Air Supply celebrates 4 decades of making music
Air Supply’s soothing ballads have a way of lifting spirits, like they did for a local musician and his wife at a concert one summer.
Chip DiMonick, leader of the eponymous Pittsburgh hard-rock band, and his wife, Sharon, attended an Air Supply acoustic show in South Park while she was enduring a rough pregnancy.
“She felt so good, and I just remember looking in her face, and seeing her just smile from ear to ear,” says DiMonick, 47, of Moon. “We just stood there, listened to the songs, sang along and smiled. We just had a great, great time, and the memory of that — it just will last forever in our lives.”
The music of Air Supply, performing on May 10 at The Meadows Casino, became pop-chart ear worms for kids in the early 1980s. However, unlike many bands, Air Supply’s soft sound had an appeal to the adults of that era, too.
The whole family could enjoy listening to Air Supply vinyl albums together, with well-known hits including “Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Every Woman in the World,” “Making Love Out of Nothing At All,” “Sweet Dreams” and others.
They really rock
Air Supply’s music “definitely appealed to the older crowd, but even as kind of a teenager at the time, you couldn’t escape hearing it,” DiMonick says.
Music from the 1960s and ‘70s offered a lot of soft rock/pop and easy listening, from artists like Neil Diamond and Seals and Crofts. Air Supply continued that trend into a new decade, DiMonick says, before the advent of new music movements like new wave and heavy metal.
“I think that in terms of soft rock, they were kind of like the exclamation point on soft rock,” he says.
The duo – Australian lead vocalist Russell Hitchcock and English guitarist and singer Graham Russell – perform about 130 concerts each year, and recently performed their 5,000th concert in Las Vegas, says their publicist, Steve Levesque.
And while Air Supply may be categorized as soft rock, it is a label people should avoid, since the two Russells – who have never had a real argument in more than four decades together — really rock in concert, Levesque says.
Air Supply – which appeared on the ‘80s syndicated music show “Solid Gold” – is releasing a new album, “The Lost in Love Experience,” recorded with the Prague Symphony.
The May 10 concert at The Meadows Casino comes two days before the 44th anniversary of the two Russells’ first meeting. The encounter came on May 12, 1975, at the first day of rehearsals for “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Sydney, Australia.
Russell and Hitchcock became fast friends, and started performing local shows together at pizza parlors, coffee bars and nightclubs. They gained a reputation for their vocal harmonies, and after many rejections, CBS Records accepted their demo with two Hitchcock-penned songs: “Love and Other Bruises” and “If You Knew Me.”
That was the beginning of Air Supply, and in 1980, the band made its American debut with the album “Lost in Love” and its title single.
To date, Air Supply has put out 17 studio albums, plus some compilation and live albums. That output led to eight Top Ten hits in the United States during the early 1980s.