algo muy especial. Los ingredientes estaban allí. Teníamos el apoyo de la discográfica y entusiasmo a raudales.

MD: Tu estilo siempre es elegante, aunque tus partes son a menudo inesperadas. El ritmo principal en "Dreamer", incluyendo la forma en que va progresando con detalles la canción, es algo atípico. Los extraños acentos y contrapuntos en los versos de "Bloody Well Right" son realmente geniales. Los los golpes de timbales y "delay" de caja en "Hide in Your Shell," los insólitos golpes de platillos durante la sección doble vocal de "Rudy", esos grandes redobles ardientes cuando entras en la canción que da titulo al álbum, tantos y tantos detalles frescos e interesantes .... ¿Tenías la costumbre de probar nuevas ideas mientras preparabas tus partes en el estudio o ensayos?

Bob: Gracias por tus halagos. Te lo agradezco de verdad. El ritmo de "Dreamer" evolucionó a partir de una idea de Roger. Él siempre tenía ideas poco ortodoxas sobre la batería, y a veces resultaban geniales. Estas ideas pasaban a través de mi filtro y se adaptaban a mi propio estilo. Lo que mencionas sobre "Bloody Well Right" fué lo que sentí al escuchar la canción. Me dejé llevar por el sentimiento del riff. Y, sí, siempre buscaba la forma de ser creativo y sólido. Mi trabajo consistía en proporcionar una estructura estable pero interesante. Si no necesitaba un relleno, no lo hacía. Las transiciones pueden resolverse también con un golpe extra de bombo, o un click de caja. Si se necesita un relleno, haz la cuenta, dale un sentido, y mantén el pulso sin fisuras.

Todos estos ejemplos que has elegido surgieron de manera bastante natural. Se trata siempre de un proceso de simplificación, a base de escuchar lo probado, y decidir si era interesante o no. Se inicia en el ensayo. Solíamos usar una simple grabadora de dos pistas y luego nos sentábamos a escuchar y encontrar la forma. Luego se evolucionaba en el estudio, a partir de las pistas que íbamos grabando. Una vez que escuchamos los sonidos, las cosas pueden cambiar.

Tu referencia a "Hide in Your Shell" fué una idea durante la producción. Quiero decir que no es lo que yo empecé a tocar originalmente. Fué una ocurrencia de Roger y Ken durante una disparatada noche en el estudio. De hecho lo que hago en esa parte es muy sencillo. Un ritmo curioso que sube y baja para volver a empezar.

MD: Se aprecia tanta claridad en tu trabajo con las baquetas. ¿Realizaste algún aprendizaje básico para empezar a tocar?

Bob: Tengo que admitir que no recibí ninguna clase. Todo ha sido a base de tocar y tocar. Es la forma en que aprendí, a base de escuchar y tocar, imitando, sintiendo. Crecí tocando en bandas. Nunca viví en un lugar donde pudiera practicar.

MD: Trabajas mucho con los timbales en tus ideas creativas, más que la mayoría de baterías. Los rellenos que conducen hacia los coros de "Asylum", por ejemplo, son tan poderosos. Y la forma en que están tratados con reverb hace que suenen aún con más dramatismo. Uno podría imaginar este tipo de momentos son el resultado de las conversaciones entre la banda y Ken Scott. ¿Fué así?

Bob: Bueno, para empezar, hay que remarcar lo muy afortunados que éramos de tener a Ken en el timón. Nunca ha habido nadie mejor que Ken en un estudio como productor/ingeniero. Y con eso no quiero quitarle meritos a nuestro buen amigo y productor/ingeniero Peter Henderson, con el que trabajamos en varios discos posteriormente en nuestra carrera, incluyendo "Breakfast in America". Pero con ken fué un momento y etapa diferente en nuestra carrera. Estaba totalmente absorto y trabajó muy duro para crear algo que impactase a la gente. Él estableció la pauta de lo que iban a ser nuestros discos el resto de nuestra carrera.

En el caso de "Asylum", esos eran los rellenos que había ido cocinando en los ensayos, y ligeramente modificados en el estudio. Ken los grabó e hizo sonar en la manera en que lo hacen. Siempre hubo interacción entre nosotros en el estudio. Estábamos todos juntos en esto, y sentíamos mucho respeto por el otro y todos estaban dispuestos a tomar siempre la mejor dirección, incluido Ken.

MD: La calidad de sonido de “Crime of the century” es tan buena como cualquier álbum actual, cuarenta años más tarde, y parece beneficiarse realmente de un extenso trabajo en las mezclas. ¿Recuerdas algún detalle acerca de la grabación en términos de microfonía o mezclas?

Bob: Los arreglos de esas canciones están eficazmente diseñados y muy bien pensados. Rick y Roger se volcaron totalmente en el proceso, como el resto, pero eran las canciones que habían estado cocinando durante bastante tiempo, y tenían una idea bastante clara de hasta dónde querían llegar. En cuanto a las mezclas, todos nos implicamos. Todo el mundo tenía algo que aportar. Eran tiempos previos a la automatización, y digitalización, todo el trabajo era totalmente artesanal.

MD: ¿Recuerdas qué equipo utilizaste en aquellas sesiones?

Bob: Llevé conmigo mi batería desde Los Angeles cuando me mudé a Londres en 1971. [Siebenberg, el único estadounidense en Supertramp en ese momento, había tocado previamente con la popular banda británica de pub-rock "Bees Make Honey"] Una Champagne Sparkle de Ludwig que había comprado en 1965. Usaba un bombo Ludwig de 26", con dos timbales en la parte superior, y otro en el suelo, un Rogers 16 × 18 que conseguí en Londres. Mi caja era una Gretsch de madera.

Los platillos estaban bastante maltrechos tras años de uso, y todos ellos eran Zildjian, excepto el ride principal, que era un Zyn que había conseguido en alguna parte mientras tocaba con "Bees Make Honey". Todos ellos, excepto los hi-hats fueron reemplazados tras la grabación del álbum, con el dinero que conseguí.

MD: Algunas canciones del “Crime of the century” tienen entradas de batería muy impactantes, a veces incluso un par de minutos después del comienzo de la canción. Cuando las interpretas en vivo, ¿ te van aumentando las ganas de empezar a tocar mientras la tensión se acumula en esas entradas?

Bob: Bueno, sí, supongo que se podría decir que es así. Estar sobre el escenario con Supertramp en esos tiempos requería total concentración. Yo siempre estaba escuchando y muy metido en la melodía. Empezaba a tocar en mi cabeza a medida que se aproximaba mi momento de entrar, y mi cuerpo empezaba a moverse como si yo ya estaviera tocando y golpeando. Así que en realidad yo ya estaba totalmente en situación antes de empezar. Es una gran banda en la que tocar, y siempre ha estado muy, muy centrada en la música.


La historia del Crimen del siglo 40 Aniversario


La historia del crimen del siglo

Se acaban de cumplir 40 años de la publicación de 'Crime of the Century', la obra maestra de Supertamp. Roger Hodgson recuerda su gestación

JULIÁN RUIZ Actualizado: 16/12/2014 04:17 horas

Source: El Mundo

Es maravilloso desarrollar la historia de la creación de una obra maestra a través de comentarios, anécdotas y secretos de uno de sus creadores. Ni más ni menos que los de Roger Hodgson, que junto con Rick Davies creó, compuso y grabó uno de los álbumes históricos de los años setenta. Hace justo cuarenta años.

Es decir, el inconmensurable, casi divino 'Crime of the Century', desarrollado y grabado a lo largo del año 1974. Para muchos críticos, junto con 'The Dark side of the Moon' de los inmensos Pink Floyd y 'Tubular Bells' de Mike Oldfield , él disco clave. Finalmente, el aficionado a la música empezó a no conformarse tan sólo con el pequeño single de éxito, sino que comenzó masivamente a comprar la historia de un artista a través de un disco de vinilo de 12 pulgadas, con una bella portada, a 33 1/3 revoluciones por minuto.

