September 7, 2010

Start of Supertramp Tour Strikes Sour Note With Hodgson

Filed under: Classic Rock News,Supertramp — Real Rock News on September 7, 2010 (13:14)

Even though it was not exactly an unexpected development, the start of the Supertramp 70-10 Tour confirms that co-founder Rick Davies has gone ahead with plans to perform songs that were written by Roger Hodgson. As the group worked through their set list at Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle/Westfalen, Germany Thursday night, Hodgson’s material was indeed part of the show.

Hodgson hits such as “Breakfast In America,” “Dreamer,” “Give A Little Bit,” “It’s Raining Again,” “Take The Long Way Home” and “The Logical Song were performed during this first show of the tour that will take the group to more than thirty venues on the European continent.

As the promotional video for Supertramp’s tour suggests, Davies seems quite comfortable breaking the gentleman’s agreement that he and Hodgson allegedly made when they parted ways in the early 1980’s. According to Hodgson, he and Davies agreed that Davies would continue to use the Supertramp name, but refrain from performing any material that was written by Hodgson.

Roger Hodgson admits that the agreement was simply a verbal one, and for that reason, it seems unlikely that there will be any legal fallout resulting from the use of Hodgson’s music as part of the current Supertramp tour. Hodgson says he did not have a good attorney when he left Supertramp – a bit of an understatement, since it seems almost unimaginable that any attorney would not encourage a client to put such an important agreement in writing.

Although Davies & Company decided to use the name “Supertramp 70-10 Tour” instead of “Supertramp 40th Anniversary Tour,” “70-10” is a reference to the year 1970 when Davies and Hodgson formed the iconic group, and the current year, 2010, marking 40 years since Supertramp was born.

Perhaps the selection of that name was an effort on Davies’ part to appear a bit less “in-your-face” about embarking on a 40th Anniversary tour without the only other member of the group who was actually there in 1970.

It seems unlikely that selection of a less provocative name for the tour appeased Hodgson, whose management aired their feelings on the issue by saying “We’ve been told that they are billing the tour as the 40th Anniversary tour of the band and we just find this very surprising, misleading and disrespectful of Roger since he is the only other member that was a part of Supertramp when he and Rick founded the band together 40 years ago.  (Dougie joined the band in 1972 and John and Bob a year later in 1973 and have not actually been with Supertramp for 40 years).”

As much as fans (including myself) would like to see Davies and Hodgson bury the hatchet and work together again on the amazing music they created, it’s much easier to be a pessimist at this point. With Davies closing in on 70 years of age, it would be quite reasonable for him to retire from performing live and put an end to any future possibility of seeing the founders of Supertramp on the same stage together again.

Supertramp 70-10 Tour from Supertramp on Vimeo.

10 Comments »

  1. I’m with you in that I would love to see a Davies/Hodgson show first and foremost. But in lieu of that happening, I would be more than content to see both groups individually! I’m surprised that Rick actually got out there and decided to do this tour, but from all the video’s I’ve been able to dig up he still has his playing skills. (The band as a whole sounds great too)

    Just please, please, please do a tour of the states!!! It’s a brutal schedule for these next 3 months for the band, but take December off and then come back with a January/Feb tour of the US! Please! Please!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Andy — September 7, 2010 @ 1:54 pm
  2. Yeah, as sucky as it is to see those two guys at odds, I admit that I am curious about what Supertramp sounds like these days. Perhaps we’ll get some good quality recordings to check out sometimes soon.

    I’ve been a little hesitant about Hodgson since it kind of gives the impression it’s just one guy, but I’ve seen some excellent reviews, so I think that might be a great experience as well.

    Comment by Real Rock News — September 7, 2010 @ 2:22 pm
  3. Hi,

    Here is part of an interview for the German magazine “Morgenmagazin”:

    QUESTION: And why your former partner Roger Hodgson is not part of this meeting?

