Supertramp Tour Plans Continue To Irk Hodgson

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Roger Hodgson seems like a nice enough fellow. Obviously, without knowing the man personally, that’s speculation based on what I have read about him. Even guys as nice and easy going as Hodgson seems to be can be pushed too far, and he may quickly be reaching that point.

If recent news regarding plans by Supertramp co-founder Rick Davies is accurate, he’s planning to hit the road for the “40th Anniversary Tour” and bring Hodgson’s songs along for the ride – without as much as an invitation for Hodgson to join the group for even a few shows. That sounds like the kind of thing that could get under the skin of just about anyone, despite how easy going they may be.

Hodgson extended an olive branch to Davies and offered to perform with his former band mates as his schedule would permit. An offer that was rather harshly rebuffed by Davies & Co.

Even so, Hodgson says the idea of Davies touring as Supertramp and performing his own material would make him “incredibly happy.” What does not make him happy is the idea of Davies using material he wrote. It’s been widely reported that Hodgson and Davies both bought into a gentleman’s agreement when the went their separate ways in 1983, with Hodgson agreeing to allow Davies to continue using the name Supertramp, but Davies would not continue to perform songs that were written by Hodgson. There may, in fact, be more to it than that, and it appears that Davies came away from the breakup with the legal rights to the Supertramp name, indicating that he took the necessary legal steps to ensure his future use of the group’s name.

Hodgson, on the other hand, appears to have fallen victim to his own willingness to trust someone he considered a friend. By his own admission, he admits that he did not have a good attorney, and the agreement which forbade Davies from performing his music was not in writing.

“It was a handshake where we looked each other in the eye. I had been with Rick for 14 years. I thought that I could trust him. The first tour he did, the ‘Brother Where You Bound’ tour, he didn’t play my songs. He honoured the agreement. Then 5 or 7 years later that is when he started to, for whatever reason, play my songs. I felt very betrayed. That is part of the reason Dougie Thompson left the band. He felt it was really wrong,” Hodgson said.

It’s not clear whether Hodgson could or would take legal action to stop Davies from using his material. In California, where Hodgson now lives, the law states that a verbal agreement is equal to a written one. Even so, Hodgson seems reluctant to take the matter to the courts, but says he will no longer remain silent on the issue.

Hodgson’s material does make up a very sizable share of Supertramp’s greatest hits. Classics such as “Take The Long Way Home,” “Give A Little Bit,” “Breakfast In America” and “Dreamer” were all penned by Hodgson, and apparently are too popular for Davies to leave by the wayside.

What makes no sense to Roger Hodgson is the fact that Davies is a fine songwriter in his own right, and could take to the road with his own material and probably make a success of it. Davies wrote classics such as “Goodbye Stranger”, “From Now On”, “Bloody Well Right” and “Ain’t Nobody But Me.”

Bringing these facts to light has prompted me to reconsider something I said a few years ago. Like most fans, I don’t think the full glory of Supertramp can ever be realized without the inclusion of Roger Hodgson. At the same time, I’m in agreement with Hodgson regarding the songwriting ability of Rick Davies. I have all of the post-Hodgson studio albums, and I enjoy them a great deal.

That only makes Hodgson’s point seem more sensible. There are at least four albums Davies could draw from to compile a good set list for the upcoming tour. Would fans miss the old Hodgson classics? Perhaps, but I think it’s more important for a guy to honor his commitment to a friend. It’s a commitment he has apparently not honored in the past, but perhaps it’s not too late to make amends by making the right decision now.

For all the recent comments by Roger Hodgson, head on over to Undercover.

6 Comments

  1. Randy Lany May 5, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Unscrupulous-Tramp: After receiving thousands of letters from fans that go to a Supertramp show to find out Roger Hodgson and his trademark voice isn’t part of the show, Roger is speaking up to say, it’s not okay to mislead and manipulate my fans.

    Thankfully, ‘The Logical Song’, ‘Dreamer’, ‘Breakfast in America’, ‘It’s Raining Again’, and ‘Give a Little Bit’ are Roger Hodgson songs that can be heard on Roger’s 2010 world tour. Go to Rogerhodgson.com for tour schedule.

  2. heartsong62 May 6, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Personally, this is heartbreaking to me. I have been a Supertramp fan for a long time and have truly wanted to see the five “Golden Years” artists perform together, even if is was just for one show.

    As the tour is timely with it being the 40th anniversary of this group, to promote it as a “Reunion” and not ask the original founding member to join you for some shows is false advertising. Plus, Roger and Rick have written their music separately since “Indelibly Stamped”. On parting, it was agreed that they would not sing each other’s songs. Roger has kept his part of the agreement Rick has not, for the majority of Supertramps hit songs are Rogers. Which he uses to promote the current tour…….

    So sad, so sad. If you experience just one of Rogers performances you will be hooked. His soft spoken, candid, humble presences puts you at ease and than he starts to sing. His voice sounds better than ever!…..I only wish a few of the concerts would be with his former group, who looses….the fans.

  3. Cindy S May 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Roger is one of the few artists who can make you FEEL where the music is coming from. He doesn’t just go through a routine when he takes the stage, whether it’s the first show of the tour or the fifty-first. All of Roger’s fans are truly good people with good hearts. You can’t ask for more than that.Lots of people love his music and he loves to give this feeling back to them. The love reciprocates between the singer and the audience. I’ve seen Supertramp without Roger and that kind of audience rapore is not there in the same way and they just can’t do the hits any justice in the way Roger does. I really enjoy that nearly every song he plays is a catchy song to which you can easily sing along with and to him who wrote the songs, they are still as fresh and new.

  4. Cindy S May 13, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I don’t know why the headlines keep making it sound like Roger is upset that they didn’t invite him on the Anniversary tour. I think the real truth is that they are using his voice and songs in their advertising and making it appear to the fans that they will hear Roger’s voice in their shows. That is just plain wrong to mislead people who are spending good money for a ticket to something they are not going to get. Roger loves his fans and really listens to them and he is trying to protect his songs which he created from his heart and soul and the fans who have been loyal all these years.

  5. Peg July 18, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR. TO THINK THEY WERE THIS CLOSE TO EVEN A POSSIBLE REUNITED CONCERT MAKES ME CRINGE EVEN MORE THAT IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED AND MIRACLES CAN AND DO OCCUR!!! SUPERTRAMP FOR ONE LAST TIME, PLEASE GET TOGETHER FROM A SUPERFAN

  6. Nigel September 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    18th September 2010 I have been a fan of Supertramp for more years than I care to remember but have never before seen them live. I have just got home from seeing them in Barceloa and all I can say is that they were BRILLIANT! They sounded absolutely fantastic and just like the recordings I have listened to for so many years. Forget the rows, infighting or whatever and just enjoy the music. If you get the chance to go to one of their concerts on their 10-70 tour then go, it´s well worth it.

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