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第五章:对美国市场的首次出击 (First Attempt To Crash American Market)

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发表于 2012-6-19 14:26 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Chapter Five: First Attempt To Crash American Market

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  Graham, Russell and Jeremy arrived in L.A. on July 4th, America’s birthday. A CBS Records-supplied stretch limo picked them up at LAX and drove them directly to a back alley at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood. There waiting to meet them was Rod Stewart and his band, and a half empty bottle of champagne. Stewart, who was recording at Cherokee Studios in Studio A, walked up to the limo and gave the champagne to the Australian trio. It was a warm reception for Air Supply, and a suitable prelude to what America had to offer. That night, Air Supply checked into the famous Hyatt on Sunset Boulevard, where Russell stood on his balcony and gazed out over the strip below. “There was this huge billboard on Sunset of Bette Midler,” said Russell. “The air smelled different, kind of sickly sweet, and I looked down and saw black-and-white police cars, which I’d only seen on TV. It was great.” The Hyatt on Sunset was the preferred accommodation for touring rock bands because of its proximity to popular clubs such as the Whiskey a Go Go and the Roxy. Nicknamed the Riot House, it was blessed with a staff that took a lax attitude toward things like guests’ hurling television sets from windows. Air Supply got very little rest at the Riot House, and they would soon discover that Cherokee Studios was very much like the Hyatt on Sunset.

      Graham referred to the new record as a “compilation of the first two Australian albums, plus three new songs;” ‘Something You Do,’ ‘Does It Matter,’ and ‘Who Will Love Me Now.’ ‘Something You Do’ was later cut from the album. Russell was apprehensive at first about leaving Air Supply’s band in Australia and using new musicians. “We’re using American musicians and they are so involved with the album. I was a bit pessimistic to start with, about getting studio guys, but they’ve been just so involved and it’s gonna sound great.” The lineup of musicians included Ross Salomone on drums, Geoff Eyrecht on bass, Tony Berg and Rick Lotempio on guitars, and Joey Carbone on keyboards. It was a much different cast of musicians than first planned back in Australia. Producer Jimmy Horowitz brought a tremendous amount of talent to the project, including organ and piano work on a remixed version of ‘That’s How The Whole Thing Started.’

      Air Supply was optimistic that their new record would be a success in America, but they were aware how difficult it was to conquer a market 3,000 miles away from their homeland. “It’s great to make it in the music business,” said Graham, “but you have to make it in the States. On this tour, we’ll play to a million people in the next few months, and so the theory goes - if 10-15 per cent of the audience likes you and buys your album, your in good shape. But in Australia, we can go and play on a tour, yet perform in front of only 20,000 and the same percentage still buy the album.”

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Hyatt on Sunset                                Cherokee Studios

      Cherokee Studios was an exhilarating and exhaustive place to record at in 1977. There were simply no rules, a prerequisite for some artists. Rod Stewart had gone so far as to cancel his plans to record at Morin Heights’ Le Studio in Quebec, Canada, because RCMP in Toronto had arrested Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones for possession of an ounce of heroin. Stones’ guitarist Ron Wood told Stewart that he wouldn’t recommend recording in Canada because the climate was not safe for a rock artist. So Stewart and Air Supply found themselves at Cherokee. The studio had certainly borne witness to what has given music its well-deserved reputation for ‘sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.’ “It was unbelievable,” says Cherokee owner Bruce Robb. “You could wake up at three in the morning, go into Cherokee and it was the biggest, most exciting nightclub in town. It was around the clock, with the most insane things going on in the rooms. There were two sessions a day in each room; one would stop at eight p.m., the next would start at nine and go until the next morning.”

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Interview for Flashez in London - July 1977

      After three weeks of recording at Cherokee in July, Russell, Graham and Jeremy flew to London, England, for one week to record strings at IBC Recording Studios. They also performed at the annual CBS International Record Conference, in support of Chicago, Heart and Boz Scaggs. They were backed by a group of session musicians including strings. This was a huge achievement for the trio because they were the first Australian band to receive such recognition. Global music conventions were an excellent opportunity for new acts to gain recognition within the ranks of their own label. These conventions hosted thousands of employees from all around the world, plus radio programmers, retailers and vendors. A band that was able to nail a live performance was certainly guaranteed a top priority within the entire company.

      Upon arrival in London, Air Supply was quickly ushered into an interview with Australian TV music show Flashez. Flashez had a reputation of going out of their way to promote local Australian acts back home, so it was important for Air Supply to accommodate them. The wear and tear of recording at Cherokee was evident, as all three lads looked tired and jet-lagged.  

      Peter Dawkins was at the conference in London to represent his first two signings to CBS, Air Supply and Dragon. He hoped to make a favourable impression on the CBS executives, who had requested Air Supply’s presence six weeks earlier. But things could not have gone any worse. According to Dawkins, the trio “stumbled and fell” when it came time to present themselves to the roomful of jaded executives. “By the time we all saw them in London, it was a very sorry Air Supply who took the stage,” said Dawkins. “Following a spectacular set by the Wilson sister’s group, Heart, which Air Supply had elected to do, they had a lot of ground to make up and didn’t. They dried up on stage that night. It was unpleasant for the whole Australian contingent, as it was fairly obvious that this would be the preface to the band being dropped by CBS America.” Rather than embrace Air Supply, the execs said, “We will take Dragon and we will take you [Peter].” Dawkins was promoted to A&R Director for Portrait Records in Los Angeles, a small boutique label run by CBS to develop West Coast talent.

      “There were 1,800 delegates there from all over the world,” said Jeremy, “and it was the first time that an Australian band had ever appeared at the concert. But we’d arrived only two days before the gig was due to start and we wandered on stage with an unrehearsed band and string section to boot. I was playing acoustic guitar - consequently we were rather unprepared and it was quite obvious to the audience.”

      In early August, just eight weeks before Air Supply’s scheduled tour of North America, the band was blindsided by news that Jeremy Paul was leaving the group. He quite the band in L.A. and flew home to his stone cottage in Sydney’s northern suburb Neutral Bay and to his girlfriend, model Rosemary Wheeler. His departure was described as amicable in the press, but its timing could not have been worse for Air Supply. They had just returned to Los Angeles, the American album was finished and the mixing just beginning to take place. “We just couldn’t believe it,” said Russell. “We could have tried to find someone else but we didn’t want the same thing to happen again. There was nothing to do but put our heads down and continue as a duo.” Graham and Russell thought about taking a short trip back to Australia in September to promote the band, but Jeremy’s departure forced the duo to stay in America to finish the album and prepare for the tour.

      CBS insisted that Air Supply sign a three year recording contract in the States, which Jeremy could not agree to. So Bestall & Reynolds paid him off for an undisclosed amount and he returned home. Jeremy’s frustration had been brewing for quite some time, but it was not until the band arrived in London that Jeremy’s decision was actually brought to a head. Naturally, the Australian media could not understand why he left the band when they were all set to make the big time. “You crazy fool,” they all said. “How could you do it, how could you blow such a marvelous opportunity?” But Jeremy’s decision to leave the band was prompted by two things; First, the American album was backed by American musicians, and Jeremy was not allowed to play bass. “We should have been playing on the album,” he said. “But the management’s argument (Billy Gaff’s organization) was that they wanted the best musicians available for our first American album. So we were stuck up front and backed by American musicians. My major problem was that it was no longer a band as such, but just a group of experienced musicians playing together. As far as the concept of a band goes, it just didn’t work out.” Second, Jeremy was forced to play acoustic guitar at the CBS conference in London. “I found myself onstage for the very first time ever playing acoustic guitar and I didn’t like it. I felt as though I was just an added extra to the band, a third person there for the sake of appearances only. I just couldn’t get off on acoustic guitar. I was no longer stimulated, and felt I couldn’t get my teeth really stuck into anything. So one night I got absolutely blind drunk and talked the whole thing over with the management and Graham and Russell, and decided to quit. It was really a matter of taste - I’d think something was a good idea and they usually didn’t agree. I didn’t really see eye to eye with them, so I was better out.”