Casi se nos ha olvidado esa maravillosa ceremonia de escuchar el bello vinilo, la obra de tu artista favorito. Sólo a los veinte o veinticinco minutos tenías que levantarte para darle la vuelta. Me une cierta complicidad con Roger Hodgson . Así que se ha prestado con mucho mucho énfasis en recordarme que "es como una obra imposible de hacer en estos días. En la actualidad, hay demasiada prisa por elaborar un disco. Tampoco hay paciencia en el estudio. Recuerdo que llegamos a tener una sesenta canciones para poder hacer 'Crime of the Century'. Nos sobró mucho material que incluso utilizamos para los álbumes siguientes", por ejemplo el fantástico 'From now on', que no vio la luz hasta el disco 'Even in the quietest moments', más de dos años después.

Quiebra mental y económica

A comienzo del año 1974, Supertramp estaban al borde de la disolución. Los dos primeros álbumes habían sido dos fracasos de venta descomunales y se suponía que el sello A&M inglés, la sucursal británica de la discográfica de Herb Alpert, no tenía ningún interés en un tercer disco del grupo. " En aquellos días estaba experimentando nuevas cosas: me hice vegetariano, practicante de yoga y de la meditación. Eran cosas poco conocidas en aquellos tiempos. Incluso pensé en la idea de viajar a la India. Pero Rick y yo tuvimos una reunión definitiva y decidimos que todavía nos quedaba una bala en la recámara. Tomamos la decisión de vender nuestro equipo de carretera y ponernos a componer y grabar maquetas. Rick ya había escrito 'Bloody well right' y yo había compuesto 'School' y 'Dreamer'".

Y así fue el inicio de 'Crime of the Century'. Paralelamente, introdujeron tres miembros imprescindibles en los nuevos Supertramp. Primero el bajista Dougie Thompson, un escocés de la Alan Bown Set. El propio Douggie se acordó del carismático saxofonista de su viejo grupo, John Anthony Helliwell. El grupo quedaría maravillosamente cerrado con la incorporación del gran batería de Los Angeles, Bob Siebenberger, que reacio en un primer instante a integrarse al medio 'supergrupo', se convenció cuando escuchó las formidables canciones en maqueta de Roger y Rick, cuando ensayaban en la Furniture Cave, en Kings Road.

Pero, ¿que iba a pasar con A&M?. La providencia estuvo de la mano de Supertramp. El ejecutivo Derek Green había cedido al puesto a un director artístico de CBS , que había fichado a Gary Moore y que le encantaba la música de Supertramp. Así que con dinero fresco de un pequeño adelanto de la compañía, músicos, esposas, novias, perros y gatos se instalaron en un pequeña granja en Southcombre, en Somerset, por la que pagaban 20 libras esterlinas a la semana. Allí se gestó como tocar y arreglar las maravillosas canciones de Roger y Rick. "Empezamos a conocernos de verdad. Yo empujé a Rick a cantar. No le gustaba su voz. No parecía gustarle. Pero por primera vez empezaron a escribir por separado. Y una buena canción de uno empujaba a que el otro tratara de mejorarla".

'Ziggy' Scott

El gran Ken Scott fue el ingeniero y el productor de 'Crime of of the Century'. Y el propio ingeniero me contaba: "De alguna manera me recordaban a como se picaban John Lennon y Paul Mc Cartney, en mis días, cuando grabé a los Beatles durante el "álbum blanco" y "Abbey Road". El bueno de Ken, al que entrevisté hace poco por la publicación de su libro de memorias, ya ni se quiere acordar que se negaba en rotundo a grabar y producir a Supertramp en su 'santa santorum', su estudio Trident, en Londres. Para él sólo era un grupito con dos tremendos fracasos. Fue la compañía con su dinero y su rotundidad los que lograron convencer a Ken Scott para que acudiera a un ensayo a escuchar las canciones. Desde ese momento, Ken se convirtió en el mismísimo arquitecto del sonido de uno de los maravillosos discos de los años setenta. Algo que ya había logrado con los discos de Bowie 'Hunky Dory', 'Ziggy Stardust' y 'Aladin Sane', más el 'Transformer' de Lou Reed. Todos ellos grabados como ingeniero y co-productor. Ken era el nuevo Midas del sonido, con esas obras maestras. El mago de la consola Tridente A Range, sus mágicos ecualizadores y su magnetófono nuevo de 16 pistas.

"De verdad que si escuchas hoy en día 'Crime of the Century', te quedas petrificado. Suena increíblemente bien, espectacular. Ken era un tipo muy meticuloso, muy específico, pero maravillosamente técnico y positivo. El logró darnos el sonido típico de Supertramp, el mismo que desarrollamos en los siguientes discos".

"Más presupuesto, esto es bueno"

Roger recuerda con nitidez como se grabaron algunas cosas, incluso en el estudio Ramport , propiedad de los Who, aunque casi todo se hizo en los Trident . Pero con un leninismo proceso de gestación. Desde finales de febrero hasta casi llegar a junio de aquel 1974. Tantos meses era una barbaridad.Tenía que soportar la creación de 'Crime of the Century' un presupuesto de grupo consagrado. Así que le pregunto a Roger de como pudo querer seguir la compañía con un presupuesto brutal para un grupo casi desconocido. "Bueno, hubo un momento muy delicado de la grabación. Pero, sí, es cierto. Jerry Moss, es decir, la 'M' de A&M Records, se presentó un día en el estudio. Me acuerdo que escuchó 'Dreamer' y 'Crime of the Century' y le gustaron muchísimo. Luego supimos después de que llevábamos veinte mil libras esterlinas gastadas en el disco, casi cinco veces más de los presupuestado y que Jerry Moss le dijo a nuestro director artístico que siguiéramos adelante, "carta blanca". Hoy día esa perspectiva hubiera sido imposible. Es otro guiño del destino en la suerte de 'Crime of the Century', desde su nacimiento".

Roger y Rick, finalmente, decidieron que el disco se llamara 'Crime of the Century'. Y le digo a Roger que fue una decisión muy generosa y honesta, porque la canción precisamente no era de Roger. "Daba igual. Era un maravilloso título y creo que la mejor del disco, con esos arreglos sensacionales de cuerda de Richard Hewson. Además, ya habían elegido mi canción 'Dreamer' como el single, lo que se iba a escuchar en la radio. Al fin y al cabo, mi canción fue el primer éxito de Supertramp en listas. No podía dejar de estar orgulloso, me acordaba que la había hecho en casa de mi madre, con el acompañamiento de mi piano Wurtlizer y una percusión absolutamente casera, en un magnetófono Sony de cuenta abierta". Pero el Wurtlizer se convirtió en el sonido distintivo de Supertramp.

El rapto del universo

'Crime of the century' es también el "rapto del universo", como decía Roger Waters (Pink Floyd). Esa terrible combinación de "lujuria,codicia y gloria" que envuelve al mundo. "Estoy más que orgulloso del álbum. Han pasado cuarenta años, pero está más vivo que nunca. Es verdad que 'Breakfast in America' fue el disco de más éxito de Supertramp, pero para mí, 'Crime of the century' sigue siendo el mejor, el único, el divino".

Ya casi hacia el final de la conversación, le pregunto si es posible que algún día que Rick y él se pongan a dialogar, a volver a tocar juntos y resucitar a Supertamp. Roger admite que "Realmente no es algo que necesite. No hemos vuelto a escribir juntos desde los primeros tiempos de la banda. Y sobre una posible reunión, ese barco ya partió. Y una reunión sin Dougie y sin mi no es lo que la gente esperaría ver". Le comenté que he hablado varias veces con Rick, una persona introvertida, de trato dificil, muy encerrado en si mismo. "Si, es una persona dificil de entender..." asume Roger. Así que parece claro que no volveréis a juntaros..... " Si, eso parece".

