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Roger Hodgson

Charles Roger Pomfret Hodgson, born 21 March 1950, in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England is a British vocalist and musician, and he was one of the founding members of the progressive rock group Supertramp. He is recognised for his high-pitched singing voice, which became a trademark for Supertramp, and often writes about somewhat spiritual and philosophical topics. He's been giving the nickname of Mr. Supertramp by fans.

Biography

(1950-1969) Early Years

Hodgson was born in 1950 and grew up in Oxford, England in a wealthy middle-class family, and was also sent to Stowe School in Buckinghamshire. It is known he wrote some of his most popular songs like "Breakfast in America", "Logical Song", and some of "Fool's Overture" at home with a harmonium he had bought off a neighbour when he was only 17 years old (this organ is actually used in the background of "Breakfast in America", and prominently appears on "Two of Us" and his solo track "The Garden.")

(1969-1983) Supertramp

As a copyright agreement similar to Lennon/McCartney with The Beatles, almost all Supertramp songs were credited to Davies and Hodgson, regardless of who actually wrote them, but in most of the cases the main writer was also the lead singer. Roger Hodgson is the main writer of well known hits such as "The Logical Song", "Dreamer", "Give A Little Bit", "Breakfast in America", "It's Raining Again", "Take the Long Way Home" and "Fool's Overture".

(1984-Present) Solo Hodgson

After his departure from Supertramp in 1983, Hodgson launched into his solo career with 1984's In the Eye of the Storm. Compared favourably to his Supertramp work, it includes "Had a Dream (Sleeping with the Enemy)" and "In Jeopardy". Hodgson is credited with playing nearly all the instruments as well as writing and producing the album.

His second album, 1987's Hai Hai, had a distinctive synthpop-oriented feel, in the vein of the mid-80s trends, but it also maintains a songwriting style true to Hodgson's standards. However, just prior to the release of Hai Hai, Hodgson fell from a loft in his home and broke both wrists, which disabled him from successfully promoting the album. He also took a long break from both touring and recording. In this time, he also turned towards a more spiritual path.

After a long break, he launched into his first tour since 1984 and released 1997's live "Rites of Passage" to document the tour. He performs with a full band including his son Andrew, and Supertramp sax player John Helliwell. He then embarked on his first world solo tour in 1998.

Hodgson appeared on the album Excalibur: La Legende Des Celtes for two songs: "The Elements," and "The Will of God." The project was headed by Alan Simon and released in 1999.

In 2000, Roger Hodgson contributed vocals on a track titled "The Moon Says Hello" by Carlos Núñez, on the CD Mayo Longo.

Hodgson's third solo effort Open the Door was released in 2000 and continued in the vein of his previous work. It is considered by most fans to be much more true to the Supertramp style than Supertramp's more bluesy 2002 album Slow Motion, which like all their post-Hodgson albums features Rick Davies as lead singer/songwriter.

In August 2000 Hodgson guested with Fairport Convention at that years Cropredy Festival. He performed Breakfast In America, The Logical Song, Open The Door and Give A Little Bit, Open The Door solo, the rest backed by Fairport.

In 2001, Hodgson toured as a member of the All-Starr Band in 2001, playing lead guitar, and has since collaborated with Trevor Rabin (who appears on the track "The More I Look" on Open the Door) and Ringo Starr. He also co-wrote the single "Walls" on the Yes album Talk. A version of "Walls" with only Roger and Trevor on vocals can be found on Trevor Rabin's 2003 release "90124."

Hodgson is still giving concerts, often playing alone, but from time to time he is joined by other musicians or has a full orchestra accompanying him. He has taken part in the Night of the Proms concert series in Belgium and Germany in late 2004, as well as the rock festival, Bospop in 2005.

In May 2006, Roger Hodgson was honoured by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) in recognition of his song Give A Little Bit being one of the most played songs in the ASCAP repertoire in 2005. Hodgson was again honoured by ASCAP in April 2008 for Gym Class Heroes's "Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast In America", a remake of Hodgson’s "Breakfast in America".

On 30 November 2005, he held his first concert in England in over twenty years, at Shepherd's Bush, London. While that performance was filmed and scheduled for a DVD release, the plan was scrapped. Instead, the concert recorded at the Place Des Arts in Montreal, Canada on June 6, 2006 was his first DVD, released on August 22, 2006, entitled Take The Long Way Home - Live In Montreal. In October 2006, the DVD was certified platinum by the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association).

Hodgson participated as a mentor on Canadian Idol along with Dennis DeYoung. He continued mentoring several of the finalists during his 2006 Canadian Tour.

A new tour is launching in May 2007, which will include his first of the UK in over twenty years.

Hodgson performed at the Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium , UK on July 1, 2007. He sung a medley of his most popular songs: "Dreamer", "The Logical Song", "Breakfast in America" and "Give A Little Bit".

On September 18th, 2007, Eagle Vision re-released the DVD "Take The Long Way Home - Live In Montreal" to a worldwide audience.

Roger Hodgson continues his touring of the world with more concerts announced in 2008, including the UK, Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain so far (September 2008).

On April 9, 2008 Hodgson received an ASCAP award for the Gym Class Heroes' song Cupid's Chokehold, recognised as being one of the most played songs in ASCAPs repertoire from the 4th Quarter 2006 through the 4th Quarter 2007.

Roger rang in the 2009 New Year in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He headlined the New Years concert in Queen Victoria Park which also features Canadian rocker Kim Mitchell.

Roger is touring South America in February 2009, Germany and Holland in March and other locations are to follow including Canada. See rogerhodgson.com for more details.

Trivia

Before joining Supertramp, Hodgson recorded a single in 1969 under the name "Argosy". The sole single, "Mr. Boyd" b/w "Imagine" was issued on the DJM (U.K.) and Congress (U.S) record labels, and remains quite rare and sought after. Musically, it's a bit more pop and slightly psychedelic compared to his work with Supertramp, but it's instantly recognisable as being Hodgson. Other musicians on the record were Caleb Quaye - guitar, Nigel Olsson - drums, and Reginald Dwight (better known as Elton John) - piano. "Mr. Boyd" was covered in 1997 by Jake Shillingford and his band My Life Story on their album "The Golden Mile".

Discography

For his work with Supertramp, see Supertramp discography between 1969 and 1982

Main article: Roger Hodgson discography