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Graham Russell, Russell Hitchcock, Jeremy Paul

      “I have absolutely no regrets about my decision,” said Jeremy. “It was, above all, for purely selfish reasons. You could say I began to have my doubts about my part in the band soon after ‘Love And Other Bruises’ became a hit. It was a phenomenal success and as soon as it had sold 40,000 copies and become a double-gold LP, the business deals started taking place. Suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of a big machine which virtually dictated the way we lived, even how we looked. Every time we started to do something, it was interrupted by another business deal. We became pawns in the business game of rock ‘n’ roll. Air Supply quickly changed from a band of musicians into a business deal, a saleable product. Worst of all was the fact that we’d turned into just another promotional object for the recording company. The whole thing just became uncreative and wasn’t satisfying me. The [American] album was really good. I felt absolutely ecstatic about it and that’s what made the decision really difficult.”

      Ultimately, Air Supply’s chances of breaking into the American market would rest on the voice of Russell and the songs of Graham. On stage, the band was at its best when Russell sang lead. “We sat down and formed a three-year plan of action,” explained Graham. “But Jeremy wanted to do other things. He couldn’t make that commitment to us. Plus, he was not really excited about going to the U.S. [to start with]. He had his thing going on in Sydney. His girlfriend, Rosemary, who he later married. He was not excited about leaving Sydney at that particular time, so he left.”

      Jeremy wanted to revive his solo career, and already had over 40 songs on the books - Some of his own and some that had been written by others. He planned to release a single in December, a ballad written by his friend (and former Soffrok band member) Rick Turk, which Jeremy believed had enormous commercial potential. “The treatment will be somewhat similar to Boz Scaggs’ ‘Georgia,’” said Jeremy. “It’s got a catchy line and a good beat and I think it should do well. I’m going to be recording again and financing it all myself. The last thing I’ll do is sign another 3 or 5-year recording contract with any company.” Jeremy’s solo career never materialized, but he later accepted an acting role in Reg Livermore’s 1978 production of Ned Kelly and had a few film offers.

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Divinyls - Mark McEntee, Bjarne Ohlin, Jeremy Paul

      In 1980, Jeremy joined a band called Baton Rouge, which included singer Chrissy Amphlett. Soon after, they formed a band called Divinyls with former Air Supply guitarist Mark McEntee. Divinyls were quickly signed to WEA Records, then scored a smash hit in Australia called ‘Boys In Town.’ But Jeremy was fired from the band because he had tried to replace Chrissy Amphlett with an actress named Kim Deacon. Divinyls manager, Vince Lovegrove, wrote about the incident in the book Pleasure And Pain My Life; “Jeremy was ousted because of his lackluster bass playing, and also because he was trying to get rid of Chrissy who, as anyone could see, was the band’s strength. They were at each other’s throats because of conflicting ambitions and because of Chrissy and Mark’s resentment at the way he had handled the publishing deal with Castle Music. Jeremy got a cut for just three songs, but they were the best three, including ‘Boys In Town.’ All of this bad blood made sacking Jeremy my business and I did the deed at a band meeting at my place in Bondi Junction. He took it very badly. He really thought he was the strength of the band because until I came along he basically managed Divinyls and looked after their bookings. In my opinion, Jeremy quite clearly was a legend in his own lunchtime because he’d been in Air Supply.”

      When recording wrapped up at the end of August, Graham and Russell met up with band members for the tour ahead, including some familiar faces; Rex Goh and Robin Le Mesurier on guitar, Nigel Macara on drums, Joey Carbone on keyboards and Howard Sukimoto on bass. Le Mesurier got the job through his association with Billy Gaff, and had worked as a guitar tuner and road manager on the Rod Stewart/Air Supply Australian tour. Rex Goh worked with solo artist Leon Berger in Australia after Air Supply went to the U.S. in July, but he jumped at the opportunity to tour North America with Air Supply.

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Repackaged Double LP & 'That's How The Whole Thing Started' Single

      In Australia, CBS released the next single, ‘That’s How The Whole Thing Started’ (BA 222325), in October. Radio mostly ignored the song and it failed to chart. Air Supply’s popularity in Australia was dwindling, and much to the disappointment of Peter Dawkins and CBS Australia, the band was not around to promote their Aussie LP. Instead, they were in the U.S. preparing to promote their forthcoming American LP. In an attempt to sell more records, CBS Australia repackaged Air Supply’s first two albums and released them as a two-for-one double gatefold album (241031).

      On October 1, the Rod Stewart/Air Supply tour kicked off in Vancouver, Canada, at the Pacific Coliseum, which coincided with the release of Stewart’s new album titled ‘Foot Loose & Fancy Free.’ The release date for Air Supply’s new album was still undetermined. It was Stewart’s first tour in North American as a solo artist, and he was rather nervous about touring America with a new band. So, he made North America the final leg of massive worldwide tour that began in Europe. “We wanted to get as far away from everybody as we could [for our first show],” said Rod. “We’d have played Siberia if we could. We ended up in this tiny little fishing village in Norway. The last time I played Vancouver was with The Faces. This is all new and I’m really nervous. The concert is sold-out and I hope people appreciate the effort made to put the stage together.”  

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Graham: Vancouver, Canada Oct 1, 1977 (Courtesy Ron Vermeulen)

      Air Supply opened the Vancouver concert with a 30 minute set. They were dressed in white, matching the ground breaking design of an all white production - backdrop, borders, curtains and equipment. The large white curtain was removed after Air Supply finished their set, to reveal a massive stage, centered around a large gong bass drum. A large touring party of 47 people was required to make the show happen - including Stewart’s manager, a tour photographer, a publicist, a tour manager, a road manager, a seamstress, a make-up and wardrobe assistant and a masseuse. The working crew, who were responsible for sound, lighting and staging, consisted of 22 people who travelled in two customized buses. The band members and related personnel travelled between cities in either a customized Vickers Viscount turboprop airliner or a Convair 880. Each plane was fitted with two televisions so that Stewart could watch video cassette tapes of month-old Scotland soccer games. The entire entourage arrived at each town around 4 p.m., checked into the local Hilton hotel, then went to the venue for a sound check. They returned to the hotel for a light supper, then headed back to the venue for the evenings performance. After the show, Air Supply and Stewart’s entourage had a late dinner at the hotel or at a restaurant. They went to bed late, woke up around noon, then packed and boarded the plane for the next town and same routine.

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Rod Stewart/Air Supply North American Concert Itinerary

October
1. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - PNE Coliseum
2. Seattle, Washington - Center Arena (Rescheduled to October 3 due to lighting accident)
4. Portland, Oregon - Memorial Coliseum
6. Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Stampede Corral
7. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - Edmonton Coliseum
10. Montreal, Quebec, Canada - Montreal Forum
11-12. Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Maple Leaf Gardens
14. New Haven, Connecticut - New Haven Coliseum
15. Largo, Maryland - Capital Centre
17. Buffalo, New York - War Memorial
18. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Spectrum
20-21. New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
23-24. Uniondale, New York - Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum
25. Providence, Rhode Island - Civic Center
27. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Civic Arena
29. Lexington, Kentucky - Rupp Arena
30. Indianapolis, Indiana - Market Square Arena
31. Chicago, Illinois - Chicago Stadium

November
2. Saint Paul, Minnesota - Saint Paul Civic Center
4. Richfield, Ohio - Richfield Coliseum
5-6. Detroit, Michigan - Cobo Arena
8. Cincinnati, Ohio - Riverfront Coliseum
9. Roanoke, Virginia - Civic Center
10. Charlotte, North Carolina - Coliseum
19. Birmingham, Alabama - Civic Center
20. Atlanta, Georgia - The Omni
21. Jacksonville, Florida - Coliseum
23. Hollywood, Florida - Sportatorium
25. Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Louisiana State University
26. Houston, Texas - The Summit
27. Fort Worth, Texas - Tarrant County Convention Center
29. Kansas City, Missouri - Kemper Arena
30. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - The Myriad

December
2. El Paso, Texas - El Paso County Coliseum
5. Denver, Colorado - McNichols Arena
7. Tempe, Arizona - ASU Activity Center  
8. Tuscon, Arizona - Community Center Arena
9. San Diego, California - Sports Arena
12-14 Los Angeles, California - The Forum
18-19. San Francisco, California - Cow Palace   

      “The Rod Stewart tour was 48 dates in 70 days - very tiring,” said Graham. “But it was great. Tremendous groundwork for us and terrific exposure. I think we made the most of it. We never had a bum night. It’s frightening when you go out and see 20,000 people. When you’re facing that sort of audience, you know you have to play well, and you do. The highlight was Montreal. The crowd went crazy for us as well as Rod. We watched him every night and took in how he worked the stage and interacted with the audience. And we spent a lot of time with him. We’d sit and have tea. Rod always loves a cup of tea and a KitKat candy bar at four in the afternoon we discovered. He would tell us stories. He was incredible, and I can’t speak highly enough about him.”