Un crimen más del siglo XX.


crime cover



English Translation: (Raw version)


The story of the Crime of the century

40th anniversary of the publication of 'Crime of the Century', the masterpiece of Supertamp. Roger Hodgson remember the process

JULIAN RUIZ Updated: 12/16/2014 4:17 pm

It's wonderful to develop the story of the creation of a masterpiece through comments, anecdotes and secrets from one of its creators: Roger Hodgson, together with Rick Davies created, wrote and recorded one of the historic albums of the seventies. It was forty years ago.

That is, the immeasurable, almost divine 'Crime of the Century', developed and recorded throughout 1974. For many critics, along with 'The Dark Side of the Moon' from the great Pink Floyd, and 'Tubular Bells' from Mike Oldfield, the key album. Finally, the fans started to not settle only with small single, but began en masse to buy the story of an artist through a 12 inches vinyl, with a beautiful cover, 33 1 / 3 rpm.

We've almost forgot that wonderful ceremony, when we listen the beautiful vinyl, the work of your favorite artist. After twenty or twenty-five minutes you had to get up to turn it around. I feel certain complicity with Roger Hodgson. So he helped with emphasis on reminding me that "it's like an impossible work to do that on these days. At present, there is too much haste to prepare a disk. There is no patience in the studio neither. I remember that we have sixty songs to prepare 'Crime of the Century'. We overran much material that even used for the following albums ". For instance the fantastic 'From now on', which was not released until the album 'Even in the quietest moments', over two years later.

Mental and economic bankruptcy

At the beginning of 1974, Supertramp were near the rupture. The first two albums were two failures and it was supposed that British A&M , the British branch of the Herb Alpert company, had no interest in a third disc of the group. "It was a time when I was doing a lot of experimenting with a lot of different things. I had just turned vegetarian and  then I was and getting into yoga and meditation. And that was at a time when no one even knew the words. I even pondered the idea of going to India. But Rick and I had a short meeting and we decided that we still had a bullet in the chamber. We decided to sell our road equipment and work to writing and recording demos. Rick had written 'Bloody well right' and I had composed 'School' and 'Dreamer' ".

And that was the beginning of 'Crime of the Century'. At the same time, introduced three essential members in the new Supertramp. First, bassist Dougie Thompson, from the Scottish Alan Bown Set. Dougie reminded the charismatic saxophonist from his old group, John Anthony Helliwell. The group was wonderfully closed with the addition of the great drummer from Los Angeles, Bob Siebenberger, that reluctant at first to join the half 'supergroup', became convinced when he heard the awesome songs from Roger and Rick, when rehearsing in Furniture Cave, Kings Road.

But, what would happen with A&M ?. Providence was the hand of Supertramp. The executive Derek Green nominated an artistic director of CBS, who had signed to Gary Moore and he loved the music of Supertramp. So with fresh money from a small payroll advance from the company, musicians, wife, girlfriends, dogs, and cats, were installed on a small farm in Southcombe in Somerset, by paying £ 20 a week. That was the place for starting playing and arranging the wonderful songs of Roger and Rick. "We started to know each other. I pushed Rick singing. He didn't like his voice. We began writing separately. And a good song by one pushing the other trying to improve it."

'Ziggy' Scott

The great Ken Scott was the engineer and producer of 'Crime of of the Century'. And the engineer himself told me: "Somehow they reminded to me the John Lennon and Paul McCartney "fights" in my days, when I recorded the Beatles during the 'White Album' and 'Abbey Road'. Ken, who interviewed shortly ago by the publication of his memoir, didn't want to remind that refused to record and produce Supertramp in its 'santa santorum', the Trident studio in London. For him it was only a small group with two tremendous failures. It was the company with his money and his rotundity those who managed to convince Ken Scott for him to come to a rehearsal to listen to songs. Since then, Ken became the very architect for the sound of one of the wonderful albums of the seventies. Something that had already achieved Bowie Albums 'Hunky Dory' 'Ziggy Stardust' and 'Aladdin Sane' plus 'Transformer' by Lou Reed. All of them recorded as an engineer and co-producer. Ken was the new Midas King for the sound, with these masterpieces. The Wizard of Trident A Range console, his magic equalizers, and its new 16-track tape.

"Really, if you listen today 'Crime of the Century', you stay petrified. It sounds incredibly spectacular. Ken was a very meticulous, very specific, but wonderfully technical and positive. He managed to give us the typical sound of Supertramp the same that we developed in the following albums. "

"More budget, this is good"

Roger remembers clearly how some things were recorded, even in Ramport studio, owned by the Who , although almost everything was done in the Trident. But with Leninism gestation process. Since late February to near June 1974. So many months that was exorbitant. The budget for the creation of 'Crime of the Century' was like an important band. So I ask to Roger how the company might want to follow with a brutal budget for an almost unknown group. "Well, there was a very delicate time of recording. But, yes, it's true. Jerry Moss, ie the 'M' of A&M Records, appeared one day in the studio. I remember he heard 'Dreamer' and 'Crime of the Century' and liked very much. Time after we knew we had twenty thousand pounds sterling spent on the album, almost five times more than the budgeted, and Jerry Moss told to our artistic director that we go forward, "carte blanche". Today this perspective would have been impossible. it's another piece of luck, in the history of 'Crime of the Century', from birth ".

Roger and Rick finally decided name the album "Crime of the Century". And I tell to Roger that was a very generous and honest decision, precisely because the song was not Roger's. "Never mind. It was a wonderful title and I think the best of the album, with those stunning string arrangements by Richard Hewson. Also, they decided 'Dreamer' as the single, to be broadcasted in the radio. After all, my song was the first Supertramp hit in the charts. I felt very proud, I remembered that I make it in my mother's house, with my piano Wurtlizer, and an absolutely homemade percussion, recorded in a simple Sony tape. But Wurtlizer became the distinctive sound of Supertramp.

The abduction of the universe

Crime of the century 'is also the "abduction of the universe," as Roger Waters said (Pink Floyd). That terrible combination of "lust, greed and glory" that encircles the world. "I feel more than proud of the album. Forty years have passed, but is more alive than ever. It is true that 'Breakfast in America' was the Supertramp most successful album , but to me, 'Crime of the Century remains the best, unique, divine. "

Almost at the end of the conversation, I wonder if it is possible that someday Rick and he start a conversation, return to play together and revive Supertamp. Roger said. "I do not need it. To tell you the truth. I never wrote with Rick until the very early days.  And for the Supertramp reunion, no, that ship has sailed long ago.  A reunion without Dougie Thompson and me is not a reunion that people want to see". I speak with him (Rick) many times, he is a difficult person, he is more introverted. He is very deep in himself. "Yes, he’s a difficult person to understand…" says Roger. It’s impossible for Supertramp to go with you?. "yes, it’s impossible".

One more crime of the XX century.




Crime of the century DELUXE EDITION

December 8, 2014

New Double CD  40th Anniversary Crime of the Century DELUXE EDITION

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JOHN HELLIWELL in Cream, October 2012

Creammagazine   , Oct 4th, 2012

Supertramp are a band as definitive of the 1970s music scene as any other. They possessed all the key ingredients required just as the mainstream music arena really began to grow competitive. Up against the ubiquitous likes of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin (from the more ‘serious’ side of rock) and ELO and America (the somewhat lighter side of the spectrum), Supertramp stood out thanks to a universal sound that combined genres of pop, rock and a brand of new electronica (their main competition in that department was, indeed, ELO – whose very name in full – the Electric Light Orchestra – ultimately convinced the rock fraternity that electro would eventually be the way to go in making music, at least in part).

Each member of Supertramp could proudly boast multi-instrumental skills, dabbling in brass and woodwind here, digital technology there. The band formed in the UK in 1969 and split in 1983 due to lead singer, Roger Hodgson, calling it quits to bring up kids. In 1988, the band re-formed with former members and several new ones. One key player has been John Anthony Helliwell – famous for his saxophone and keyboard contributions to hits such as Breakfast In America, The Logical Song, Dreamer, Goodbye Stranger and Take The Long Way Home.

