Air Supply — one of the most popular soft pop/rock groups of the early 1980s –is making its way to Temecula right after the Christmas holiday.
Known for such romantic ballads as “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All,” “Lost In Love,” and “Every Woman In The World,” guitarist/songwriter/singer Graham Russell and his longtime best friend and Air Supply’s lead singer, Russell Hitchcock, are set to perform at 8 p.m. on Dec. 29 at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
After 37 years together as a performing and recording duo, Hitchcock touched upon how their unique collaboration has stayed fruitful all these years.
“It’s a number of things,” said Hitchcock. “First we have a great respect for each other, and we’re still best of friends. We still enjoy performing and recording together, and have since we first met. And it’s the songs — they’re the driving force. Without great songs, there’d be nothing.”
And according to Hitchcock, their creative embers are still glowing.
“We’re approaching 40 years together and we’re looking forward to what the future holds.”
For a band that’s been so successful for so long (their first Top Five single “All Out Of Love” charted in 1980), it’s understandable that Air Supply’s audience has not only grown along with them, but has fostered new fans as well.
“Our fan base is certainly multi-generational,” admitted Hitchcock. “As we like to say, our audience is ‘from 6 to 60.’ Our original fans are bringing their grandchildren to our shows — it’s great.”
But Hitchcock and Russell don’t merely live in the past, simply depending on hit songs from 30 years ago to keep their audiences happy.
Their latest CD release “Mumbo Jumbo” is proof that their songwriting, performing and singing skills are as strong as ever.
Released in 2011, it’s their first album of original material in eight years.
In fact, Hitchcock believes that their newer songs like “A Little Bit More,” “Setting The Scene,” and their latest single “Sanctuary” compare quite well to their early ‘80s multi-hit output.
“We record what Graham writes and for ‘Mumbo Jumbo’ his songs were more interesting and mature,” said Hitchcock. “They stack up well against everything we’ve ever done. In fact, songs from this CD are being received by the audience almost as well as our huge hits.”
The freshness to Air Supply’s current sound may also be attributed to both Hitchcock and Russell stretching out of their normal roles to produce solo albums within the past few years.
For Hitchcock, that meant singing on his two-CD 2011 release “Tennessee: The Nashville Sessions.” Yes, the reflective and sentimental Australian pop song singer turned his talents to American country music, being a true fan of legendary artists such as Charlie Pride and Willie Nelson.
“This solo project was very special to me. It was great to work with some crack Nashville writers and musicians, and I think the songs are really solid. I’ve always been a big country music fan, so it wasn’t a huge stretch for me as a vocalist.”
Visit www.pechanga.com for more information and concert tickets.
Chris Baptiste is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.