      “What we wanted to do through the Rod Stewart tour was to present Air Supply to as many people as possible,” said Russell, “and see if we could make any impression on them. We played to more than 900,000 people, so we succeeded in our first aim. The reception was much better than we all anticipated, so we think we made some impression. After all, we were playing to audiences who had never heard of us, and opening for a famous entertainer like Stewart, who is much rockier than us.”

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Calgary - Oct 6, 1977 (Photo: Ian Mark)

      The American media agreed with Graham and Russell’s assessment:

      The opening act was Air Supply, a new seven-man band whose members come from Singapore, Australia, England and America - a truly international group. Air Supply’s music is pleasant, straightforward rock, simple and energetic. The lead singer is very good. The group’s first album is due out very soon, and if their concert appearance is any indication, they will be a name we’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming years. - The Beaver Times

      Hitchcock, particularly, had a rangy, compelling voice capable of handling Russell’s strong melodies with ease. Group plays very well as an ensemble; there are no individual heroes. General vein is pop-rock somewhere between Pilot and Foreigner. Air Supply succumbs to common error of performing all original material, totally unfamiliar to audience. One or two outside contributions would have strengthened the set. - Variety Magazine

      A music critic in Calgary, Canada, who gave a scathing review of Rod Stewart’s performance at the 7,500-seat Stampede Corral, was more appreciative of Air Supply:

      Appearing with Stewart was Air Supply, a rock ‘n’ roll outfit from Australia that are relatively unknown in this country. They offered a selection of original material which may be in contention for radio play someday, but now serves to keep the band in a kind of rock ‘n’ roll limbo, as they resist the temptation to perform better known material by other artists, thereby running the risk of being labeled as accomplished imitators.

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Stevie Nicks (Left), Stewart & Bebe Buell at Regine's

      A highlight for any band is the opportunity to play Madison Square Garden. Air Supply did just that - twice! To celebrate the occasion, Rod Stewart and Warner Bros. Records hosted an extravagant after-show party on Friday night (October 21) at top night spot Regine’s on Park Avenue. The party, which cost a five figure amount, was invitation only. Amongst the celebrities in attendance were John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Robert Palmer, Stevie Nicks and Dan Ackroyd. “We played MSG two nights.” said Russell, “The second show was great. In the afternoon, at the sound check, I stood on the stage and looked at the empty Garden and thought ‘Wow, I’m really here,’ but when we were playing that night we were too busy for anything but concentration on what we were doing. The stage lights only let you see the first few rows, so we could have been anywhere. But the party afterwards at Regine’s was great.”  

      Air Supply made the most of their time in America, taking in all the excitement and temptations that large cities like New York, Atlanta, and L.A. had to to offer. “When we first came over here in 1977, it was parties every night,” remembers Russell. “You know, see who could drink the most and not fall over. I’m generally a very organized person, but on that first tour we were supporting Rod Stewart [in Australia], I had only been in the band for four months at the time. And that was my first band ever. Can you imagine what I went through emotionally? I was doing everything going. There are, I guess, four or five months in 1977 that I don’t even remember. I got introduced to Tequila on that tour, and I drank lots and lots of it. [But] drugs were never in our curriculum. I’m terrified of stories that I’ve heard of people that I know very well getting into heroin or something. That scares me so badly it puts everything else beyond my curiosity.”

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Rod & Russell Backstage         MSG October 20-21

      “Neither of us have ever been monks,” said Graham. “We used to get pretty wild in the early days, but we just don’t tell anybody about it. Nothing in particular, but everything in general. We never got into drugs, and I think that was a smart move for us. It wasn’t our thing. It might sound schmaltzy, but we’re very family-oriented. I would really hate it if my folks thought poorly of me. I really appreciate what they did to put me through school.”

      Despite living the rock and roll lifestyle, Air Supply avoided negative press in North America. Graham and Russell insisted that band members treat everyone and everything with respect. “We’re quite severe with the people that work for us,” said Russell. “They’re not allowed to mess around or steal towels or pinch things, any of that stuff - or they simply don’t work for us anymore. They’re told straight off, ‘No one messes rooms!’” Of coarse the opposite was true with Rod Stewart’s entourage, where ‘redecorating’ hotel rooms was encouraged.

      Stewart and his many band members had a long history of bad behavior. For the second time in three years, members of Stewart’s band demolished a Florida hotel room. Two of the musicians, who had been drinking quite heavily, were arrested for tearing the ceiling down, throwing a lamp through a window, defacing the walls, shredding curtains and tossing around a TV set. The incident made all the local newspapers, but according to one source, the real reason for the arrests was never disclosed. Apparently, Stewart’s band and road crew grew increasingly frustrated with Air Supply manager Fred Bestall. Bestall had developed a reputation during the tour of accepting free drinks at the bar, then quickly disappearing when it was his turn to buy a round. Stewart’s tour manager had seen enough, and in the hotel’s private lounge, he roughed up Bestall. While the bartender fled, Stewart’s alcohol-fueled crew joined in and tossed a near-unconscious Bestall over the bar. When local police arrived, there was some confusion over who started the fracas, but Stewart’s tour manager was arrested later that evening.

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Gatefold Album Cover of ‘Countdown - Queen’s Silver Jubilee’

      In November 1977, Air Supply was one of twenty musical acts to be included on a limited edition album, titled ‘Countdown - Silver Jubilee Australian Top 20,’ commemorating 25 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Harry M. Miller and the Australian record industry collaborated to produce the 20-track album, featuring some of the most popular Australian musicians at the time. Proceeds of its sale went to the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Appeal for Young Australians, funds to be distributed in the form of grants or awards to help young Australians. Several record companies, and all the artists, songwriters and publishers involved donated their contributions. The gatefold cover of the double album featured a Sergeant Pepper’s-style collage of stars of the 70s - Sherbet, Skyhooks, Air Supply, Dragon, AC/DC, Ol’ 55, Richard Clapton, Marcia Hines, Jon English, John Paul Young and Supernaut. The album was produced and promoted through ABC’s Countdown, and was officially launched by Prince Charles in an episode that aired November 13, during his visit to Australia to mark the Silver Jubilee. While the album included an impressive list of Australian artists, the song selection left much to be desired. Many of the songs are throwback album tracks and obscurities, including ‘It’s Automatic’ by Air Supply, which was never released as a single.

      When Billy Gaff’s management team developed a plan to help Air Supply break into the U.S. they intended to concentrate heavily on television work. But it was not until December 9, when the tour was almost done, that Air Supply made their North American TV debut. They appeared on the The Midnight Special, a musical variety telecast on NBC, which followed The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on Friday nights. The show had a good reputation among music critics because the performances were mostly live and not lip-synced like many shows during the late 70s. Air Supply performed ‘Feel The Breeze’ and ‘Do It Again.’

      The same night that Air Supply performed on The Midnight Special, the first Australian Rock Music Awards took place in Sydney at the Hordern Pavilion. Awards were handed out in 28 categories, and the winners were chosen by hundreds of people involved in the music industry, including journalists, radio announcers, record-company executives and promoters. Air Supply was nominated in two categories: Best Recording Group, won by Little River Band, and Best New Rock Act, won by Dragon.  

