There was a time people only listened to music in the car and woke to top ten hits on the clock radio. Back in the ’80s, songs seemingly came from everywhere (thank you Publix, which still pipes the tunes of our youth), launching iconic legends like Air Supply, the musical duo of Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell. With the ambiguous name Air Supply, the friends from Down Under who had a passion for the Beatles and a penchant for melodies and ballads quickly rose to the top of American charts. Here in Key West on the Sunset Green Event Lawn on Friday, Jan. 25, audiences are bound to know the songs of the concert by heart. But don’t expect a mellow evening: said Russell Hitchcock, “It’s rock ‘n’ roll.”
It was the song “Lost in Love” that caught the ear of the infamous industry guru, Clive Davis, who signed them to Arista records in 1980. The song immediately rose on the charts and became the 1980 Song of the Year. The follow up single was “All Out Of Love,” which rose even more quickly. They had a run of seven (!) top five singles, including songs like “The One that You Love,” “Every Women in the World,” “Making Love Out Of Nothing at All,” “Here I Am” and “Even the Nights are Better.” (Admit it, folks you know every lyric).
“I remember holding our first 45 record in 1976, and I said to Graham, this is forever,” said Hitchcock. “It’s amazing, I was astonished then and now even more astonished that we are still here today.” The duo’s relationship has never faltered, “We weren’t young when we started (in their 20s, and Hitchcock will be 70 this year), we didn’t have super egos, we had respect for each other. He didn’t want to be a singer, I didn’t want to write songs, and we had no brothers. We laugh a lot; I just love the guy to death.”
Air Supply is still in demand, performing roughly 150 gigs a year, and recently performed its 500th concert in Las Vegas. Hitchcock has never played here previously, but he recalls a gig in Cuba back in 2005 right before a hurricane. “They built tunnels to walk though, so we couldn’t see until we were on stage and then I just stopped. There were 175,000 people there, all I could see were people, and they sang every song.”
Even today, trendsetters like Ryan Reynolds have put Air Supply songs in movies like “Van Wilder” and “Deadpool 2” (“I’m All Out Of Love,” for both). “It was amazing, all of a sudden everyone was texting me after ‘Deadpool 2’ came out. Reynolds seems like a cool guy.” Air Supply has also been featured over the years in mega hits like “Ghostbusters” with “I Can Wait Forever” and Mr. & Mrs. Smith with “Making Love Out of Nothing at all.”
Don’t be lost without them, you’ve been loving them too long. Check out Air Supply this Friday. For more info go to www.keywestconcertseries.com