Supertramp

1969-
Rick DaviesVocals, keyboards
Roger HodgsonVocals, bass, guitar, keyboards1970-1983
Dougie ThomsonBass1972-1988
John HelliwellHorns
Bob SiebenbergDrums
Mark HartVocals, guitar, keyboards1985-2002
Carl VerheyenGuitar1996-
Lee ThornburgHorns1996-
Cliff HugoBass1996-
Jesse SiebenbergPercussion, keyboards1996-
  • The group formed in London when Rick Davies broke up his band The Joint and placed an ad in a UK music paper looking for musicians to form a band. The group was financed by a Dutch millionaire named Sam Miesegaes, who put up the money after seeing Davies play in The Joint. Singing with A&M Records, they released their first (self-titled) album in 1970, and also played the Isle Of Wight Festival that year. Miesegaes pulled his financing in 1972, and the band settled on a new lineup, with just Davies and Roger Hodgson remaining as original members. Their third album, Crime of the Century, was a breakthrough, making #4 in the UK on the strength of hits "Dreamer" and "Bloody Well Right."
  • Davies and Hodgson did all the songwriting, and even though they wrote most of their songs separately, they agreed to share composer credit on all the songs, just like Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards. Like the Lennon/McCartney arrangement, whoever wrote the song sang lead. Hodgson's song were spiritual and introspective: "Give A Little Bit," "The Logical Song," "Take The Long Way Home." Davies' were more pragmatic: "Goodbye Stranger," "Bloody Well Right," "Crime of the Century."

    In our interview with Roger Hodgson, he explained: "In terms of Rick and I, we were very, very different as writers. I think it's good having another writer in the band, because then you have the friendly competition which helps bring out the best in each other, and I think that was the case with the two of us."
  • In 1979, Supertramp became one of the most successful bands in America, thanks to an album (Breakfast in America) that explored the country from the perspective of an Englishman. The band moved to California in the mid-'70s; Hodgson loved it and lived there permanently. Davies was less enthusiastic about California ("I don't think that's a place where anybody wants to settle down, not even Americans," he said), and moved to Long Island. Moving to America allowed them to keep a lot more of their income, as they would have been heavily taxed in England.
  • The band was originally called Daddy, but they changed it at the suggestion of their original guitarist Richard Palmer, who got the name from a 1910 book by the Welsh author W.H. Davies called The Autobiography of a Super Tramp.
  • There was a lot of personal tension between Davies and Hodgson, which came out in the open in a 1979 Melody Maker piece where they were both interviewed. "We've never been able to communicate too much on a verbal level," said Hodgson. "There's a very deep bond, but it's definitely mostly on a musical level."

    Hodgson left the band in 1983 and released the solo albums In the Eye of the Storm (1984) and Hai Hai (1987). With two children, he spent much of the '90s focused on being a parent, and in 2010 he started touring again, happy to perform the hits he wrote with Supertramp. "I'm not one of the artists who has to say, Okay, you have to listen to my new stuff now," he told us. "I'm in the service industry, and my job is to give people the most in the two hours that I'm with them."
  • Remarkably, Hodgson has never appeared with Supertramp since he left in 1983. The band has continued on with Davies at the helm (he owns the name), but any attempt to reunite Hodgson, even for a one-off performance, has always failed.

    In 2010, Supertramp played Hodgson's songs on their tour, which Roger said violated a verbal agreement he made when he left. Hodgson says that he offered to perform some shows on the tour, but was rebuffed.
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Comments: 1

  • Rissa from Wayne, PaTake my hand and come with me to a place you have never been before...to see Roger Hodgson is like a dream, absolutely surreal. This is the Breakfast In America World Tour, his largest tour in 30 years with a full band! Not only the co-founder, writer, & composer of many Supertramp hits, but numerous successful solo songs as well! "In Jeopardy", "Had A Dream" & "Open the Door", only to name a few!
    I have seen him several times in the past and I intend to see him again many more... every time is better than the last! I have made many friends across the world because of Roger, he brings us all together in more ways than we can imagine. You can really tell the love he has for his fans when he plays. Your fan letters don't end up in a pile in the corner, he reads them on stage & dedicates songs to fans in the audience. During the concert he even requests to keep the "house lights" on so he can watch you sing with him! Please give Roger a chance to change your life, he has absolutely changed mine. :) Visit his tour page @ http://www.rogerhodgson.com/documents/tour.html for the latest tour information. Shows are selling out fast!

    Website: http://www.rogerhodgson.com
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