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      Columbia Records released Air Supply’s third album, ‘Love And Other Bruises’ (JC 35047), in early December. It was re-issued by Columbia in 1981 as one of the labels ‘Nice Price’ collection (PC 35047), which sold more copies than the original release.

      Reviews of the album were mostly positive:
      A creditable U.S. debut by this Australian duo, who are currently touring with Rod Stewart. This collection offers predominately mellow, acoustic pop ballads, guitar and keyboard dominated with subtle string and horn blending. The vocals are reminiscent of the Brothers Gibb’s tentative, waivery quality, and are most effective on the love songs. Best cuts: ‘Love And Other Bruises,’ ‘Do It Again,’ ‘Ready For You,’ and ‘Feel The Breeze.’ - Billboard

      ‘Love And Other Bruises’ spawned two North American singles; ‘Do It Again’ (C4-8217) and ‘What A Life.’ Neither song charted. Epic/Sony Records, a division of CBS, released ‘Love And Other Bruises’ (25 3P-295) in Japan with different cover art, but identical track listing to the U.S. release.

      The North American tour ended on December 19, with two shows at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California, where Stewart slipped on a flower lobbed by a fan onto the stage, causing him to trip and land face first on the drum riser. He lost a tooth and required seven stitches. This was a fitting way to end the tour, because on just the second date of the tour in Seattle, the show had to be postponed after four crew members were injured when a cable broke while they were hanging lighting equipment. The travelling up, down, across and around America was hard on everyone, but especially a lead vocalist. About half way through the tour Russell collapsed on stage due to exhaustion. “The throat’s lasted very well, considering,” said Russell. “Somebody told me what the trick is - as soon as you get into your hotel, you turn off the air conditioning. It’s been hard, very hard work. It’s nearly finished. We’ll be back in Australia just before Christmas. Collapse for a while then start rehearsing for an Australian tour, probably in February. Graham’s had very little time for himself, but he’s used what he could get very productively. Even been writing songs.”

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‘Do It Again’ - Canadian Pressing

      Despite the injuries, arrests and damaged hotel property, the tour was considered a smashing financial success for Stewart and his promoters, who grossed more than $6 million. Air Supply, like most opening acts, were not as fortunate. “We learned how to go into debt,” said Russell. “We lost a lot of money on that tour. No professionalism. But as we toured with Rod, we learned real professionalism. We just wanted to learn from him, and his management, and his crew - we were right beside the stage, every night, watching every aspect of his concert. Obviously, we’re an unknown band here, but the tour and things like appearing on the Midnight Special TV concert, and possibly Don Kirshner’s in Concert as well, have helped a lot.”   

      Air Supply flew back to Australia. Despite making valuable contacts in North America, and continued interest from Billy Gaff, visa limitations meant they had to return home. When asked about the band’s future in America, Russell said, “The feelers are already out for a tour with another big name when we return to America. While we were on the Stewart tour, Elton John was mentioned. But that seems to have faded since John announced he doesn’t want to tour anymore.”

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      When flying back to London, Stewart and his seven-man entourage held a noisy in-flight party, which resulted in many complaints from other passengers. When the dust had settled, the first class cabin was littered with cigarette butts, damaged seats, bottles and other debris. Holding a large glass of brandy and stepping off the plane with his arm around an attractive girl, Stewart said, “I can’t make any excuse for what happened. All I can say is we’ve been touring for a year and something had to give.” In his book titled Rod: The Autobiography, Stewart talked about how the partying did not end after he stepped off the plane; “I finished doing up my boots and strolled off the plane and into Heathrow Airport, as naturally as a man can when his footwear has been filled with assorted airplane catering items. Apparently I was still holding a glass of cognac and singing Jolson’s ‘Mammy’ when I reached the baggage collection area. But even then, surely, the realization was downing on me that this time we had gone too far. Certainly the sight of Jim Cregan, my guitarist, his curly hair full of ash and cigarette butts and his face smeared with what seemed, upon closer inspection, to be honey, would have been a decent clue. And the laughing was definitely about to stop because Jimmy Horowitz, from the management team, was shortly to be arrested in the airport’s precincts for public drunkenness. (Apparently having taken a ride on the luggage conveyor belt). Behind us lay a British Airways first-class cabin liberally redecorated with mustard. And ahead of us lay a rightful bashing in the press for our disgraceful behavior.”

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Love & Other Bruises - Japan

      During their tour, Air Supply admitted, response from American audiences ranged from indifference to acclaim. They certainly did not conquer the U.S., but their name was at least established in the world’s biggest market. ‘Love And Other Bruises’ was a commercial failure. In the end, it wasn’t the breakthrough album that Air Supply needed and Columbia demanded. It sold just 40,000 copies, a dismal number for a major U.S. record label. Most of those sales came from areas in the States where it had the benefit of radio airplay. Columbia distributed large quantities of the album to retailers, but many of these were returned to the label and later sold as heavily discounted cut-outs (Bargain bin). The band was not paid royalties on cut-outs and promotional records.

      According to Peter Dawkins, Air Supply’s American tour and album were a disappointment because they had lost talented musicians in Australia, and their management team lacked experience. “They decided to shed their drummer, keyboard player and guitarist and picked up an American rhythm section,” he said. “This would have been fine had they not had two of the potentially greatest players to ever come out of Australia. The guitarist was Mark McEntee, who later became one great half of the Divinyls, and keyboard player, Adrian Scott, was to become the chief demonstrator for Roland Keyboards. The recording [of ‘Love And Other Bruises’] had taken place all across the globe. Rhythm section in Los Angeles, vocals in Nashville, rounding up with strings in London and mixed God knows where. The results, as you would expect, were disastrous. The tour was also a washout, inasmuch as their management team of Bestall and Reynolds was too inexperienced for the cunning of Stewart’s team. Consequently, the boys played the fifty dates in half empty houses, as they were placed on the bill far too early for the punters (customer or patron) to see them.”   

Rod Stewart Tour 1977.jpg

      Columbia Records was also at fault, and made several mistakes which contributed to the albums demise. First, the December release was poorly timed because the market was already saturated with new pre-Christmas records from major artists. Records from Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Roberta Flack, Donny & Marie, Kool & The Gang, ZZ Top, Aerosmith and Air Supply were all released the same week, making it an extremely competitive marketplace. Many labels went so far as to postpone the release of certain albums, such as Abba and Manhattan Transfer, until after Christmas to gain a competitive edge. Second, when Jimmy Horowitz had gone to Australia to meet Air Supply and negotiate the Rod Stewart tour deal, it was decided the U.S. album would be released before the start of the American tour. When the album hit store shelves near the end of the tour, it was too late. Third, CBS President, Dick Asher, had begun curtailing the use of independent promoters. These promoters were freelance record pluggers who got Top 40 radio to play certain songs, and only the most successful labels could afford their service. CBS Records, the largest record company in the world, outspent all other labels on independent promoters. By 1977, it often cost $100,000 to hire a top promoter for one pop song. CBS chose not to promote Air Supply’s album with the same vigor as some of their other acts. A year later, Dick Asher went about four months without paying independent promoters, and CBS suffered a massive drop in sales and airplay.

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      Air Supply and their American record label failed to learn from mistakes made by other Australian acts who came to the U.S. Poor planning in America allowed the enthusiasm and radio play for Sherbet’s album, ‘Howzat,’ to peak before the record was released there, and a golden opportunity for a breakthrough quickly disappeared. The Skyhooks six-month tour of the U.S. was meant to establish it by word-of-mouth. But the tour achieved comparatively little, because the band failed to realize that the way to American acceptance was primarily through hit records. Their popularity in Australia, which was at a peak before leaving, slumped significantly.

