Roger Hodgson is one of the most loved songwriters of our time. As the legendary voice of Supertramp and composer of the band’s greatest hits, he gave us “Give a Little Bit”, “The Logical Song”, “Dreamer”, “Take the Long Way Home”, “Breakfast In America”, “It’s Raining Again”, “School”, and “Fools Overture” and so many others. His songs have remarkably stood the test of time and earned Roger and Supertramp an adoring world-wide following.
During the time that Roger led the band, Supertramp sold well over 50 million albums. In Canada alone, sales for “Crime of the Century” and “Breakfast in America” reached Diamond status; that meant one in twenty Canadians owned both albums.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Roger spent much of his childhood at boarding school where his guitar became his best friend. Self-taught, he began writing songs at the age of twelve, eventually adding piano, bass, drums and even cello to his musical accomplishments. It wasn’t long after his final school year that he recorded his first studio record called “Mr. Boyd” with a session band that included pianist Reg Dwight, later to become known as Elton John. It was during this time that Roger met Rick Davies and the nucleus of Supertramp was born. Their initial song-writing collaborations attracted the attention of A&M Records and their first album, Supertramp, was released in 1969. Roger was 19.
Shortly after this Roger and Rick began writing separately, even though like Lennon/McCartney they maintained a joint writer’s credit throughout their career. In 1973 the band released “Crime of the Century” with Roger’s song “Dreamer” becoming a huge hit and propelling the album to Number One in the English charts. Supertramp had arrived. For the next eight years, what fans call the “Golden Years”, four stunning albums and numerous tours culminated in the huge worldwide success of “Breakfast in America.” Roger’s songwriting and producing skills resulted in three classic hits from the album - “The Logical Song”, "Take the Long Way Home” and “Breakfast In America”. Many awards followed with “Logical Song” being named best song musically and lyrically at England’s prestigious Ivor Novello Awards in 1980. It also had the distinction of becoming one of the most quoted lyrics in schools.
Roger parted company with Supertramp in 1983 after the Famous Last Words album and tour. Turning his attention to his new family, Roger built a state of the art recording studio at home so he could work and be close to his children as they grew up. His first solo album “In the Eye of the Storm”, was released in 1984 and became an international hit, selling over two million copies. Turning down offers to tour, Roger instead kept his focus on home and family. In 1987, the same week that Roger's second album, Hai, Ha,i was released, Roger took a bad fall and shattered both his wrists. Doctors told him he would never play music again. After a long period of self-healing and physical therapy, Roger proved them wrong and his playing abilities returned. But it was ten years before Roger’s next album — a live concert he did with his now teenage son Andrew entitled Rites of Passage — after which, in 2000, Roger released Open the Door, his first studio album in fourteen years.
It is only in the last few years, with kids grown and a spiritual rebirth, that Roger has felt the call to perform again. The legend is back and his signature voice is stronger than ever. Currently he performs both solo and with orchestras, playing a variety of his repertoire of Supertramp and solo hits.
Thirty-five years after he wrote his classic song, “Give a Little Bit”, Roger will be receiving an award in May for his song being one of the most performed works in 2005 in the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) repertory. In the past few years Roger has donated “Give a Little Bit” to help raise funds for Tsunami Relief efforts and other worthy causes, welcoming the opportunity to give back for a life he is truly grateful for.
To many fans, Roger was and still is the heart and soul of Supertramp, and it is the joy and the love that audiences feel when Roger sings in concert that remind them of the special place in their hearts his songs have played in their own life journeys.