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第六章:在澳大利亚再次出局 (Down and Out in Australia)

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发表于 2012-10-24 09:25 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Chapter Six: Down and Out in Australia

      Air Supply arrived back in Australia on December 24, 1977, to a large crowd of fans gathered outside the fence at Sydney Airport’s international terminal. When Air Supply left for the States six months earlier, they consisted of three men and a backing group. They were now two men and a drummer, thanks to the departure of Jeremy Paul and other backing musicians. Guitarist Robin Le Mesurier declined an invitation to join Air Supply after the U.S. tour because he was unwilling to move to Australia.

Air Supply Feb 1978 Tour_edited-1.jpg
(L-R) Francis, Putt, Macara (drums), Hitchcock, Melick, Russell

      Air Supply was not sure how Australian fans would respond to the band’s long absence, but the hoards of people at the airport must have been an encouraging sight. Unfortunately, most of these people did not come to welcome Air Supply. They came to greet Australian band Sherbet, who were arriving at Sydney Airport from South Africa, just four hours after Air Supply. There was no red carpet treatment that other Australian bands got when they returned home, no mass media coverage, almost nothing.

      “We came back to Australia thinking we might be the all-conquering heroes,” said Russell. “I think the only people at the airport [for us] were a couple girlfriends and a dog to welcome back the heroes. What Sherbet, Little River Band and all the others did was important for Australian music, and it should have been emphasized that what they were doing were milestones. It hurt when we flew out last year and not too many people seemed to grasp the significance of what we were going to do. Here was an Australian band working on what was the biggest tour in America for 1977. We did 50 dates and the smallest amount of people that we played to at one time was 9,000. What we did was a significant thing.”

      The frenetic pace of the North American tour left Air Supply feeling exhausted, and they had little time to rest. Eager to get back in touch with their Australian fans, they auditioned new musicians and rehearsed in mid-January for an eight-week national tour. The touring band included Ken Francis and Tim Gaze on guitar, Bill Putt on bass, Rick Melick on keyboards and Nigel Macara on drums. They played a warm-up leg through the state of Queensland starting on January 27, including a full week in Brisbane. The band sounded great, but the first sign of trouble occurred in Coolangatta, Gold Coast, when Air Supply fired Tim Gaze for arriving late and very drunk to an important soundcheck and rehearsal. Gaze was previously a member of Taman Shud, Ariel and the Tim Gaze Band, and was considered an extremely gifted guitar player. Certainly not the type of musician to let go without careful consideration.  

      “For the second time in his career, Nigel Macara, bless ‘em, put me up for a gig, this time with Air Supply,” said Tim Gaze. “I flew to Sydney, did the rehearsals, and what do you know, the first gig is at the Jet Club in Coolangatta, my mate Bolton’s old stomping ground. Well, I won’t go into what occurred backstage after the show, but suffice to say, the next morning I arrived back at the Jet Club, an hour late for a rehearsal, and was not unkindly advised that my services would no longer be required on this tour, and here was a gig’s pay, and my airfare back to Sydney.”      

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National Hotel, Brisbane - Feb 1, 1978 (Ken Francis)

      Ken Francis, the youngest member of the band at 24, took over lead guitar duties. Francis joined the tour after his friend Rex Goh got him an audition. “I was repairing guitars and playing for not much in bands with talented but low-paying friends,” said Francis. “Rex had done the U.S. tour with [Air Supply] and had had enough, so he rang me and said ‘You wanna gig?’ I knew Rick Melick, who I think had already been offered the keyboard chair in the band. The audition was intimidating, because already chosen was Bill Putt, who was a legend in my book. Then the other guitarist being auditioned (Tim Gaze) was one of my all-time hero’s from when I’d first seen him with an extremely bohemian surf band called Tamam Shud. It was exciting to go touring again, and this was with a band that had a recent hit. So the vibe was up as we might say back then. The music was a bit ‘nice’ for my tastes. Still, the band was good! Everyone knew what to do and we rocked as hard as Graham would let us.”

      “The first thing was to play to people,” explained Russell. “We preferred a concert situation but we couldn’t do it. Because we were away for so long, we had to do the pubs and rock clubs. But we were rockier than before we went to America so we enjoyed some of the pubs. It was a good change to be able to see the audiences again, but we certainly were spoiled on the Rod Stewart tour. Nothing ever went wrong, everything was always laid on...”

      The tour continued through New South Wales and Victoria in February and early March, but concert promoters began pulling out after hearing of the scarce crowds. According to Russell, the tour at that point had drawn only “a thousand people in more than twenty shows.” To add insult to injury, ‘Love and Other Bruises’ was off to a disastrous start in America, and their latest Australian single, the Jimmy Horowitz produced version of ‘Do It Again,’ failed to chart. “It was incredible,” said Russell. “It was soul-destroying. We put out a single [in February], a good single, and it sold four hundred copies. It was the second-best single we had released, [but] the press was mad at us, saying, ‘We’ve been deserted.’ We had seen this kind of backlash happen to other bands who were big here, then left, and came back to a lot of negativity.”

Do It Again - Australia Edit.jpg
'Do It Again' - Australian Single

      The members of Air Supply grew increasingly frustrated with the angry pub crowds. Fans in small country towns were not always respectful of Countdown’s pretty boy icons. Sherbet and Hush were both selling thousands of records throughout Australia, but like Air Supply, they came under attack in the Aussie pubs. Many bands were forced to tour with at least three roadies to help with protection. Suburban pubs were often a gathering place for Sharpies, a violent youth gang found prominently in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. “We got to a point where you got that loneliness feeling, like the times you’re locked up in the hotel room,” said Darryl Braithwaite of Sherbet. “You had to stay in the room. If you went into town you would come under all sorts of violence, and people yelling at you.”