Four of those singles were lifted from the album Breakfast In America, which to this day makes it into credible music magazine’s ‘best of’ lists. In The World Critics List, music journalist Joel Whitburn ranked Breakfast the fourth greatest album of all time. In The Guinness All Time Top 1000 Albums it was voted #207, and also made the 69th greatest British rock LP of all time in the Classic Rock industry poll. In Australia, Triple M listeners voted the album in at #43 in their ‘100 Greatest Albums of All Time’, and in France it is the biggest selling English LP of all time and the third biggest seller overall (and believe us, there is stiff competition in the music business in France).

As well as playing various instruments in the band, Helliwell serves as MC during their live gigs, one of which – recorded in Paris in 1979 – has just been released in HD on Blu-ray and DVD. Here, Helliwell chats to Cream about longevity in the music industry, the art of the remix, and delivering repeated magic on stage as he and his band does on record.

Interview by Antonino Tati.


Tell us about the release of your Blu-ray and DVD Supertramp: Live In Paris.

J.H: You have to bear in mind that this was filmed in the ancient days of the end of the ’70s so it was not recorded digitally initially, but on proper film. But it comes over very well. It’s actually good to be able to see it so clearly after all these years. Of course we’d heard the music on the live album Paris but it’s nice to see the concert in full.


This particular concert was performed and recorded in 1979, which was a phenomenal year for Supertramp, being the year your perennial album Breakfast In America came out.

J.H: Yes, we released Breakfast In America in March of that year, and we began touring in August right through to December. The live recording was done about eight months into that tour, so we were very together and knew what we were supposed to be playing. Looking back at it, it’s good to see the empathy and the tightness in the band.


You would have had a lot on your plate then. There were four hit singles from that album alone.

J.H: Yes, and that was the longest tour we’d ever done so we were very tired by the end of it, and actually took a couple of years off after that. Everyone was a bit knackered at the end of it, but it was well worth it. It was actually the last time the five of us [original members] played together. For the tour after that we had some extra musicians… In general, I think 1979 just captured a really good spirit for us as a band.


How do you compare music of that era compared to what you’re hearing on radio and on the net today?

J.H: Well I get a bit fed up with the music of today. I think there’s still a lot of good music out there, but there’s also so much more out there nowadays and I can’t listen to everything. There are some genres of music that I don’t get. My range is classical, jazz and pop, and blues and soul.


So would I be right in saying that a lot of your influence went into the bigger Supertramp hits with all that fife and brass?

J.H: The sound we made at that time was just the combination of the five of us, working together sounding quite unique. Admittedly, it was unusual to have a saxophone in a rock group back then. And certainly it was unusual to have keyboards in there. Our sound just happened to have a magic combination I think. As for influences, there was the Beatles-type background from [lead singer] Roger Hodgson and [bassplayer] Dougie Thompson, and from myself and [keyboardist] Rick Davies came a more jazzy-type sound. And then, from Bob Siebenberg – our American drummer – came a sort of surf sound.


Well the combination worked to appeal to a broad audience. Even today bands are taking samples from your records and weaving them into dance music, of all genres.

J.H: Yes, there have been a few dance versions of our songs but if you ask me, the originals are the best [laughs].


When did you tour most recently?

J.H: Well the last tour we did with the same band members that you see on the Blu-ray and DVD, was in 1983, but Supertramp have played ever since. In 2010 we toured Europe for two months, and then we toured Canada, and then back to France in 2011.  We haven’t played this year but we could possibly tour next year again. It’s up to Rick Davies when we work, but I’m always happy to.


How likely would it be that we might see you tour Australia?

J.H: I’d like to think of it as a possibility. The last few tours have been through Europe and North America. Australia is obviously quite a long way, but I’d like to come back. We were there in the ’70s, even before this video was done, actually. I think was 1976 we were in Oz.


Is there any modern music that you particularly like?

J.H: I love Muse; I think they’re really creative.


They’ve certainly got a vaudeville edge to them that I thought you’d find appealing.

J.H: Yeah, they’re a little like Queen used to be. They can go ‘pomp’ and then get back to basic rock. They’re my favourite band at the moment. Them, and Elbow.


I think we need more pomp and circumstance in music; it helps keep us entertained.

J.H: Of course. There are a lot of miserable records out there, so we need something to make us happy.


Well musicians are show-people at the end of the day, so part of the job should be to make us –the audience – happy.

J.H: That’s true, but there’s room for all types. If you want to go to a concert and think about things and be morose, you can go see Morrissey. But there’s all sorts now, and I think variety is good.


On the subject of showmanship, I believe you’re the MC of the band, telling stories on stage in between songs.

J.H: That was just because nobody else wanted to do it! It started when we were touring in 1974 for the album Crime Of The Century. It was all quite serious, that album, so it was good to just relieve the tension occasionally with a bit of a chat. I still do it, and like to keep it natural and to not think too much before I speak. Sometimes I can put my foot in my mouth, but most of the time it engenders a good spirit with the audience.


Do you feel you’ve got enough stories from life on the road to write an autobiography?

J.H: I haven’t written anything because I find it difficult to remember stuff, but Bob Siebenberg is writing an autobiography which obviously includes a lot of Supertramp, so that’s something to look forward to.


Thinking cap on now: what are your top five albums of all-time?

J.H: Let’s see… Asia by Steely Dan would have to be in there… Heavy Weather by Weather Report… Somethin’ Else by Cannonball Adderley with Miles Davis… Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis… and I’d also pick Glen Gould playing [Bach’s] Goldberg Variations. That’s just off the top of my head.


Nice variety. Thanks for your time, John, and we look forward to watching the Live In Paris release.

J.H: Thank you, and enjoy!


Bob and Jesse Siebenberg in Ventura County Star 2012

Fathers have effect on kids' careers, often without knowing it
Following in dad's footsteps

By Kim Lamb Gregory
Ventura County Star

Posted June 16, 2012 at 3 p.m., updated June 16, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.




Ventura Superior Court Judge Colleen Toy White spent years riding shotgun with her dad as he enforced the law in the tiny Oklahoma town where she grew up.

"My dad was the chief of police for a while and then the constable," White said. "We did an early version of the ridealong before it even had a name. The main street was only a block long and I don't remember a lot of heinous crimes being committed."

Dr. Stacey Fine of Thousand Oaks used to accompany her physician dad on hospital rounds. Her doctor's bag was filled with crayons.

And Ojai musician-composer Jesse Siebenberg's toys were his dad's musical instruments, which he mastered to the point that he went on tour with his dad, Supertramp drummer Bob Siebenberg.

CSU Northridge psychology professor Dr. Mark Stevens said dads can have considerable clout when it comes to career choices.

"Kids are really curious and there's a little bit a mystery about what dad does," Stevens said. "One of the critical pieces here is, how much does Dad enjoy the work he does? Kids will watch their dad and know a lot about Dad's work, even if things have been unspoken. They will see Dad's mood when he comes home. Often kids will fill in images of what Dad is doing for a living."

When a dad enjoys what he does for a living and communicates about his work world to kids, it can help pave the pathway to a successful career for kids, said Stevens, who deals with many men's issues in private practice.

"Often men don't talk about what they do," Stevens said. "They hold it inside of themselves so that story isn't there for their children when it comes time for them to choose their own careers. It's about giving permission for dads to talk about the real story of how they chose their career and how they feel about work."

When dads love what they do, and involve their kids with their career choices, the result can be a successful adult who enjoys his or her line of work. In honor of Father's Day, we spoke with some Ventura County residents in a variety of careers to find out how Dad helped set their career trajectory.


Judge White stepped up under the Great Seal of California and sat down at the bench in Courtroom 37.

To her right, behind bars, sat a row of jailed defendants in blue cotton jail uniforms and orange rubber clogs. Behind the courtroom, court clerks carrying sheaves of paper scurried among tired folding chairs holding about 15 defendants.

After some paper shuffling and a call to order from the bailiff, White began listening to attorneys plead their clients' cases. "I'm gonna stay your jail time," White told one defendant with a lilt that sweeps back decades to her childhood in Oklahoma.

