Five decades later, Air Supply is still 'Lost in Love' with their fans

Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock sat down with ABC News' Phil Lipof.

August 26, 2023, 6:05 AM

When it comes to big, bold and beautiful love songs that withstand the test of time, few groups have done it better than Air Supply. From their hits “All Out of Love” and “Lost in Love” to every love song in-between, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock have been recording hits and touring the world for almost 50 years.

“We’ve toured every year except COVID year since 1976. Without a stop,” Hitchcock told ABC News’ Phil Lipof.

The duo sat down with ABC News Live to look back at their multi-decade career, including the unlikely place it all began – at a 1975 production of the hit musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Australia.

PHOTO: Air Supply members Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock sit down with ABC News' Phil Lipof for an interview.
Air Supply members Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock sit down with ABC News' Phil Lipof for an interview.
ABC News

“Neither of us had any musical background or any training of any kind,” Russell said. “But when we met, we knew something was going on because we’d sing between shows in ‘Superstar,’ and people would come by and go, ‘Wow, you guys sound amazing.’ We went on tour the next day after ‘Superstar’ closed. We had a No. 1 record in Australia.”

With their self-titled debut album, Air Supply catapulted to fame seemingly overnight. A year later, they were on a whirlwind tour as the opening act for Rod Stewart. But when the tour ended and the pair went back to Australia, as Hitchcock puts it, “we couldn’t get arrested.”

“We had seven in the band, I think. We were getting offered $200 a night to play,” Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock stayed with his sister in Melbourne, Australia, and was hired to do the occasional jingle. In Adelaide, Russell was still writing songs, one of which was “Lost in Love.”

“As soon as he played that to me – and I’ve been right two or three times when he played me a song just with guitar – and I went, ‘That’s a monster right there,’” Hitchcock said.

That hunch was right. Air Supply's 1980 release of the album “Lost in Love,” also featuring the songs “All Out of Love” and “Every Woman in the World,” changed everything for the band.

PHOTO: Air Supply performs in 1983.
Air Supply performs in 1983.
Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty Images

There were three more albums in the 1980s, another four in the '90s and three releases in the 2000s.

Now in their 70s, the legends are not slowing down. They are in the middle of yet another world tour and still performing around 120 shows per year, Hitchcock said. That brings that total to around 5,300 shows over the course of their career, Russell added.

Through it all, their music has become part of fans’ lives – especially during deeply personal moments.

“We had a young guy at a show. And he said, ‘I just came out to my dad, and he's disowned me. And I was actually thinking about killing myself. And I got put on one of your records,’ or something, ‘And I thought, whoa, you know, this is not worth any of this when I've got support from these guys’ songs.’ Not just our songs, but, you know – and those kind of things. You go, wow, this is, this is far beyond somebody paying 20 bucks for a concert and going home with somebody saying, ‘Oh, that was great.’ You know, actually changed somebody's lives,” Hitchcock said.

“We don’t take that for granted,” Hitchcock said.

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