ROGER HODGSON in the Times Herald, May 2006

ROGER HODGSON in the Times Herald, May 2006


Back-up plan Orchestra to 'Give a Little Bit' at Roger Hodgson concert

Originally published Friday, May 19, 2006

Times Herald

Even those who aren't familiar with the name Roger Hodgson or his former band, Supertramp, probably know his distinctive, high-pitched voice. A founding member along with Rick Davies, Hodgson wrote and sang most of the English prog-rock/pop band's biggest hits, including Take the Long Way Home, The Logical Song and Give a Little Bit. He will perform all of those Saturday in Sarnia, backed by a full orchestra.

Hodgson left Supertramp in 1983, but his solo career stalled when he fell and smashed his wrists. The doctors told him he'd never play again. He proved them wrong, but not until after a 10-year hiatus from recording.

Q: What was your first meeting with Rick Davies like?

His manager put a big advertisement in a very famous English music paper. I answered it along with a few hundred other musicians. When I arrived, Rick was sitting in a corner, kind of exhausted. He told me he was really impressed by my voice. We had a chance afterward to go for a drink, and the seeds of Supertramp were sewn that day.

Q: Have you been performing with an orchestra a lot lately?

I have. It's just an incredible feeling singing and hearing that huge, wonderful sound behind me. Sometimes it's hard to continue singing. I just want to stop and listen.

Q: What was the recovery from your accident like?

That really began a period of soul-searching and introspection, which was hard and wonderful at the same time. That whole period was a very valuable time for me. I really feel more at peace with myself.

Q: Did having two Supertramp songs on the Magnolia soundtrack spur more interest in the band?

I didn't notice, but it was such a great movie. I love it when my songs are used in that way. Give a Little Bit was used in Desperate Housewives the other day. I'm not a huge fan of the show, but the scene itself was very touching.

Q: Speaking of Give a Little Bit, you're getting an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award for it being one of the most-performed pop songs of 2005. I'm guessing that's because of the Goo Goo Dolls' version?

That's definitely a large part of it, but actually Give a Little Bit has had a resurgence. I had about 80 requests last year, from tsunami and Hurricane Katrina benefits to the PGA golf tournament. It's wonderful to have a song that people want to use to inspire (charity) in others.

Q: Speaking of resurgences, there seems to be a bit of a prog-rock revival going on. Have you heard any of these neo-progressive bands such as The Mars Volta?

I'm definitely not as in-touch nowadays as I used to be, but I'm aware of some of them. I can hear the influences of Genesis or Supertramp or Pink Floyd, and that's great. I've never really been one to ask about trends or fashions. All I know is good music sustains itself.

If you go

Roger Hodgson

WHAT: A concert featuring the former lead singer of Supertramp, with Alan Frew of the Canadian pop band Glass Tiger, backed by the symphonic rock orchestra Jeans 'n' Classics.

WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, followed by a dance party until 1 a.m.
l WHERE: Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre, 1455 London Road, Sarnia.

COST: $60 Canadian. Proceeds will benefit Sarnia's Northern Collegiate high school scholarship fund.

l DETAILS: (877) 364-8232.

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