Last night my wife and I took a little trip down memory lane and revisited one the best concerts we’ve ever attended. The year was 1983, The venue, the fabulous Forum! the group, Supertramp, one of the hottest groups of the time. It was an incredible evening! They were awesome! However the concert ended on a somewhat sad note, as co-founder Roger Hodgson, thanked the crowd he announced that he was leaving the band to spend time with his family. An audible gasp filled the Forum, then several moments of shocked silence, followed by a well deserved standing ovation. Hodgson was the voice, sound and backbone of Supertramp, and wrote nearly all of their biggest hits. It was sad, Supertramp had left the building… They were never quite the same band after his departure.
Yesterday afternoon we jumped in our time machine and drove out to Temecula. After a little wine tasting adventure and dinner at the Lazy Dog Cafe with my cousins Dave and Wallie, and good friends Dave and Barb, We headed over to the Pechanga Resort & Casino to see Supertramp’s Rodger Hodgson! Backing Hodgson were four extremely gifted musicians, a drummer, bass player , keyboardist and a multi talented back up singer who also played keyboards and all the wind instruments. They were excellent! They added fullness and texture to Hodgson’s songs and sounded as good as, if not better than, Supertramp of old, belting out tunes like School, Dreamer, Take the Long Way Home, the Logical Song, Give a Little Bit, my all time favorite, “Fool’s Overture” and many more!
I was blown away! The music evoked a flood of memories. I smiled, cried, sighed and remembered, but mostly I enjoyed. Roger’s songs are deeply personal and he sang them with a grace and style that brought true meaning to his lyrics! His stage presence is incredible! He is a sincere, humble English gentleman, and by the end of the evening you feel as though he has been your friend forever. I was deeply moved by his performance. He touched my soul. Being in attendance for the opening of Roger’s 2011 American tour was one of the best concert experiences I’ve had in this new millennium. (Donavan would be a close second) If I had only known that it was going to be as fantastic as it was, I would have bought tickets for both nights! I can hardly wait til next time!
Thomas Wolfe was wrong, you can go home again, but be sure to take the long way home…