      “It was such a disappointment when everything stopped after the tour,” says Russell, “because it was the perfect opportunity. The tour didn’t help from a records-sold point of view. Our record company released our album about a month and a half into the tour, and missed all the major centers. Imagine that - being on such a big tour with no album or single for the fans to buy. Columbia blew it. What a wasted opportunity. You know, we always say that the album escaped. It was never released. No one knew about it.” Russell was also disappointed that the band’s first big Australian hit, ‘Love And Other Bruises,’ was not released in America. “It’s my favourite song, and according to many others in the industry, the best thing we have ever done. But our record company owns the rights to it, and it’s up to them to release it should they wish.”
 楼主| 发表于 2012-6-19 15:11 | 显示全部楼层
译文: <转载请注明空气补给中文网>
      Graham,Russell和Jeremy于美国国庆日7月4日抵达洛杉矶,立刻他们投入到制作第三张专辑的工作中。“我们抵达洛杉矶直接前往位于好莱坞的Cherokee录音室。在那里等待他们的是Rod Stewart和他的乐队,还有半瓶香槟。Stewart在Cherokee Studios的录音室A里录音,他走到豪华轿车跟前,把这半瓶香槟给了这三个澳大利亚人。这对Air Supply来说真是个暖人心的接待,这对这次的美国巡演来说是个合适的前奏。那晚,Air Supply入住了著名的日落大道上的Hyatt酒店, Russell站在阳台上看着下面的条纹。“在Bette Midler的地方有块巨大的公告牌。” Russell说。“这里的空气闻起来有些不同,有些甜得恶心,我看着下面的黑白条纹的警车,我只有在电视里才看到过。感觉真棒。”The Hyatt更适合那些巡演的摇滚乐队,因为这里临近流行俱乐部诸如,the Whiskey a Go Go和the Roxy。Air Supply在Riot House得到了些许休息,他们很快就会发现Cherokee录音室很像Hyatt酒店。

      Graham称这张新专辑是作为前两张澳大利亚专辑的合辑来发行的。另外录制了三首新歌,‘Something You Do’, ‘Does It Matter’ 和‘Who Will Love Me Now’ ,但是‘Something You Do’ 没有包括在这张专辑里。Russell对他们第一次雇佣新乐师表示有点忧虑。 “我们聘请了美国乐手同时他们对这张专辑的制作非常的投入。我对此有些悲观,但是他们确实非常的用心投入,听起来棒极了。我是说真是有些不可思议” 。录音室乐师的阵容包括鼓手Ross Salomone, 贝斯手Geoff Eyrecht,Tony Berg和Rick Lotempio作为吉他手,并且有键盘手Joey Carbone。这张专辑是由哥伦比亚唱片公司制作人Jimmy Horowitz制作和编排的。Jimmy和Rod Stewart的助理经纪人把超群的天赋带入了这次专辑的制作,同时用风情和钢琴重新制作了新版本的 ‘That’s How The Whole Thing Started.’。

     Air Supply对他们的新专辑能否在美国成功很乐观,但是他们都意识到对于征服距离家乡3000英里之外的美国是多么的困难。“身处这个音乐行业感觉很棒。”Graham说,“在这次巡演中,我们再接下去的几个月中要为数百万观众演出,理论是 - 如果百分之10到15的喜欢你们并且买你们的专辑,你就赢了。但在澳大利亚,我们开演唱会,在仅仅2万人面前演出,依然会有同样比率的观众买这张专辑。”

      Cherokee录音室在1977年是相当令人舒服愉悦的录音圣地。对于艺人没什么规则限制。Rod Stewart取消了他在加拿大魁北克Morin Heights’ Le 录音棚的录音,因为多伦多RCMP因为携带一盎司海洛因逮捕了滚石乐队的Keith Richards。Stones的吉他手Ron Wood告诉Rod他不建议在加拿大录音,因为当地的氛围对于摇滚歌手来说相当的不安全。所以Rod和Air Supply找到了Cherokee。这个录音棚当然需要监督那些 ‘性,毒品,摇滚。’ “太不可思议了。” Cherokee的主人Bruce Robb说。“你无法在早晨3点起床,去Cherokee和城里最大的夜店。在每件屋子里只有两种时间,一个是晚上8点,然后在9点开始直到第二天早上。”

      七月在洛杉矶Cherokee工作室录制的三个星期之后,Russell,Graham和Jeremy前往英国伦敦一星期,为了在CBS国际录音大会的周年庆上进行演出,支持Chicago乐队和Boz Scaggs。这对于这个三人组合来说真是一个莫大的成就,因为这是这支澳大利亚乐队第一次收到如此的认可。国际音乐大会是对于新艺人获得知名度和提升厂牌知名度的绝佳机会。这次大会从全球调来了数千名员工,包括电台人员,零售商和供应商。乐队也能够借现场表演来提升公司实力。

     在抵达英国之后,这三人很快迎来了澳大利亚电视秀《Flashez》的采访。《Flashez》 节目早已声名在外,他们经常为澳大利亚乐队回到澳洲作宣传,所以这对Air Supply来说是非常重要的。美国的第一个月的消耗是非常明显的,三个小伙子看起来非常的疲惫。

      Peter Dawkins在伦敦出席大会,代表Air Supply和Dragon乐队。他希望给CBS的高管们制造好的印象,6周前他要求Air Supply一同出席。但事情无法再糟糕了。按照Dawkins的说法,这三人组合 “被绊倒了”。“ 那时我们在伦敦都看到了这个情况,Air Supply在舞台上的表演很抱歉。” Dawkins说。“在他们后面表演的是Wilson姐妹组合,Heart,但是Air Supply已经被选定,他们有很多理由来弥补但是没有这么做。他们那晚在舞台上相当糟糕。这令整个澳大利亚代表团相当不愉快,这也很明显成为了他们被美国CBS放弃的前兆。” 总裁说道,“我们会带你[Peter]和Dragon去参加。” Dawkins被晋升为CBS A&R Director’ 在加利福尼亚的新商标,这是一个由CBS来运营用来发展西海岸新星的小品牌。“

      “总共有全球1800个代表团前来参会。” Jeremy说,“这次是澳大利亚乐队第一次出现在这个大会上。在演出前2天我们才刚刚到。我弹木吉他 - 因此显然我们是毫无准备的。”

      8月上旬,就在Air Supply前去北美巡演的8周,乐队被Jeremy Paul的突然离队搞的迷失了方向。他在洛杉矶离开了乐队,并且飞回悉尼northern suburb Neutral Bay的stone cottage,去见他的模特女友,模特Rosemary Wheeler。他的离队官方上说得非常友好,但这个突如其来的消息在这个时候来临实在是太糟糕了。他们刚刚回到洛杉矶,美国专辑刚刚完成,混音工作才刚刚开始。“我们几乎不敢相信!” Russell说,“我们原本打算寻找替代者,但是我们也不想这样的事情再次发生。除了低下头我们没有任何事情能做,我们只能以双人组合的样子让这个乐队继续走下去。” Graham和Russell达成观点,他们9月回到澳大利亚做一个短暂的休息因为Graham不想让大家认为“我们已经去那里了,离开了澳大利亚歌迷”。Jeremy的离开迫使两人呆在澳大利亚完成录制专辑并且准备巡演。

      CBS坚称Air Supply在美国签订了3年唱片合同,这份合同Jeremy无法同意。所以Bestall & Reynolds支付了他一笔没有透露数额的钱,然后他回到了家中。Jeremy已经失落了有一定时间了,但是直到伦敦,Jeremy离队的想法才浮现出来。自然而然的,澳大利亚媒体无法理解正好在乐队大展宏图的时刻却离开了乐队。“你是个疯子。” 他们都说,“你怎么能这样做,你怎么会放弃一个这样好的机会?” 但是Jeremy离队的决定恰好是因为两件事:首先,美国专辑由美国音乐人控制,他们不让Jeremy弹贝斯。“我们应该在专辑录制中弹奏。” 他说,“但是经纪人 (Billy Gaff的团队)希望让最好的乐手来录制我们的第一张美国专辑。我的最大的问题就是不让乐队成员在一起录制专辑,而让一群雇佣乐手来演奏。我就是无法这样。” 第二,Jeremy在伦敦举行的CBS大会上被迫去弹木吉他。“在舞台上我是第一次弹木吉他,我不喜欢这样。我感觉我就是乐队中多余的,只是看上去有三个人在乐队中一样。所以一天晚上我喝醉酒,和经纪人和Graham和Russell一起谈了这个事情,决定退出。这不是滋味 - 我想到的好点子他们通常不会同意。我和他们意见总是不一致,所以我想我还是最好离开。”

