By SCOTT WEISSER email@example.com
---- — ELKHART
The Supply is coming full circle.
Air Supply is set to perform at The Lerner Theatre in downtown Elkhart. And Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell — the principal duo in the musical combo — met by way of theater nearly 40 years ago.
In a recent phone interview with The Goshen News, Hitchcock recounted that he and Russell met during an Australian production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in May of 1975. Both were new to theater. Russell had been supporting himself as a singer-songwriter. Hitchcock had been working in an office.
“We really kind of gravitated toward each other because we were some of the new people in the show,” Hitchcock said. They quickly found out they had much in common.
Both had sisters but no brothers. They were crazy about The Beatles, and each had seen the band in concert. They enjoyed the same types of movies and had the same sense of humor.
“It was only about two weeks after we met each other that we started working on some of the songs that Graham had been writing at the time,” Hitchcock said. “We say to this day we really feel like it was meant to be. We were both in that place at that time because we had to be there. Fate said, ‘You guys are going to work together.’”
Working together proved to be a successful enterprise. The work? You’ve probably heard it. Think the early ‘80s and “Lost In Love,” “All Out of Love,” “The One That You Love,” “Even the Nights are Better” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.”
New ventures for Air Supply include the single “Desert Sea Sky,” which is being aimed at the dance/club market.
“It’s getting great response when we play it in concert, and we’re looking forward to how it’s received when it’s put out into the public arena,” Hitchcock said.
Later this year, the musical “All Out of Love” will be staged in Perth and Singapore. The stage production will feature Air Supply music and a script by Canadian playwright Jim Millan. Hitchcock views the theatrical piece as another avenue for people to be exposed to Air Supply’s music.
It’s music Hitchcock said he gets as big a thrill singing today as he did 30 years ago.
“There’s a great audience out there for us all over the world that receives us very well every time we play,” Hitchcock said. “I still feel good physically, as does Graham. We still sound really good. We think there’s no reason not to do it. In fact, in the last 15 or 20 years, the most time we’ve had off is probably a couple of weeks at a stretch.”
Doing shows, Hitchcock gets to see the work he’s been doing for more than half his life be well-received.
“People genuinely love the songs,” he said. “They’ve always connected with them in a very deep and passionate way. There’s such a great thrill to be backstage every night. Obviously you can hear the audience mumbling and doing all of that stuff. And when the house lights go down, to hear the response there before you play a note — that’s priceless for us.”
If you want to go
The Air Supply concert at The Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St., Elkhart, is set for 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices range from $39 to $69.50. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the website www.thelerner.com. The Lerner box office can be reached by calling 574-293-4469 or 800-294-8223.