White grew up one of five children in the town of Wetumka, Okla., which had a population of about 1,000. White, now 67, got her nickname "Toy" from her brother, who is six years her senior.

"Mom anticipated some sibling rivalry, so she said, 'When the baby comes, you can name the baby,' " White said. "So when I was born, he looked at me and said 'She looks just like a toy.' "

White's dad, Bass Moore, had a sense of compassion and justice that he showed White, rather than told her.

"He had a real keen sense of fairness. He treated everyone the same," White said. "He'd talk to the banker and the town alcoholic always the same. He treated everyone with respect. Those are the kind of lessons you learn when you don't know you're learning them."

There was no budget for a police car, and no uniforms, so Moore wore khaki pants, a white shirt and tie.

"He drove the family car as a police car," White said. "It was an old Chevy. On the side was a spotlight."

When she was old enough to help drive sentenced prisoners to the county seat, White would be at the wheel and Moore would ride in back with the prisoner.

When Moore transferred the prisoners from the Wetumka holding cell to the jail in the county seat, he would always give the prisoners a little money out of his own pocket so they could buy candy and cigarettes, she said.

"He'd wink at me and say, 'Don't tell Mom,' " White said. "We had five kids at home and he had a very meager income."

White said her dad was a "prince of a guy" who would often take young people home after a lecture, rather than landing them in jail.

"He knew justice sometimes had nothing to do with going to jail," White said.

Bass Moore lived long enough to see his daughter go to law school, but he never got to see her as a judge, White said. But she has tried to show the compassion and justice that her father exercised every day.

"You realize that a child really does become what they see," she said. "Your actions speak so loudly."


Dr. Stan Silverman knew one of his two daughters, Stacey, was always interested in medicine, but he tried to discourage her.

"I just don't think medicine is the field it used to be," said Silverman, an OB-GYN in Thousand Oaks. "Liability, regulations, reimbursements."

But Dr. Stacey Fine, now 41, was determined. So determined, in fact, that she took her medical board examinations two days after giving birth to the first of her two children.

"It was very crazy, but it's kind of the way I tend to do things," Fine said. "I had to hook up a breast pump in the middle of my boards. I also had to explain to them (the others taking the boards) that I was sitting on a doughnut."

Silverman, 75, now shares a practice with his daughter in Thousand Oaks. His other daughter, Beth Silverman, is a prominent district attorney in Los Angeles.

"I think my father always pushed his children to be self-sufficient and have careers and strive and never back down in times of adversity," Fine said. "We couldn't have done that without a model figure who worked hard every day and never complained."

"I always told my daughters anytime they wanted to do something, do it 100 percent," Silverman said.

When she was a child growing up in Westlake Village, Fine recalled going on medical rounds with her dad.

When Fine started going to medical school, she would observe her dad in the operating room, wondering how she could ever stand the sight of blood without passing out. Her dad told her it would get better, and eventually it did.

"The first few times I was in surgery, I had a stool tied to my foot so I could sit down," she said.

When Fine got her medical degree and passed her boards, they went into practice together.

"He devoted himself tirelessly to this," she said. "There are many nights we get up together to go in for a C-section. He still absolutely loves what he does."

Being in practice together has worked out well, she said, but they are family, and there are disagreements.

"We certainly have our moments. We're very vocal. We're not uncomfortable with telling each other how we feel," Fine said.

Now that Fine is married with a daughter, 8, and a son, 6, Grampa watches them one day a week while Mom and Dad work. "That's my day," he said with a grin.

For Father's Day, Silverman said his greatest gift is to be able to take the whole family out to dinner, and dinner's on him.


If it weren't for his dad, Conejo Valley Unified School District Superintendent Jeff Baarstad would never have gone into education, he said.

"When you grow up as an educator's kid, you're exposed to lots of friends who are also educators," said Baarstad, 57.

Baarstad's dad, David Baarstad, 88, went into special education in the Ventura Unified School District while Jeff was growing up. His mom also was a teacher.

When Jeff was a junior at Buena High School, David spent a semester on campus at Brigham Young University so he could earn his Doctor of Education degree.

"I was on the varsity football team and they had a tradition of dads and sons being introduced together," Jeff said. "I had to do that with one of my dad's really good friends. I wish my dad was there, but I understood."

David worked in the still-emerging field of special education between 1960 and 1985. Jeff would often come home and find gifts from parents of special-needs kids who finally had a learning program for their child, thanks to David.

"From time to time I'd come home and there would be flowers and a cake on the porch," Jeff said.

Jeff became a teacher and eventually a school district superintendent. To this day, he and his dad talk shop.

"He loves to have conversations about my job. What am I doing. How am I approaching this," Jeff said.

The legacy continues, Jeff said. His daughter is a high school teacher.

Christine McCloskey, Hueneme Elementary School District assistant superintendent of business services, also credits her career decisions largely to her father, former U.S. Marine and now Ventura Unified School District board member John Walker.

"He's definitely been the most influential person in my life," said McCloskey, 43. "When I was growing up he was going to school on the GI Bill. As a young child, I saw him going to school at night."

It was a turnaround for Walker, 65, who admits he was a bit of a slacker until he joined the Marines during the Vietnam War.

"In high school, I was kind of average," he said. "It kind of turned me around and made me ultrapatriotic."

The military also instilled a sense of tireless discipline in Walker as he pursued a master's degree. It took him nine years while he worked full time as an installer at GTE, which eventually became Verizon.

"My wife and I are both very strong in our faith. Faith combined with patriotism and discipline and the value of education," Walker said. "She became a very black-and-white little girl. It was either right or wrong."

On the night Walker received his master's degree, McCloskey was heartbroken that she couldn't attend. She was part of the Buena marching band and there was an event she couldn't miss or it would erode her grades.

"I remember specifically his saying that getting good grades was more important than my being there," she said.

McCloskey became a teacher, a principal, and finally joined the district as an administrator.

Walker influenced his other daughter, Rhonda Grant, 40, who followed in her dad's earlier footsteps by going to work for Verizon.


Ojai musician-composer Jesse Siebenberg, 35, was steeped in his dad's music from an early age.

"When he was about four, I bought him a Toys R Us drum set for Christmas," said Siebenberg's dad, Bob Siebenberg, 62, drummer for the British rock band Supertramp. "He demolished it in a day."

Jesse ultimately got the hang of the drums and many other instruments, including guitar and keyboard.

"I had a studio in my home and lots of instruments around," Bob said. "He was playing piano at 6. It was always pretty obvious he had this gift."

"It was a stimulating scene for a kid. It was a bunch of top-notch musicians even making music or listening to records," Jesse said.

Jesse, who now co-owns a recording studio in Ojai, toured with his dad and Supertramp for 14 years after he turned 20.

Jesse was about 5 or 6 when he and his dad were listening to rhythm and blues saxophone giant King Curtis at Fillmore West in Northern California. Jesse remembers watching his dad's face as Bob listened.

"It was a different look than I'd ever seen," Jesse said. "I think it hooked me into music for life, right there. I think it was because he was really in it, but in a humbled way. We listened to all sorts of stuff, but only certain albums made you really just stare and block everything else out."

Jesse made a few "rookie mistakes" when they first went on tour, Bob said, but he's seen his son blossom.

"To see him standing up in front ... and performing some of our tunes so well and to great reception and applause has been a source of great pride," Bob said.

Jesse said his dad has always been an active participant in his and his sister Victoria's lives."We talk and see each other often, mostly due to his efforts, I'm not proud to say," Jesse said, adding: "I'll call soon, Pop!"


