Jesus Christ got Air Supply started

Danee Samonte - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - No kidding! The statement might sound blasphemous but it’s true. Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock met at rehearsals of Jesus Christ Superstar; the Broadway musical written by Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, as cast members 35 years ago in Australia. The Brit (Graham) and Aussie (Russell) both sharing interest in love songs, immediately hit it off and decided to become roommates . They became inseparable and started Air Supply. The first few years were the most difficult. They were so hard up with cash that they resorted to checking the backs of the hotel sofa seats for change so that they can buy bread. They struggled for at least three years before hitting it big with a song which Graham wrote in 15 minutes titled Lost In Love. After the song exploded worldwide, there was no looking back.

Thirty-five years later, their music is still played on most stations, karaoke bars, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, buildings, elevators and even in casinos. Almost every adult I know has a music memory of how Air Supply’s songs were played endlessly on passenger jeepneys with an eight- track player in the late ‘70s through the ‘80s.

I met Graham and Russell in the late ‘90s at a press conference in Ortigas Center when they were promoting a new album. I still have the cassette tape they autographed to date. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I will be promoting their concerts a decade later.

My very first produced concert of Air Supply was in Subic, June of 2008. Being a freshman in crowd control, I failed miserably in trying to control the crowd from rushing to the front of the stage. We had to stop the concert for 20 minutes to beg the crowd to return to their seats. Twelve concerts and two years later, it is still a perennial problem.

Air Supply has a magnetism I can’t decipher. Anytime their concert starts, the crowd gets mesmerized and starts singing along. Before I got into promoting Air Supply concerts, I wasn’t really a big fan - but after the 2008 tour, all that changed. Experiencing their concert live made me a true believer and a bona fide Air Head (a monicker for Air Supply fanatics) and there was no way I wouldn’t bring them back to Philippine soil once again. This year, they celebrate their 35th year in the music industry. How many artists do you know that have lasted this long? Maybe a handful like the Rolling Stones.

The 35th anniversary show, aptly titled 35 Years Of Love, will be held on Friday, June 25, at the most modern concert venue in the Philippines - the world-class SMX Convention Center at Mall of Asia Pasay City. Fully air conditioned with plush carpeting and state-of-the-art equipment. SMX is conveniently accessible by public or private transport with almost unlimited parking space. Hundreds of restaurants and food outlets are just steps away for concert patrons who want to dine before or after the show.

Scheduled to be performed in the show are the hits All Out Of Love, Even The Nights Are Better, Every Woman In The World, Here I Am, Goodbye, Keeping The Love Alive, I Can Wait Forever, Lost In Love, Lonely Is The Night, Lost In Love, Making Love Out Of Nothing At All, The One That You Love, Two Less Lonely People In The World, and more...

Special guest is Manila Sound Project featuring Hotdog, Hagibis lead singer Sonny Parsons and VST & Co.’s Male Rigor, Maso Diez and Ciara Sotto.

Tickets are now on sale on-line at www.ticketworld.com or at any Ticketworld outlet, National Bookstores, Ayala malls and Robinsons. Call 891-9999 for ticket info.

35 Years of Love! Air Supply is presented by Circles Entertainment in collaboration with PCSO, Business Mirror, Dusit Thani the official residence, Zest Air, MS for Men, Mings Pei Pa Koa, Hard Rock Café, SMX, ETC, Jack TV, 2nd Ave, Basketball TV, St. Francis Square, IFM, 99.5 RT, Jam 88.3, Wave, Magic 89.1 and RJ 100FM.

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