      “我并不后悔我的决定。” Jeremy说,“这完全是因为自私。在 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 成为一首金曲后,你可以说我在怀疑我在乐队中的地位。专辑卖掉了4万张成为一张双黄金专辑,这是个现象级的成功,商业合约也相继开始。突然间我发现我们身处一个大的机器中,它支配着我们的生活。每次我想要做什么事的时候,这总是会被另一个商业合约给打断。我们在摇滚的商业游戏中成为了一个棋子。Air Supply很快把我从一个乐队乐手角色转换到了一个商业运作中去了。更糟的是我们变成了唱片公司的一个宣传工具。整件事情变得毫无创造力可言,我很不舒服。美国专辑真的很棒。我很高兴,这让我的决定变得异常艰难。”

      最终,Air Supply打进美国市场的终极武器就是Russell的声音和Graham的歌。在舞台上,当Russell主唱时是最棒的。“我们制定了一个三年计划。Graham解释道。“但是Jeremy想要做别的事情。他无法对我们做出承诺。加之,他对我们去美国的计划完全不感兴趣。他要去悉尼做他自己的事情。他的女朋友Rosemary结婚了。他对离开悉尼不是很感兴趣,所以他离开了。”

      Jeremy想要开始他的独唱生涯,他已经在他的本子上写下了超过40首歌曲 - 一些是他自己写的,一些是别人写的。他计划在12月发行一张单曲,一首由他朋友写的情歌 (和过去Soffrok的乐队成员) Rick Turk,Jeremy相信这首歌有着巨大的商业潜力。“这有点像Boz Scaggs。’ ‘Georgia’,”Jeremy说。“这很引人注目,并且我想着一定会做了很好。我将要再次录制一边并且最后成为自己的。最后一件我要做的事情是和唱片公司签一份3或者5年的唱片合同。” Jeremy的个人生涯从来没有实现,但是他之后接受了Reg Livermore 1978年的电影Ned Kelly并且接受了一些电影合约。

      1980年,Jeremy加入了有主唱Chrissie Amphlett的乐队组建了乐队Baton Rouge。之后很快他们组建了乐队Divinyls,乐队成员有过去Air Supply的吉他手Mark McEntee 。The Divinyls很快签约了WEA唱片公司,在澳大利亚他们拥有了一支排行榜金曲叫‘Boys In Town’。但Jeremy之后被解雇了,因为他想要让女演员Kim Deacon取代主唱Chrissy Amphlett。Divinyls的经纪人Vince Lovegrove在他的书《Pleasure And Pain My Life》中写了这次事件: “Jeremy被赶出了乐队,不仅由于他平淡的贝斯演奏,更因为他想要赶走Chrissy,谁都能看出来,Chrissy是乐队中的亮点。他们因为野心都相互攻击。Jeremy唱的唯一三首歌都被砍了,但他们是最棒的三首,包括 ‘Boys In Town’ 。所有的厌恶感让Jeremy被解雇。他真的认为他是乐队中最强的,因为直到我来之前基本上都是他在管理Divinyls,他来制定他们的演出。而在我看来,Jeremy显然自己认为他是个传奇,因为他曾经是Air Supply的一员。”

      在8月底录音快要结束时,Graham和Russell邀请了一些乐队成员来参加巡演,这里面有一些熟悉的面孔。Rex Goh和Robin Le Mesurier弹奏吉他,Nigel Macara任鼓手,Joey Carbone是键盘手,Howard Sukimoto是贝斯手。Le Mesurier依靠与Billy Gaff的关系得到了这份工作,他在Rod Stewart/Air Supply的澳大利亚巡演中担任吉他调音手。在Air Supply 7月去美国之后,Rex Goh和艺人Leon Berger一起在澳大利亚合作,但是他抓住了这次和Air Supply一起去北美巡演的良机。

      10月在澳大利亚,CBS发行了下一张单曲, ‘That’s How The Whole Thing Started’ (BA 222325)。大多电台都忽略了这首歌,它没能成功上榜。Air Supply在澳大利亚的流行度正在剧减,Peter Dawkins和澳大利亚CBS对此极度失望,乐队已经不在他们的祖国宣传他们的澳大利亚专辑了。相反,他们在美国准备宣传他们即将到来的美国大碟。为了能够卖掉更多的专辑,澳大利亚CBS对Air Supply的头两张专辑进行了重新包装,变成一张2合1的双折叠插页专辑。

      10月1日,Rod Stewart/Air Supply巡演在加拿大温哥华Pacific Coliseum开演,同时发行了Stewart的新专辑 ‘Foot Loose & Fancy Free’。Air Supply新专辑的发行日期依旧未定。这是Rod Stewart作为独唱艺人的首次北美巡演,他对与新乐队在美国的巡演有些担心。所以他把北美作为他开始于欧洲的庞大巡演的最后一站。“我们想要尽可能的远离。” Rod说。“如果可以的话我们想要在西伯利亚演出。在挪威的小渔村结束。最近一次在温哥华演出还是和The Faces乐队。这是一支全新的乐队,所以我真的有点担心了。演唱会票全部售完,我希望我们能得到人们对我们努力的赞许。”   
  
  Air Supply在温哥华的演出被安排有30分钟表演时间。他们穿着白色服装,很符合地板和所有白色的设计 - 背景,边界,窗帘和设备。白色的布景在Air Supply表演结束后全被移除了。一个有47人组成的巡演团队让演出能够顺利进行 - 包括Stewart的经纪人,巡演摄影师,宣传人员,巡演经理, 裁缝,化妆师,服装助理和按摩师。工作人员团队对声音,灯光,舞台效果负责,22个人乘坐2辆定制的巴士。乐队成员和相关人员乘坐子爵式涡轮螺旋桨飞机或康维尔880来在城市间旅行。每架飞机上都装有两台电视,这样Stewart可以用录像带来看过去的苏格兰足球比赛。整个随行人员在下午4点纷纷抵达,入住了当地的希尔顿大酒店,然后就去了演出场馆做试音。他们回到酒店吃了简一顿烛光晚餐,然后又回到了场馆做晚间演出。演出过后,Air Supply和Stewart的随行人员在酒店或者餐馆吃了晚餐。他们很晚才睡觉,第二天中午才起床,然后整理行李搭乘飞机前往下一个城市。

Rod Stewart/Air Supply North American Concert Itinerary

October
1. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - PNE Coliseum
2. Seattle, Washington - Center Arena (Rescheduled to October 3 due to lighting accident)
4. Portland, Oregon - Memorial Coliseum
6. Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Stampede Corral
7. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - Edmonton Coliseum
10. Montreal, Quebec, Canada - Montreal Forum
11-12. Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Maple Leaf Gardens
14. New Haven, Connecticut - New Haven Coliseum
15. Largo, Maryland - Capital Centre
17. Buffalo, New York - War Memorial
18. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Spectrum
20-21. New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
23-24. Uniondale, New York - Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum
25. Providence, Rhode Island - Civic Center
27. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Civic Arena
29. Lexington, Kentucky - Rupp Arena
30. Indianapolis, Indiana - Market Square Arena
31. Chicago, Illinois - Chicago Stadium

November
2. Saint Paul, Minnesota - Saint Paul Civic Center
4. Richfield, Ohio - Richfield Coliseum
5-6. Detroit, Michigan - Cobo Arena
8. Cincinnati, Ohio - Riverfront Coliseum
9. Roanoke, Virginia - Civic Center
10. Charlotte, North Carolina - Coliseum
19. Birmingham, Alabama - Civic Center
20. Atlanta, Georgia - The Omni
21. Jacksonville, Florida - Coliseum
23. Hollywood, Florida - Sportatorium
25. Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Louisiana State University
26. Houston, Texas - The Summit
27. Fort Worth, Texas - Tarrant County Convention Center
29. Kansas City, Missouri - Kemper Arena
30. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - The Myriad

December
2. El Paso, Texas - El Paso County Coliseum
5. Denver, Colorado - McNichols Arena
7. Tempe, Arizona - ASU Activity Center  
8. Tuscon, Arizona - Community Center Arena
9. San Diego, California - Sports Arena
12-14 Los Angeles, California - The Forum
18-19. San Francisco, California - Cow Palace   