Supertramp as Ricky & The Rockets - 1986

Supertramp as Ricky & The Rockets - 1986 live in Mannheim im Flic Flac

It was more a party then a concert. After their big concert in Ludwigshafen (Twin City of Mannheim) in front of 5000 people Supertramp was playing in a little Club-Restaurant called Flic Flac in Mannheim. Only 10 people knew what is coming on that night. So in the little sideroom probably 50 people are sitting and waiting (they did not know who is coming ). Around 11pm Supertramp has arrived - that means RICKY & THE ROCKETS are on stage. This was their name for this night. Ricky and his boys were :
Mark Hart - k
Marty Walsh - g
Dougie Thompson - b
John Helliwell - sax
Ben Siebenberg - dr
Scott Page - sax
Carl Verheyen - g
Rick Davies - k,v
Beside them sometimes also on stage 3 musicians of the Herbert Grönemeyer Band -
Alfred Kritzer - k
Norbert Hamm - b
Gagey Mrozek - g
--- also on stage, with the earphone Wichtel a technican from Radio RPR. Sometimes you see Affendaddy standing in the door in the back always grinning. Sometimes 12 guys (and a grand piano !!!) standing on 12 square meters !!
The setlist for Ricky & The Rockets was :
Happy Birthday To You , In The Midnight Hour, Don't You Lie To Me, Walking The Dog, Treat Her Right, Route 66 , Stormy Monday , My Babe - from Ron Holden - + Lucille. When they finished a song some of them asking what is the next song, but nobody knew that, so Rick says - have you ever heard a song called Midnight Hour ? Everybody is thinking - and then they said - yes we have heard that song. So Rick says : Let's play it.
For all the people in that little room - musicians + audience it was a unforgettable night.
Normally on this stage was my Discotheque equipment. That means Recordplayer, Reciever and a - Cassette deck - and with such an engine you can do pretty good recordings.....:-))))

See Ricky & The Rockets in 1986


SUPERTRAMP - All Concert Reviews



2011 TOUR - Carhaix, France, July 16   press review  
2011 TOUR - Montreal, June 16              press review
2011 TOUR - Otawa, June 14                   press review
2011 TOUR - Toronto, June 12                press review
2011 TOUR - Winnipeg, June 8               press review
2011 TOUR - Saskatoon, June 7             press review
2011 TOUR - Edmonton, June 5              press review
2011 TOUR - Vancouver, June 2             press review
2011 TOUR - Victoria, May 31                   Lorna
2011 TOUR - Victoria, May 31                   Press review
2010 TOUR - Stuttgart, Oct. 24          Uwe Nessler
2010 TOUR - Paris, Oct. 28                 The dude
2010 TOUR - London, Oct. 6               press reviews
2010 TOUR - Berlin Sept. 27               Mark 
2010 TOUR - Manheim Sept. 23         Uwe Nessler    
2010 TOUR - Barcelona, Sept. 18      MAC
2010 TOUR - Barcelona 18 Sept.        Prensa          
2010 TOUR - Bilbao 17 Sept.               Prensa
2010 TOUR - Madrid 15 Sept               press reviews    
2010 TOUR - A Coruña 11 Sept          press reviews
2010 TOUR - Halle 2nd of Sept           fans reviews

2002 TOUR - Los Angeles 20th Sept.     MAC
2002 TOUR - London 21st July                MAC
2002 TOUR - Barcelona 28 Abril             Jordi Sabater
2002 TOUR - Benidorm 18 Abril              C. Sabater
2002 TOUR - Benidorm April 18              MAC    
2002 TOUR - Benidorm April 18              Jordi Sabater

1983 TOUR - Barcelona 5 Julio               MAC


Photo: Soundcheck in Hide Park, London, 2002, by MAC



2010 Alan Parsons gig, Paris 1st of June                       MAC
2010 Excalibur Tour, with Alan Parsons, January         MAC
2005 Creme Anglaise, Giverny, Sept 11                           MAC
2004 Art on Ice, with Roger Hodgson, January               MAC
2004 Art on Ice, with Roger Hodgson, January               Roger Tanner
Photo: with Alan Parsons and John Helliwell in Paris, 1st of June 2010
, by MAC 

2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Vieilles Charrues, July 16

Festival Vieilles Charrues 2011, July 16
Carhaix, France

Supertramp, pas si super que ça…

Musique dimanche 17 juillet 2011

Personne ne les attendait vraiment, d’ailleurs personne n’a pris de claque avec Supertramp. Même pas décevant, sans intérêt.

Sans Roger Hodgson, chanteur emblématique du groupe à ses débuts, la magie ne peut pas prendre. Imaginez les Rolling Stones sans Mick Jagger ou Noir Desir sans Bertrand Cantat et ça vous donnera une petite idée… Tout simplement, cela ne marche pas !

Sans compter que le public, inévitablement, attend les tubes. Supertramp en a plein les cartons mais a vraiment tardé à les offrir à la prairie de Kerampuilh, qui peinait à s’enflammer.

Entre un « Breakfast in America » et un « Goodbye stranger », le groupe a essayé de faire illusion, mais c’était trop peu péchu pour que prenne la mayonnaise. Il aurait aussi fallu que les membres du groupe se démènent un peu plus pour nous convaincre.

De la part de telles légendes de la chanson, on pouvait quand même espérer un peu mieux...

Mickaël Louedec.



Software  translations:

Supertramp, no mas super que esto ...

En realidad nadie les esperaba, por eso nadie se quedó con Supertramp. Ni siquiera decepcionante, sin interes.

Sin Roger Hodgson, cantante emblemático del grupo en sus inicios, la magia no puede prender. Imaginar a los Rolling Stones sin Mick Jagger o Noir Desir sin Bertrand Cantant y os dará una pequeña idea ... Sencillamente, no funciona!

Sin contar que el público, inevitablemente, espera los éxitos. Supertramp tienen un montón, pero tardó en ofrecerlos a la pradera de Kerampuilh, que empezaban a impacientarse.

Entre un "Breakfast in America" y un "Goodbye Stranger", el grupo trató de ilusionar, pero con demasiada poca garra para ligar la mayonesa. También hubiera hecho falta que los miembros del grupo lucharan un poco más para convencernos.

De leyendas de la canción, por lo menos se podría esperar algo mejor ..

Supertramp, not as super as this ...

Nobody really expected them, however no one took snaps with Supertramp. Not even disappointing, without interest.

Without Roger Hodgson, singer emblematic of the group in the early times, the magic can not take. Imagine the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger or Noir Desir without Bertrand Cantat, and it will give you a little clue ... Quite simply, it does not work!

Besides the public inevitably awaits the hits. Supertramp are plenty of it, but they came too late to the audience, who got impatient.

Between "Breakfast in America" and "Goodbye Stranger", the group tried to illusion, but it was too little effort for light the fire. It would have also required that the group members were struggling a little to convince us.

From such legends of music, we could still expect a little better ...


2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Montreal, June 16

Supertramp au Centre Bell
Supertramp bat de l'aile sans Hodgson

Marie-France Pellerin
16/06/2011 23h26

MONTREAL -"Genesis survived the departure of Peter Gabriel, who was replaced by Phil Collins with great spirit. Supertramp, however, can’t overcome the departure of Roger Hodgson".


MONTRÉAL - Genesis a peut-être bien survécu au départ de Peter Gabriel, remplacé avec brio par Phil Collins. Supertramp, lui, se remet difficilement du départ de son chanteur, Roger Hodgson.

De passage au Centre Bell jeudi soir dans le cadre de sa tournée 70-10, la formation rock britannique a offert une prestation qui ne passera assurément pas à l’histoire, mais qui a tout de même été ponctuée de quelques moments d’envergure.

La tournée célèbre à la fois le 40e anniversaire du groupe et de la sortie de son premier album éponyme, Supertramp, paru en 1970, et un joueur de taille manquait à la fête. Le froid sévissant entre Rick Davies, fondateur, chanteur et claviériste de Supertramp, et Hodgson, qui a quitté la formation au début des années 80, n’est pas un secret d’État.

Aussi, Davies a affirmé ne pas souhaiter accueillir son ancien compatriote en ses rangs afin de préserver l’harmonie du groupe. On lui concède le point, mais reste que le registre vocal d’Hodgson demeure beaucoup plus étendu que celui de Davies.

