Though he has performed the song live more than 5,000 times, Air Supply guitarist Graham Russell said that he still gets goosebumps every time he plays the rock duo’s hit song “All Out of Love.”
Russell remembers where he was when he wrote it in 1978 — in a small room of the gaunty apartment he was renting at the time in Sydney, Australia. It had one small window and an old, out of tune piano.
“I sat down and said to myself, ‘I need to do something different,’” Russell said. So he wrote “All Out of Love” in less than half an hour.
With Australian lead vocalist, Russell Hitchcock, Air Supply will be performing on Saturday at the Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg. Like every concert the rock duo has performed, “All Out of Love” is last on the night’s setlist, being that it is the most anticipated song amongst fans.
Russell also remembers the emotions he was going through the day he wrote the beloved song.
They had just returned from joining British rocker Rod Stewart on his North American tour in the late 1970s. Since they opened for Stewart for more than 60 shows, Russell said they expected to return home famous.
“Rod Stewart was probably the most known person in the world, while we were probably the most unknown in the world,” Russell said, noting that Air Supply had only been performing for six months. “Suddenly we were on stage with the biggest singer in the world, being welcomed into his arena. But when it was over, we were disappointed to find out that they had forgotten all about us.”
However, despite their appearance alongside Rod Stewart, Air Supply was having a difficult time landing gigs in Australia. So, this was the time that Russell decided to transcend his frustrations into music and wrote most of the band’s hit songs, including “Lost in Love.”
Though most listeners relate “All Out of Love” to heartbreak from a romantic relationship, Russell wrote the song about experiencing the pain of the world not accepting the band.
“The song is a reflection of us being casted out and turned away. It wasn’t really a romantic song; it was of our relationship with the world,” Russell said.
In the song, a lyric that repeats several times is, “I know you were right for believing for so long.”
Here, Russell said that he is acknowledging the people who show constant support for endeavors, despite the odds that are against them. For Russell, that person is Hitchcock.
“I think that whenever you are turned away from anything, there is always somebody that believes in you,” Russell said. “Russell (Hitchcock) was always positive, and said to stick things out, and keep going.”
Russell has resided in Park City, Utah for the past three decades, but was raised in Nottingham, England where his adoration for literature sparked early in his life.
He remembers walking to the library which was three blocks away from his home to check out books every month. Instead of playing outside and participating in sports like other kids his age, he said that he spent most of his childhood reading books and appreciating poetry.
“I would be reading and became a very internal person at a young age, and started thinking about these beautiful lines,” Russell said of the poetry he read when he was younger. “So I went down that path (of loving literature), and I was meant to go down that path.”
After losing his mother at the age of 10, Russell said that he found comfort in Charles Dickens’s novel, “Oliver Twist,” which is still his favorite book.
Russell has read every book of Dickens, and admired one humble request the author’s made.
“He (Dickens) said that he did not want a statue of him because that’s not what its about; it’s about the words. I like to keep things as simple and straightforward so that the words can resonate with people,” he said. “Sometimes I think, ‘Wow, this song (“All Out of Love”) means so much to millions and millions of people, and it’s so simple.’”
Russell said that his favorite part of every concert is when he recites a poem in between songs, something unique to Air Supply. Usually, he recites a piece from one of the three poetry books he has published.
“I always like that moment because then I know if they are with me or not, and I always know that they are,” Russell said. “It is easy to come out and play a lot of hit songs, but I don’t want it to be easy.
“They will hear all the hit songs because that is why people go to these shows, but then I want to give them something different. I want to make them think.”
Although he hopes that everyone who attends the concert take home an individual message from the show, Russell wants attendees to understand the importance and simplicity of communication.
“The message of our show is that people need to talk to each other more, and express their feelings. It’s the simple things, the simple phrases, like ‘I love you.’”
IF YOU GO
The duo will perform an intimate show with limited seating.
WHEN: 7:15 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Bert Ogden Arena, 4900 S. I-69, Edinburg
COST: Tickets start at $55 at bertogdenarena.com, and include a date night two-for-$99 special