    RICK: I think 27 years ago that Roger left the band, and then no one understood why he did it. He wanted to go it alone and play with other musicians, and although we try to persuade him not get it. Regardless, the original idea of this tour was that we returned to meet everyone again. Perhaps this is the last time we can, but you never know. We talked a lot about the subject and have been trading for fifteen months until we made the decision to announce the tour because the talks were at an impasse. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to us, at the end Roger decided not to participate in the tour.

    QUESTION: He says in all his interviews that the story is very different, and the group decided to simply ignore him …

    RICK: What else I can say? I can only give my views on this matter.

    Q: Is it true that there is an agreement whereby Supertramp can not interpret the songs he composed Roger Hodgson? And if so, why not respect him?

    RICK: To talk about that we should go back to 1983. The only reality is that there are 600 pages of contract documents to determine what we can do and what not. As far as I’m concerned, I do my part of this agreement and perform songs from Supertramp. This has to do with everything that we published together and performed together on stage. To me, that is also music of Supertramp.

    QUESTION: So, are not you afraid of a possible lawsuit?

    RICK: Absolutely not.

    Please, lets stop with those things and just enjoy the best music that Rick Davies (Supertramp) and Roger Hodgson can give us!

    Regards,

    Comment by Guilherme Rosa — September 7, 2010 @ 5:41 pm
  4. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that, Guilherme.

    Comment by Real Rock News — September 7, 2010 @ 7:26 pm
  5. The blog “Breakfast in Spain” is the almost de-facto place that Supertramp fans can go for recent data on the band. I always found it funny that a larger Supertramp fan base didn’t come together and produce some larger fan community online.

    Comment by Andy — September 8, 2010 @ 10:38 am
  6. Interesting interview excerpt from Rick. I’ve seen part of the legal documents [on Hodgson’s website] and it does indeed stipulate that Davies is not to perform any of Hodgson’s songs. Interesting spin Rick puts on that. :/ Hodgson’s camp says there was only 1 meeting, Davies’ side says there were many. In this case, I believe Hodgson, since he was on tour last year and, thus, too busy for “many meetings.”

    Davies is right, those songs ARE part of Supertramp. Nevertheless, they agreed to split things according to composer. It is sad that Hodgson’s music and voice are used to promote this tour. It is also disrespectful and misleading to the fans. A REAL Supertramp reunion would be phenomenal. This one just makes me sad.

    To the person above who said they were hesitant about seeing Hodgson solo, don’t hesitate! There are lots of examples of his recent performances on YouTube, where you can see how fabulous the man is live. His voice is better than ever! He’s still touring in Europe, check his website for upcoming dates: RogerHodgson.com.

    Comment by Rosie D — September 8, 2010 @ 12:09 pm
  7. It’s sad that the old bandmates are bickering over this…I know its not something to be taken lightly but I hope this will be settled soon so that they can get back to making music again…

    Comment by Music for Songwriters — September 9, 2010 @ 2:02 pm
  8. Supertramp is Hodgson and Davies….boys..boys… put your differences aside and deliver TO YOUR FANS that made you….SUPERTRAMP.

    Listen to some of your songs….”Fools Overture” for example….If you want to move, teach and influence people the first move involves a long glance in the mirror…

    I expect to see BOTH of you together in the Bay Area …in 2011…Make it happen : )

    Even in the Quietest Moments…I know, I know you will be adults about this…Think of your fans and your legacy…

    Chris Braun

    Comment by Chris Braun — September 23, 2010 @ 11:54 am
  9. There’s no use seeing Supertramp without Hodgson. Davies voice doesn’t sound good now and he’s broken an agreement with his old bandmate. This show is definitely not for me!!!

    Comment by Glenn Brochu — March 8, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
  10. davies is correct and those songs ARE a part pf SUPERTRAMP…but it matters not if both had an agreement to only play the songs according to who composed them. if davies had that in mind he should have brought of that little tidbit up in 83 when discussing the details. i agree, however, that some NEW deal should be made where everybody is happy ….including their fans.

    Comment by jeff — May 1, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

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