Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock of the soft rock group Air Supply have blended a strong friendship with a successful business for 38 years.
“We’ve never had an argument in our career,” said Englishman Graham Russell about his partnership and friendship with Australian Russell Hitchcock. “I’m the songwriter and he’s the singer and we wouldn’t want it any other way. It works out great.”
Russell and Hitchcock, backed by four other musicians, will perform Air Supply’s hits on Nov. 10 at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.
“We play all the hits because people want to hear them,” Russell said. “But we play new things too. We have a new single coming out. We do three or four new songs in the show.”
Initially, Air Supply was a six-man band, but the essence of the group was always Russell and Hitchcock. Together, singer/songwriter and guitarist Russell and lead vocalist Hitchcock have recorded such Air Supply hits as “The One That You Love,” “Lost In Love,” “All Out of Love,” “Here I Am (Just When I Thought I Was Over You),” “Even The Nights Are Better,” “Every Woman in the World,” “Two Less Lonely People In The World,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Making Love Out of Nothing At All.”
The group formed in Australia in 1975 and had success with its first two albums, “Lost in Love,” released in 1980, and “The One That You Love,” released in 1981. Air Supply’s third album, “Now and Forever,” which was released in 1982, did not sell as well as previous records.
But because they continued to tour each year, their popularity never really waned. Russell and Hitchcock have toured together every year since they met 38 years ago and continue to play more than 150 shows a year worldwide.
But Hitchcock and Russell are not performers who rest on their past achievements.
“We will have a new album out next year, ‘Forty Years in Loveland,’ with all new songs,” Russell said.
In addition, they are co-producing a musical based on the songs of Air Supply. The show, titled “All Out of Love,” will use 16 songs by the duo to tell a love story set in New York.
“Rehearsals start in December in Australia,” Russell said. “But it is not like we just threw in our songs — there is a story. It is set in New York and it’s about a rock ‘n’ roller who wants to get back in the business. It’s an edgy love story.”
And as long as the fans keep coming out, Russell and Hitchcock will continue to tour.
“We said ages ago that we’d stop touring when people stop coming,” Russell said. “Right now we are booked until September 2014.”