Accompagné des membres originaux John Helliwell (saxophone) et Bob Siebenberg (batterie), Davies a attaqué You Started Laughing et Gone Hollywood. Il aura néanmoins fallu attendre Ain’t Nobody But Me avant un réel engouement du public.

«Nous avons une relation très spéciale avec Montréal. C’est ici que nous avons donné notre premier concert au Canada en 1975», a mentionné Helliwell –Davies ne s’est pratiquement pas adressé à la foule– avant de déplorer le fait qu’il ait dû prendre plus tôt son petit déjeuner à Toronto. L’anecdote venait évidemment d’introduire Breakfast in America.

Cannonball et Poor Boy ont pour leur part ramené l’énergie au point mort alors que From Now on a suscité une ovation partielle, au parterre. Les incontournables, tels que Give a Little Bit, Downstream, Rudy, Bloody Well Right et Another Man’s Woman, rythmée d’un solo de clavier endiablé de Davies, auront pour leur part empli l’amphithéâtre d’une certaine ferveur.

La magie a déserté / The magic has deserted

La machine musicale était définitivement toujours bien huilée, traduisant somme toute plutôt bien le caractère ambitieux des albums de la formation, mais il a manqué de cette petite touche magique et peut-être d’un peu d’enthousiasme, autant chez les membres que chez les 9469 spectateurs, qui sont demeurés sagement assis pratiquement l’ensemble du concert.

Les limites vocales de Davies se sont aussi fait sentir à quelques reprises, notamment sur Rudy. Il a d’ailleurs légué le micro à ses acolytes Jesse Siebenberg, le fils du batteur, et Gabe Dixon, choriste, pour Give A Little Bit, It’s Raining Again, Take The Long Way Home et The Logical Song, où les notes poussées à l’extrême ont été applaudies.

Bien que l’interprétation de ces pièces ait été particulièrement réussie, on ne remplace pas si facilement une voix qui a marqué l’histoire. Roger Hodgson demeure inimitable, et les fans invétérés pourront le constater les 28 et 29 octobre à la Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier de la Place des Arts.




2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Otawa, June 14

Supertramp clearly misses co-founder Hodgson

By Denis Armstrong ,Ottawa Sun
First posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:16:41 EDT PM

Supertramp’s so-called reunion tour rolled into Scotiabank Place Tuesday night, easily within short memory of co-founder Roger Hodgson’s solo tour here in 2009, with another gig planned for Gatineau’s Hot Air Festival in September.

The novelty of seeing the 1970s supergroup has clearly worn off and the Brits who put the pop in prog-rock are about as busy as they were in their heyday.

Arguably once the best songwriting team since Lennon and McCartney, Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson were, in their prime, a band that could create complex, sophisticated pop, alternating from the amusingly whimsical of The Logical Song and Dreamer, to tunes as mordant and haunting as Rudy, School and Crime of the Century.

Most telling at Tuesday night’s gig is how much they miss Hodgson, who quit the band in 1983.

This was supposed to be a reunion concert, after all.

Instead, what we got was Rick Davies with Supertramp.

Not that I’m complaining.

Surprisingly, the gig began with a whimper, not a bang, with Davies alone at the grand piano for You Started Laughing.

It might have been low-keyed as a concert opening gets, but it wasn’t without a sense of drama.

The small audience — estimated at an optimistic 6,500 — initially seemed to be put into a quiet reflection by Davies’ muted dynamics.

However, the situation brightened marginally on Gone Hollywood and built to a crescendo when horn player John Helliwell gave a thorough account of his Canadian breakfast to introduce Breakfast in America, and later, Cannonball.

It’s all coming back to me now. Supertramp never really was a conventional rock band, but a fusion of British concept rock with a twist of American jazz.

Nearly 40 years later, they sound much as they did back then, despite Davies’ distinctively reedy voice, which has only grown reedier after 66 years.

Like a band leader behind a keyboard, Davies carried the show, which has been subtly divided.

There’s Davies’ half, including Poor Boy, Downstream, Rudy and Bloody Well Right.

Meanwhile, drummer Bob Siebenberg’s son Jesse and backup singer Gabe Dixon shared vocal duties on Hodgson’s hits — Give a Little Bit, It’s Raining Again, Take The Long Way Home and Dreamer. While they did a credible job, they don’t have Hodgson’s pathos.

The band gave the Ottawa Sun an onstage plug as their paper of choice on Another Man’s Women, restaging the cover art of Crisis? What

Crisis? of a man reading the paper on a smouldering beach with an actor in a bathing suit.

Happily, the show picked up energy near the end and the setlist grew heavier with Hodgson’s and Davies’ best tunes, Goodbye Stranger and their encore — School, Dreamer and Crime of the Century.

The fans were flipping out, happy to hear these old tunes again. I suppose I’ll see many of them again when Hodgson plays here in September.



Musicalement correct, vocalement pénible

Publié le 15 juin 2011 à 05h30 | Mis à jour le 15 juin 2011 à 05h30
Supertramp devant 6 500 spectateurs à la Place Banque Scotia

Marc-André Joanisse
Le Droit


Les Stones sans Jagger, une hérésie, Zeppelin sans Plant, une abomination, The Who sans Daltrey, un cauchemar.
Supertramp sans Roger Hodgson tous les synonymes du premier paragraphe et plus encore.

"The Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger is a heresy. Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant is an abomination. The Who without Roger Daltrey is a nightmare. Supertramp without Roger Hodgson is all of that and even more".

Et comble de malheur, une station de radio d'Ottawa faisait tourner Dreamer, en route vers la Place Banque Scotia. Rien pour nous inciter à se tenir loin du jeu des comparaisons. Le groupe se promène avec le nom Supertramp. Il doit donc s'attendre à être la cible de velléités. De tristes velléités.

Ses chanteurs, Rick Davies, là depuis 1970, Gabe Dixon et Jesse Siebenberg n'ont pas été trop forts, hier soir, à la PBS. Par moments, c'était pathétique de les entendre accrocher autant de fausses notes et de se retrouver loin, très loin, du registre vocal de Hodgson.

C'est dommage, car musicalement, la soirée a été bof, somme toute, correcte, bien que trop languissante à notre goût. Les deux premières pièces surtout. Elles ont été d'un ennui consommé. Vocalement parlant, il faut oublier ça.

Là où on a le plus souffert a été à l'occasion de l'interprétation de pièces avantageusement connues de l'impressionnant catalogue du groupe. Un peu pénible pour l'ouïe quand Supertramp version 2011 a abordé des titres chantés jadis par Hodgson. Le passage au xxie siècle de Breakfast in America s'est entre autres, avéré plutôt ardu.

Pourquoi ? En raison des notes aiguës si bien poussées par l'ancien collègue de Rick Davies. Des acrobaties vocales totalement absentes, il y a quelques heures.

D'autres chansons ont très mal franchi l'espace-temps avec cette nouvelle mouture du groupe. Prenez Give A Little Bit, Gabe Dixon a tout essayé, mais il n'y est jamais parvenu. Le saxophoniste John Helliwell dont le petit solo a été complètement raté, n'a guère été plus impressionnant. Ce même Dixon a été plutôt faible dans son interprétation de It's Raining Again, une autre chanson millionnaire de Hodgson. Son comparse Siebenberg n'a pas été plus fort avec Take the Long Way Home et The Logical Song.

Bon, on arrête ça ici.


2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Toronto, June 12

Supertramp impressively perseveres

By Jane Stevenson ,QMI Agency
First posted: Monday, June 13, 2011 2:42:32 EDT AM
Toronto Sun

And so do fans of the ‘70s British prog-rockers.

Faced with as long a lineup I’ve ever seen at the willcall for the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre’s summer season opener on Sunday night, the diehard ‘trampers eventually made it inside for a surprisingly packed, verging on sold-out concert on a cool, grey evening. (I’m guessing the crowd was around 14,000.)

I only say surprisingly because it’s been nine years since Supertramp’s last album, 2002’s Slow Motion, and several decades since they had any hits - the last one being 1982’s It’s Raining Again with co-writer-co-lead singer Roger Hodgson leaving the group a year later and still touring as a solo artist.

