Stupid Questions

Love, Still a Many-Splendored Thing

Graham Russell of Air Supply talks about being ''All Out of Love,'' historical obsessions, and being an almost-Asian legend

If you were slow-dancing in a junior high gym in the late '70s, odds are you were doing it to Air Supply. In their heyday, the Australian pop duo (Graham Russell, 44, and Russell Hitchcock, 45) created such anthems d'amour as ''Lost in Love,'' ''Every Woman in the World,'' and ''Making Love Out of Nothing at All.'' The release of News to Nowhere, their 15th album, provided an opportunity to grill Russell on their greatest obsession.

1. Is it possible to be ''All Out of Love''?
I'm sure it is, yeah. But in a tragic sense, like you've just lost somebody close to you.

2. Once you're ''All Out of Love,'' is that when you're ''Making Love Out of Nothing at All''?
Yeah, I think it is. I've never really thought of it before, but it would be good to put those two songs back-to-back on a record.

3. Your new CD includes ''Feel for Your Love'' and ''Spirit of Love.'' What gives with all the ''love'' songs?
I'm very conscious of that now and I try to avoid it, but sometimes I can't help myself. I guess pretty soon I might be all out of love.

4. How did you and Hitchcock meet?
In 1975, in an Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar. We both played apostles, then I got to play Peter. Russell understudied every role except Mary Magdalene — he wouldn't shave his legs.

5. You were unplugged before it became cool. Does that make you hipper than people think?
We've never been hip enough for MTV — I don't think they've ever played our videos.

6. Are you obsessed with any historical figures?
Robin Hood, because I was born in Sherwood, England. I actually wrote an opera about him called The Heart of the Rose. When Kevin Costner came out with his movie, I put it on ice.

7. You are virtually legends in Asia. Why?
They love ballads — they don't want to know about heavy metal. And once they find an act they like, they stick to it like glue. Our record is already No. 1 [in Taiwan].

8. Who would you want on an Air Supply tribute album?
I would really dig Tori Amos doing ''Bread & Blood'' because she's into that religion thing.

9. If Hollywood made Air Supply: The Movie, who would play your parts?
For Russell, Dudley Moore. For me, maybe some tall, blond tennis player.

10. Name the most influential Australian groups?
Little River Band. Then us. Then Men at Work.

Originally posted May 19, 1995 Published in issue #275 May 19, 1995 Order article reprints