ROGER HODGSON in NorthJersey.com, 6th June 2008

ROGER HODGSON in NorthJersey.com, 6th June 2008

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Roger Hodgson to perform at Resorts Atlantic City
Friday, June 6, 2008
Last updated: Friday June 6, 2008, EDT 5:52 AM


- Hiding in plain sight is over -

With more than 60 million albums sold and instantly recognizable monster
singles, Roger Hodgson is one of the biggest names in rock that you've never
heard of.

"Obviously, a lot of people know my voice and they certainly know the songs,
but they have trouble connecting the dots to my name," says Hodgson, the
former lead singer and songwriter for Supertramp, who wrote and performed
hits such as "Take the Long Way Home," "Dreamer," "Give a Little Bit" and
"Breakfast in America."

Now, Hodgson is looking to stop hiding in plain sight. After an extended
hiatus from the road and the recording studio to focus on his family and his
life, Hodgson is touring again ‹ mostly in Europe and Canada ‹ and giving
his fans what they want: a chance to relive the songs of the past, as well
as to hear some newer material.

But Hodgson hasn't performed much in America.

"I go where the promoters want me to go, and they really don't call much for
me to play in [the United States]," he says during a recent phone call from
Norway, where he was performing.

That all changes Saturday night, when Hodgson, 58, puts on a concert at
Resorts Atlantic City. He was last here several years ago as a member of
Ringo Starr's band, so he's going into the casino gig knowing it's something
of a crapshoot.

"It'll be interesting to see if they make the connection," he says candidly.
"And it'll be interesting to see if they ask me back."

When he toured with Starr, Hodgson would sing two or three Supertramp songs
during the show. The moment he did so, he could see the light bulbs of
recognition flashing in the eyes of the audience.

"It was like they were saying, 'Oh, so you're the dude who sang those
songs,' " he says with a laugh. "I'm really something of an unknown."

Born in Portsmouth, England, Hodgson began teaching himself to play piano,
drums, bass and cello before he was in his teens. At 19, he recorded his
first album; the pianist for the recording session was a guy named Reg
Dwight, who went on to become Elton John.

Hodgson and Rick Davies teamed up to write songs, leading to the formation
of Supertramp in 1969. After leaving the band in 1983, Hodgson settled down
in the Pacific Northwest and worked from his home recording studio.

In 1986, around the time he was releasing his second solo album, he severely
injured both wrists in a fall, and doctors warned him he probably wouldn't
play any instrument again.

They underestimated Hodgson's strong will. Through prayer and physical
rehabilitation, he was able to successfully return to the stage.

Although he's been singing most of his hits for 40 years, Hodgson says he
never tires of it. That's because he usually remembers, with remarkable
clarity, the event or situation that led him to write a particular number.

He admits to occasionally getting a little choked up on some songs when he
thinks of what led to their creation. His audiences apparently have their
own strong feelings.

"When I see people in the [audience] crying, then I realize how important
these songs were to them. They were important to me, too, because I wrote
them. And as I'm singing them, I sometimes think about what was going on in
my life at the time."

Hodgson is a deeply spiritual person, and many of his songs are about his
"journey" through life and his efforts to discover "why we're all here."

"There's a line in 'The Logical Song' that goes, 'tell me who I am,' and
that pretty much says it all," Hodgson says. "It's just a fundamental
question: Who the hell are we, why are we here and where are we going."

Roger Hodgson performs at Resorts Atlantic City at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets
are $55, available through Ticketmaster.

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