Singer-songwriter John Otway receives Honorary Doctorate from Oxford Brookes University

Singer-songwriter John Otway
Singer-songwriter John Otway

Buckinghamshire-born singer-songwriter John Otway has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Oxford Brookes University.

Since his first Aylesbury music concert 50 years ago in 1972, guitarist John has built up a sizeable cult following in his hometown. He appeared on British music TV show ‘The Old Grey Whistle’ in 1977, just before the release of his first hit ‘Cor Baby That’s Really Free’. Then 25-years later his second hit ‘Bunsen Burner’ entered the top ten.

John, who nicknames himself ‘Rock n’ Roll’s Greatest Failure’ has released 15 albums, sold out the Royal Albert Hall and headlined at the London Palladium.

John’s self made ‘Otway the Movie: The Story of Rock n Roll’s Greatest Failure’  was opened in Leicester Square, and then voted second best film of 2013 by Guardian readers.

During the Covid-19 lockdown period in 2020, John performed nine shows on Facebook from his own home, with more than 10,000 viewers watching each one.  In April 2022, John performed his 5,000th gig at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

John joins seven other Honorary Graduates to receive their degree during this month’s graduation ceremonies.

Following his Honorary Degree, John said: “I have enjoyed a wonderful career which has allowed me to make a living on stage, write and perform comedy and play music.

“However, it never ever occurred to me that the work I’ve done would ever be appreciated and rewarded in this way - I’m incredibly honoured and completely taken aback.”