Fans are not all out of love with 1980s soft-rock duo Air Supply.
Australian singer Russell Hitchcock and British song-writer Graham Russell still perform 130 shows a year for adoring groupies known as Airheads. On Sunday, the band brings its romantic sound to Modesto's Gallo Center for the Arts.
Those who attend can expect to hear all Air Supply's most famous hits, including "All Out of Love," "Lost in Love," "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" and "The One That You Love." They also can expect to have a party.
"It's a rock 'n' roll show -- very loud," said Hitchcock, 63. "It ain't four acoustic guitars and bar stools. We always try to get people involved with the show."
The band also will throw in some of its newer work off its 2010 album "Mumbo Jumbo" and its latest single "Sanctuary," now on sale at iTunes. The group will sell its new live CD and DVD, which was recorded in Jerusalem.
"It sounds great and looks great," Hitchcock said. "I'm not religious but historically, it's an incredible place. Graham and I both met in 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in 1975. To go to the source, to see the Garden of Gethsemane, to walk the streets Jesus did and absorb all that stuff was fantastic."
Hitchcock said he was working at an office job and had never before performed in a musical when he decided to audition for the Melbourne, Australia, production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar."
"I had no aspirations to be in music," he said. "I didn't consider thinking I could make a living with it."
But he got cast in the play, met Russell and the two clicked immediately. Within a few weeks, they were performing Russell's songs.
"I thought I was an idiot for not doing (music) earlier," Hitchcock said. "But everything happens for a reason. When we had success, we weren't kids -- we were in our 20s. We were very levelheaded. We didn't get into the ego things or that stuff. It was the right time."
They gained local fame in Australia at first and then toured as the opening act for Rod Stewart. They found success in the United States when Clive Davis signed them to Arista Records and released "Lost in Love" in 1980. Air Supply ended up selling
20 million albums.
While performing with Air Supply, Hitchcock also has pursued a solo career, releasing three albums, including most recently 2011's "Tennessee: The Nashville Sessions."
He said he was approached by a producer about the idea of making a country album. "I've always been a fan of most kinds of music," Hitchcock said. "I said, 'Sure, let's just make sure the material is what's suited
to me.' "
He ended up recording 25 songs that still have a pop feel in keeping with the current country sound. "It's not too far of a departure," he said. "It's really worth checking out. I'm thrilled with it."
Hitchcock also is excited about plans under way to make an Air Supply musical on Broadway titled "Lost in Love." The show is set in England in the early 1900s and has a "Downton Abbey" feel. There have been readings of the show featuring Andrea McArdle ("Annie") and "American Idol" veteran Constantine Maroulis.
The show includes several Air Supply hits plus new music by Russell. "It seems like it's going to happen," Hitchcock said. "We've seen productions like 'Rock of Ages,' 'Mamma Mia' and those kinds of things seem to work pretty well with certain artists and music. I had no reservations at all after seeing the first reading to see how well the songs fit together with the storyline and the characters."