Supertramp’s peak was all the way back in 1979 with Breakfast In America, their best selling album.

Still, group founder and pianist Rick Davies, now 66, who shared songwriting and singing duties with Hodgson, has hung in there and is currently touring with a fine eight-piece band including longtime members John Helliwell on saxophone/woodwinds and drummer Bob Siebenberg and managed to present Hodgson songs in a respectable and faithful way.

I had my doubts given Hodgson’s distinctive falsetto.

But Siebenberg’s son, Jesse, and backup singer Gabe Dixon capably shared lead vocal duties on Hodgson’s material representing some of Supertramp’s biggest hits - the title track from Breakfast in America, Give A Little Bit, It’s Raining Again, Take The Long Way Home, The Logical Song, and Dreamer.

Jesse Siebenberg also proved to be a trooper when his electric piano conked out right in the middle of The Logical Song and crew members brought another one onto the stage mid-song.

You could see him mouth, “I have no idea,” when one of the other band members asked what had happened during the song.

As for Davies, he was a serious and silent performer, who was in good voice and great on the ivories, but let the likeable Helliwell, sipping red wine on stage when he wasn’t playing, do all the talking to the audience.

“We’re very pleased to be back in Toronto,” said Helliwell, who encouraged the crowd to join in whenever possible.

“It’s not like Perry Como or anything like that. We’re older now - we just need a bit of stimulus.”

Supertramp finally hit their stride with the fourth song, Ain’t Nobody but Me, a meatier song than the first three, and Davies really got the audience on his side on the strength of From Now On, Rudy, the jammy, crowd-pleasing Another Man’s Woman, Bloody Well Right (with Helliwell holding a bullhorn with the word “right” on it), Goodbye Stranger and the ultra-strong encore numbers School and Crime Of the Century, the latter featuring some fine guitar work from Carl Verheyen.

Otherwise, the production was relatively low-key with no laser lights or wild videos with only a few filmed sequences shown on a screen otherwise kept mostly hidden behind curtains.

The only real theatrics was the onstage recreation of the band’s Crisis? What Crisis 1975 album cover featuring a guy in a bathing suit seated under a yellow umbrella and reading a copy of NOW (NXNE edition) during Another Man’s Woman.

The audience actually applauded when an opened bottle of Molson Canadian beer perched on his side table was shown in a close-up.


You Started Laughing
Gone Hollywood
Put on Your Old Brown Shoes
Ain’t Nobody but Me
Breakfast in America
Poor Boy
From Now On
Give a Little Bit
It’s Raining Again
Another Man’s Woman
Take The Long Way Home
Bloody Well Right
The Logical Song
Goodbye Stranger


Crime of The Century




2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Winnipeg, June 8

Still Supertramp, but not like the old days

By: Rob Williams
Posted: 06/8/2011 10:19 PM
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

To some, a Supertramp without the band’s main voice, Roger Hodgson, is akin to the crime of the century; totally illogical.

Yet, the remnants of the British rock group have been performing without its de-facto leader since Hodgson left the group for a solo career in 1983.

It was the Rick Davies-led lineup that visited the MTS Centre last night for a crowd of 5,500 who were either unaware Hodgson wasn’t in the band or didn’t care: they just wanted to hear the classic radio staples from the band’s 1970s heyday, no matter who was on vocals.

Supertramp trotted out most of their old hits and other album favourites during a show that had a bit more energy than when a similar lineup last appeared in the city at the Winnipeg Arena in 2002, but still somehow wasn’t as good as Hodgson’s solo show at the Burton Cummings Theatre in 2006 even though the former frontman only appeared with one other person – a saxophonist – and Supertramp was a nine-person ensemble Wednesday.

Despite the high quality of the band’s material, the show lacked a spark and genuine sense of excitement. Maybe a version of Fool’s Overture mid-set would have added a jolt of electricity to the evening, but unfortunately that song wasn’t part of the set.

Hodgson’s voice is a major part of songs like Breakfast in America, Give a Little Bit, Take the Long Way Home and The Logical Song, but no matter how hard multi-instrumentalist Jesse Siebenberg tried his best to mimic him, it hit a little too close to karaoke for comfort.

The crowd didn’t seem to mind, though, and hooted and hollered for every hit in the band’s impressive catalogue.

The show started off slow with some "deep cuts," including You Started Laughing, Ain’t Nobody But Me and Gone Hollywood, but the energy, and mood picked up when John Helliwell introduced Breakfast in America, as he does at every show, by describing what he had for breakfast Wednesday morning, earning some extra cheers for talking about the return of the NHL.

"Congratulations on the hockey," he said to roars of approval.

Keyboardist Davies, the band’s only remaining original member from 1969, is the leader of the group these days, but he was quiet between songs, letting Helliwell – who has been in the band since 1973 (along with percussionist Bob Siebenberg) – do the talking.

The first half of the two hour show was as bland as some of the band’s extended prog jams, but thankfully picked up considerably in the second half when the group started dishing out the hits: Take the Long Way Home, Rudy, an anemic version of the pop gem It’s Raining Again, Bloody Well Right, The Logical Song and Goodbye Stranger before the encore of School, Dreamer and Crime of the Century.

In the end, Supertramp sans Hodgson wasn’t quite the crime of the century, but something about it didn’t feel bloody well right.



June 8, 2011
MTS Centre
Attendance: 5,500
2 1/2 stars out of 5




2011 TOUR - SUPERTRAMP Saskatoon, June 7

Supertramp still smashing after four decades
By Cam Fuller, StarPhoenix June 8, 2011

You know you're taking the long way home when your itinerary includes Saskatoon, but it was a welcome detour for fans of Supertramp.

Even in the show's quietest moments, there was plenty of nostalgia at Credit Union Centre as both band and audience looked back on 40 years of music.

No one is getting them as they were in their heyday, not without Roger Hodgson on hand, but Tuesday's show did give us the man who started it all,

Rick Davies on keyboards and vocals. He didn't speak much if at all, leaving what little banter there was to sax great John Anthony Helliwell.

Davies wouldn't have had the energy to talk anyway, not the way he plays piano - fast, hard, intense and loud. His solo and extended jam in Another Man's Woman was breathtaking. It came fairly late into the show and got a well-earned standing ovation.

Overall, this likely wasn't the show many were expecting. They didn't come out and play Dreamer, followed by The Logical Song, followed by Dreamer. They're a band, of all things, not a juke box. Thus the inclusion of Supertramp songs you didn't hear a million times on the radio - stuff like the bluesy Put on Your Old Brown Shoes, and diehard's dream Rudy which ran with vintage locomotive footage.

Then again, there was Raining Again, which is as close as this otherwise highbrow act ever came to bubblegum pop - a shallow, silly ditty which rhymes "fighter," with "up tighter." Some loved it, though, jumping up and dancing and looking around and wondering why everyone wasn't doing the same.

The band obviously still means something to Davies; he had a hand in building the show when it launched last year. He worked with lighting designer Michael Brian Duncan to create the staging effects. Duncan has worked with kd lang, B-52s, Alicia Keys and Goo Goo Dolls. The two conceived a cool live action version of the album cover Crisis? What Crisis? - a guy in trunks reclining under an umbrella while (on the album) the world around him is demolished. Subtler but clever were the searchlights during Gone Hollywood. Three video screens were used on and off. The centre one showed film clips while the others offered live action closeups.

Davies shared some of the singing with lead guitarist Jesse Siebenberg, who handled Breakfast in America at the Yamaha grand. He returned later on 12 string acoustic for Give a Little Bit - tentative vocally but absolutely smashing anyway.

There was interest and respect in the air from the smallish crowd of 4,000 or so but not a ton of euphoria until the hit-filled windup with The Logical Song, Goodbye Stranger, Bloody Well Right and, yes, Dreamer. Then it was into the night for the fans and, for Supertramp, breakfast in Winnipeg.

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix



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