      “Rod Stewart在70天内演出48场 - 相当累人。” Graham笑着说,“但那真的很棒。很多的曝光给予我们打下了良好的基础。我们从来没有一个懒散的夜晚,我想我们做到了。当你出去看到2万人的时候,非常的惊人。但这也同时给你动力。当你面对这样数目的观众时,你知道你不得不卖力演出。我们每天晚上看着他 (Rod),学习他如何在台上演出和观众互动。我们和他在一起相处很多时间,坐在一起喝茶。Rod总是喜欢在下午4点喝着一杯茶,加奇巧巧克力条。他喜欢给我们分享他的故事。他真是太不可思议了,对他我几乎都谈不够。”  

      “我们通过Rod Stewart巡演希望尽可能向更多的人展现Air Supply的所有好的。” Russell说:“看看是否能够在他们身上留下深刻的印象。我们在9万观众面前演出,所以我们的第一目标已经达到了。这次招待会比预期的要好的多,我认为我们已经给大家留下了一些好印象了。毕竟,我们在从未听到过我们的观众面前唱歌,为远比我们劲爆的摇滚明星Rod Stewart做暖场。”

      美国媒体对Graham和Russell有相当的认可:

      开场演出嘉宾是Air Supply, 一个新的7人乐队,成员分别来自新加坡,澳大利亚,英国兰和美国 - 一个真正的国际组合。Air Supply的音乐是令人愉快的,纯粹的摇滚乐,简单而且充满活力。主唱非常的棒!这个组合的的第一张专辑发行的非常快,他们的名字将会在接下去的几年里被人反复的提及。- The Beaver Times

      Hitchcock,独特的,令人惊叹的嗓音驾驭着Russell写的优美的旋律。乐队像一个整体一样演绎的非常出色;没有个人主义。就像Pilot和Foreigner的流行摇滚。只是Air Supply的原创歌曲对观众有些陌生。- Variety Magazine

     一位在加拿大卡尔加里的音乐评论家给了Rod Stewart有7500人Stampede Corral的演出以非常苛刻的评论,而对于Air Supply他却大加赞赏:

  和Rod Stewart一起演出的是Air Supply,是一支在这个国家相对不太著名的澳大利亚摇滚乐队。他们的歌曲都是原创的,终有一天可能会在电台中播放。他们不再尝试去翻唱别的艺人的一些著名歌曲时,怕被人贴上刻意模仿的标签。

      任何在麦迪逊广场花园的演出都对任何乐队来说都是历史性的。Air Supply就做到了 - 而且是两次!Rod Stewart和华纳兄弟唱片公司在演出结束后的周五晚(10月21日)的Top Night Spot Regine举行了奢侈的派对。这次派对花费了5位数的钱,只有被邀请才能参加。参加派对的明星有John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Robert Palmer, Stevie Nicks 和 Dan Ackroyd. “我们在MSG演出了两晚。” Russell说,“第二场真是太棒了。下午在试音的时候,我站在空旷的舞台上,心想,‘Wow, 我们真的在这里了。’ 但我们在演出时候,什么事情也不去做,只有全神贯注。舞台的灯光让你只能看到前几排。之后的派对也很棒。”   

      Air Supply大部分时间都在美国,在大城市纽约和亚特兰大,洛杉矶享受所有兴奋和诱惑。“当我们1977年第一次来到这里的时候,这里晚上到处都是派对。” Russell回忆道,“你要知道, 看谁能喝了最多并且不跌倒。通常来说我是个很有条理的人,但在第一次我们为Rod Stewart暖场演出的时候,我只是刚刚在组成乐队4个月。而且是第一支乐队。 你能想象我的感觉是什么样的吗? 有4,5个月我猜。我在那次演出后喝了许许多多龙舌兰。真的非常多。” 但毒品在永远不会在我们身边。我知道海洛因上瘾是很痛苦的事情。这让我非常害怕。”

      “我们中没有一个是和尚。” Graham说. “我们过去年轻时通常是绚丽的,但是从不和别人说起。没有什么是特别的。我们没有吸过毒,我认为我们做了非常正确。这不是我们应该做的。这听起来很差劲,但我们是非常注重家庭的。我真的很讨厌人们说我。我真的很感激在学校里学到的正确的行为。”

      尽管是摇滚明星的生活风格,Air Supply依然避免在北美有不好的新闻发生。Graham和Russell坚持认为乐队成员要善待任何人,所有事都应该被尊重。“我们很认真对待。” Russell说。“不允许乱弄东西和偷毛巾什么的 - 他们只是不为我们工作。他们直接说,“不许乱弄房间!’” 而Rod Stewart的随从恰恰相反,鼓励 ‘重新装修’ 酒店房间。

      Rod Stewart和他的乐队有着很坏的习惯。3年中的第二次,Stewart的乐队几乎摧毁了佛罗里达的酒店房间。两名乐队成员,喝得很多,被逮捕,从窗口扔下台灯,在墙上乱涂,切碎窗帘布扔在电视机旁。当地报纸报道了这一切,但是真正的原因却没有被揭露出来。显然,Rod Stewart的乐队和工作人员和Air Supply的经纪人Fred Bestall在一起很沮丧。Fred因在巡演中在酒吧接受免费饮料而名誉扫地,但是很快在轮到他买酒的时候迅速消失了。Stewart的巡演经理已经看了够多了,在酒店的私人休息室中,他殴打了Fred。当酒保逃掉时,Stewart的喝醉的朋友加入进来,把附近已经失去意识的Fred抬出酒吧。当当地警察到达的时候,熙熙攘攘夹杂着争吵,但Stewart的巡演经理那晚被逮捕了。

      在1977年11月, Air Supply作为20个艺人之一,被选入限量版合辑‘Countdown - Silver Jubilee Australian Top 20,’ 为了纪念伊丽莎白女王登基25周年。在澳大利亚,Harry M. Miller和澳大利亚唱片业界共同制作了这个20首歌的专辑,包含了当时最流行的澳大利亚艺人。销售所得的款项作为基金用于女王的银禧,奖励并且帮助澳大利亚年轻。一些唱片公司,所有艺人和发行商作出贡献参与捐赠。双唱片内容包含了胡椒军士风格的一些70年代艺人 - Sherbet, Skyhooks, Air Supply, Dragon, AC/DC, Ol’ 55, Richard Clapton, Marcia Hines, Jon English, John Paul Young和Supernaut。这个专辑通过ABC的Countdown节目制作并宣传,通过查尔斯王子访问澳大利亚银禧纪念时,官方的由11月13日播出的一个小插曲中启动。而专辑中收录的澳大利亚艺术家的名单令人印象深刻,歌曲的选择却留下了些许遗憾。曲目大多是旧的老歌晦涩难懂,包括Air Supply的 ‘It’s Automatic’ ,这首歌从来没有作为单曲发布。

      当Billy Gaff的经济团队计划帮助Air Supply在美国有所突破时,他们专攻电视媒体。但是直到12月9日,当巡演几乎快要结束时,Air Supply在美国电视上进行了首演。他们在The Midnight Special上出镜,这是一档NBC的多音乐类型节目,这档节目在Johnny Carson的周五晚间秀之后。这档节目在乐评家中口碑很好因为节目大多是现场演唱,并不是像很多70年代末那种对嘴型的节目。Air Supply演唱了 ‘Feel The Breeze’ 和 ‘Do It Again’。

      在Air Supply在the Midnight Special节目中上镜的同一个晚上,澳大利亚第一摇滚音乐奖在悉尼the Hordern Pavilion举行。总共设置了28个奖项,获胜者由音乐人,记者,电台和唱片公司执行者和宣传人来选出。Air Supply在两个奖项:最佳组合和最佳新晋摇滚艺人中接受提名。最终获胜者分别是Little River Band和Dragon。

      哥伦比亚唱片公司在12月早些时候发行了乐队的第三张专辑,‘Love And Other Bruises’  (JC 35047)。1981年由哥伦比亚下的“Nice Price”系列重制发行 (PC 35047)。比原始的版本卖出更多拷贝。

