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Air Supply breathing easy on 35th anniversary

of the Oakland Press

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It’s been 35 years since Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell met in an Australian production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and decided to form Air Supply. But time has only made the duo more fond of their association.

“It feels like just three or four years, really,” says Hitchcock, 61. “You just look at the history we’ve had, the number of recordings we’ve released. The latest one (‘Mumbo Jumbo’) is our 25th studio release.

“It’s been a lot of work over a lot of years. It’s not till you put it all in perspective and look back at the statistics and all the countries and the people we got to play to that you can say it’s been a great career.”

Those statistics certainly back up Hitchcock’s contention, including eight Top 10 hits on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts — hitting No. 1 with “Lost in Love,” “Here I Am” and “Even the Nights are Better.” Meanwhile, “Mumbo Jumbo” has given the duo its first chart appearances in 15 years with the singles “Dance With Me” and “Faith in Love,” while Hitchcock considers the album itself — Air Supply’s first in five years — to be “musically the most diverse thing we’ve done,” with a thematic “thread that tells a story about the world we live in today and how we’re confronted with so much greed and false information every day, but in the end love conquers all.

“And that’s always what we’ve been about.”

That message may have resonance on the Broadway stage soon. Hitchcock says Russell has been talking to producers about a stage musical built around Air Supply’s songs, though he’s not sure if the duo will return to their roots to be part of it.

“We did ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ for two and a half years, 12 shows a week,” Hitchcock recalls. “I don’t know whether I want to do that again, quite frankly. And I’m an old guy now. I’ve got gray hair, so unless they need the old man by the fire or something, I may not fit the bill, either.”

Air Supply performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $54.80 and $50.70. Call 866-782-9622 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.

Web Site: www.motorcitycasino.com

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