      专辑的评论大多是正面的:
      这是不可思议的澳大利亚双人组合的美国首演,他们当前正在和Rod Stewart一起作巡回演出。这张专辑主要歌曲都是些醇美的流行情歌,吉他和键盘外加和弦混音。主唱的声音让人想起了Gibb兄弟的感觉。最棒的一些情歌有: ‘Love And Other Bruises’ ,‘Do It Again’ ,‘Ready For You’ 和 ‘Feel The Breeze’。 - 公告牌杂志

      ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 产生了两首美国单曲 ‘Do It Again’ (C4-8217) 和 ‘What A Life’ 。没有一首登上排行榜。CBS唱片公司的分部,Epic/Sony Records在日本用不同的唱片封套发行了 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ (25 3P-295) ,曲目保持相同。

      北美巡演最后在12月20日结束,最后两场演出在加利福尼亚Daly City的Cow Palace举行。Rod在那里踩在舞台上的花上,导致了他摔掉了两颗牙齿,缝了7针。这是最好的结束巡演的方式,因为在西雅图的第二场巡演时,演出由于工作人员电线破损而受伤导致巡演推迟。穿越美国旅行对于任何人都确实是非常困难的,特别是对于主唱来说更是这样。在巡演进行到中途过半时候,Russell由于筋疲力尽倒在了舞台上。 “为了把喉咙保持了很好。” Russell说。“有人告诉我一些诀窍 - 一旦当你到了酒店,你就一定要先关掉空调。这太艰苦了,马上终于要结束了。我们在圣诞前要回到澳大利亚。不久我们就开始对澳大利亚巡演进行排练,可能是在2月份。Graham自己的个人时间非常少,但是他非常的高效,即使是在写歌上面。”

      尽管有各种受伤,拘捕,和酒店里破坏公物,这次巡演对Stewart和他的赞助商来说是个巨大的商业上的成功,总共进账6百万美元。而大多像Air Supply这样的暖场演出人员来说就没那么幸运了。“我们都是在负债。” Russell说。“那次巡演我们损失了许多钱。但当我们和Rod一起巡演后,我们学到了真正的专业精神。我们只是希望能从他他的管理团队和巡演人员身上学到点什么 - 每天晚上我们都在后台,看着演唱会的方方面面。很显然,我们在这里是无名小卒,但像巡演和在午夜电视节目登场,能够很好的帮助我们成长。”   

      Air Supply准备返回澳大利亚的家。尽管这次北美的合作非常有价值,Billy Gaff对Air Supply依旧有兴趣,但是签证期限让Air Supply不得不回澳大利亚。当问及乐队在美国的未来时,Russell说,“ 当我们在Stewart的巡演时候,Elton John被提及。但这似乎在John宣布不再进行任何巡演之后有些消退。”

      当飞回伦敦的时候,Rod和他的七人成员一起在飞机上办了一个吵闹的派对,受到了同行乘客的很多抱怨。当飞机降落后,头等舱到处都是烟蒂,损坏的凳子,酒瓶和其他杂物。Rod捧着一大杯白兰地,搂着一个漂亮的姑娘走下飞机。Rod说,“我无法对这个表示抱歉,我能说的只是比起这一年来辛苦的巡演,这些都是应该的。” 在他的传记中写道:Rod谈到实际上这个派对再走下飞机后还在继续。“我穿好我的靴子,慢步走下飞机进入Heathrow机场,鞋子里充满着飞机上的食物。当我到达拿行李处的时候显然我还拿着一杯科涅克白兰地唱着Jolson的'Mammy'。但即使这样,我才意识到我已经走了那么远了。当然,看到我的吉他手Kim Cregan,他的卷发,充满灰和烟头,他的脸弄脏了什么似乎, 仔细看才发现,原来都是蜂蜜。而笑声很快就停止了,因为Jimmy Horowitz很快因为在公共场所酗酒在机场被逮捕了。(显然他乘坐的行李输送带)。在我们身后是满是芥末的英国航空公司的头等舱,而前面则是我们可耻的行为。”

      通过巡演,Air Supply承认,美国听众对他们的反应从冷漠到渐渐好评。当然他们远没有征服美国,但是至少他们的名字已经在全球最大的音乐市场中建立起了声望。‘Love And Other Bruises’ 是个商业上的失败。最后,这张专辑没有达到预期,没有成为Air Supply和哥伦比亚唱片公司期待的大热门。它仅仅卖掉4万份拷贝,一家美国大型唱片公司的耻辱。大多销售都在有电台播放的美国地区。哥伦比亚发行了大量唱片给零售商,但是大多数都被退了回来,并且切口打折销售。乐队没有收到任何版权费在切口和宣传的唱片上。

     按照Peter Dawkins的说法,Air Supply的美国巡演和专辑是令人失望的,因为他们在澳大利亚失去了那么富有天赋的音乐人,但是他们的经纪人极其缺乏经验。“他们解雇了他们的鼓手,键盘手和吉他手,而选择美国乐手。” 他说,“这本来没什么,但是他们失去了两位极具天赋的伟大乐手。吉他手Mark McEntee,最近成为了Divinyls的半个灵魂人物,还有键盘手Adrian Scott,他是Roland钢琴的首席演奏师。录制 [‘Love And Other Bruises’] 简直穿越了全世界。节奏部分在洛杉矶录制,声音部分在纳什维尔,弦乐部分在伦敦,还有混音,天知道在哪里。结果呢,你能想象到,就是场灾难。巡演同样很糟糕,因为他们的经纪团队Bestall and Reynolds相比Stewart的团队太没有经验了。因此,男孩们在半空的场馆内演出了50场。”   
  
      哥伦比亚也同样犯下了几个错误导致了专辑的失败。首先,12月份发行专辑是个不明智的决定,因为整个市场已经充斥着主流明星制作的圣诞专辑。有Jackson Browne,Joni Mitchell,Roberta Flack,Donny & Marie,Kool & The Gang,ZZ Top,Aerosmith和Air Supply都在同一个星期内发行专辑,竞争超乎寻常的激烈。许多公司都尽可能的延缓专辑发售日期,诸如Abba和Manhattan Transfer。第二点,当Jimmy Horowitz去澳大利亚面见Air Supply并且洽谈Rod Stewart巡演合同的时候,这才决定美国专辑在巡演开始时发行。当专辑在靠近巡演结束时才发售,已经为时已晚了。第三点,CBS的总裁Dick Asher开始削减独立宣传人的份额。只有最成功的厂牌才负担得起这些宣传人。CBS是全球最大的唱片公司。到1977年,他们经常花费10万美元雇佣顶尖宣传者来制作一首流行歌曲。CBS并没有选择这样来宣传Air Supply的专辑。一年后,Dick Asher持续4个月没有使用独立宣传人,而CBS在电台和销量上巨跌。

      Air Supply和Columbia没有从别的来美国发展的澳大利亚艺人的失败中学到经验,就像Sherbet的专辑 ‘Howzat’一样。Skyhooks为期6个月的美国巡演充满了热情。但是巡演的贡献却相当的小,因为乐队没能意识到美国歌迷是通过排行榜金曲来接受一个乐队的。他们在澳大利亚的流行,明显在离开后减小了。

      “ 这真是太令人沮丧了,什么事在巡演后都必须要停止,这原本是多么好的机遇。” Russell说,“巡演并没有取到帮助专辑销售的作用。我们的唱片公司在巡演进行了一个半月后才进行发行,错过了一些重要的地方。你能想象吗,在如此之大的演唱会时,却没有任何专辑和单曲出售。哥伦比亚公司搞砸了这一切。真是浪费机会。你知道,我们总是说这张专辑就这么错过了,就好像从来没有发行过一样,没有人知道它。” Russell也对乐队的第一首大热门‘Love and Other Bruises’感到惋惜,它从未在美国进行发行。 “这是我最喜欢的歌,根据许多同行的说法,这是我们干过的最好的事了。但是我们的唱片公司有权来作决定,发行什么单曲只能以他们的意志来选择。”  
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