      It was difficult for Air Supply to remain positive at this point in the tour, and friction within the band ensued. When they had arrived in Queensland at the start of the tour, they were welcomed by the sight of guys beating up woman outside a gig at Ipswich. The hostilities would often spill over into the pub, where Air Supply had the unenviable task of entertaining a bunch of violent drunks. To complicate matters, Russell had developed a throat infection very early in the tour, something that he said “happens every time in Queensland.”

      To keep the tour alive, the tour manager gave the backing musicians a choice - either carry and set up the band’s equipment themselves so they could cut several road crew, or take a cut in pay. The musicians reluctantly accepted a cut in pay, and Air Supply kept on into the next leg of the tour in Perth and Adelaide. But when the backing musicians arrived at their downtown hotel in Perth, they discovered that their rooms had badly stained linens and no doors behind which to lock up their instruments and equipment. Furthermore, the band members became even more frustrated when they learned that Graham, Russell and Fred Bestall had checked into a classier hotel next to a river and park. After a minor band revolt, the backing musicians found themselves moved into the same hotel as Graham and Russell.

Canberra Concerts Feb 1978.jpg
The Flloyd - Feb. 8-9, 1978               Blazers Disco - Feb. 10, 1978

      The disgruntled band members stayed on for the rest of the tour, but the frequency of gigs declined, and it was obvious that Air Supply’s music and image could not survive in the Aussie pub scene. The tour ended prematurely following an outdoor show in Adelaide. The bands management team was partly to blame for the failed tour. “The lack of publicity for the tour was woeful,” says Ken Francis, “and I think it’s fair to say that some of the venues we played were bad choices and probably set up the tour’s bad reputation for poor audiences - there were other places the band could have played with audiences more likely to warm to the MOR style. It just became more and more clear that we weren’t getting a great response. I knew all of the bands that Bill Putt and Nigel Macara had played with, and I’d been in some seriously great rock/indie unknowns, and Graham and Russell’s music just didn’t liftoff the way a great band can.”

      Russell believed that the two months in Australia following the North American tour were the worst two months in the entire career of Air Supply; “The Australian tour was a shambles. Unprepared. Wrong venues. Wrong advertising. It was a bummer. It was a great shame that any act had to go through such crap....and badly organized crap. It was a tough audience for us because obviously the first hit for us was ‘Love And Other Bruises,’ which was a ballad. And then you’ve got two guys out there that wore what looked like pajamas, and my afro was huge. We copped a lot of grief from the audiences. We went to Queensland to play a couple shows and there was six of us in one hotel room. We arrived late at night after driving there in a Kombi, and had to wake-up the lady at the front desk. We went to the room and it was full of cockroaches. But we had a great voice so we just said that we would do it because that’s what we were made to do.”

      A music critic covering Air Supply’s performance at The Bondi Lifesaver in Sydney wrote:
      They still dress in white, their band is rockier, their forte is still harmony vocals with Russell’s high clear range still capable of causing a sweet ache in the sensitive heart. The only trouble is, the punters at the Lifesaver seem to think these boys are a bit pansy or something and the reaction is stiflingly oppressive. And for the skills Air Supply have to offer, they deserve something different to this. It’s no real surprise when the group gives an interview a week later in which it’s claimed they’re pulling up stakes and leaving Oz for ‘as long as possible.’ There’s absolutely no shame playing music for engaged couples (and other romantics) but it is a shame to put it in front of rock ‘n’ roll punch drunks. There’s obviously something wrong with the Oz Music biz when a band like Air Supply has to appear there. - Anthony O’Grady, RAM

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The Bondi Lifesaver - Sydney

      “We used to open for AC/DC at The Bondi Lifesaver, which I think is the longest bar in the world,” said Graham. “AC/DC used to pack that place out to the rafters. There was probably about four or five thousand people in this pub. We would open and think, ‘Oh my God. They are going to kill us!’ We were freaking out because we were nowhere near as loud as they were. We wore white suits, and sang love songs. AC/DC would come on and just take over. But doing these kind of shows really gave us strength. Angus and the guys would come backstage and tell us how happy they were to have us. It built character, which we needed later when we came to the rest of the world.”

      Australian bassist Bill Putt was introduced to Air Supply during the Rod Stewart tour in North America, and he remembers how bad things got for the band. “I was in America [in 1977] and bumped into them,” said Putt. “They said, ‘When we go home to Australia, do you want to play bass?’  And I went ‘aaa-ooo-eeer-alright.’ I knew it was only a three-month thing and it turned out to be a few weeks less than that, so I actually had a good time. They were lovely guys. At this time [Air Supply] was doing really bad. In fact, at one point the little guy, Russell, asked when we finished this tour, if he could sing harmonies in the band that Michael [Rudd] and I ended up having after the Air Supply thing. He was that desperate for money. And we said, ‘No, you’re too short, go away.’”

      “It’s been an unfortunate situation in many ways,” said Russell. “It’s always been a cart before the horse situation from the start. The first single became a hit in Australia, so we had to get a band together. Then we did the Rod Stewart tour here and were suddenly thrown into a situation where we had to go to America - there was never a situation like that for an Australian band before, a chance to play before over half a million people and get paid for it. But then there was no chance of extending our stay there, we had visas for a certain period and that was it. We know by leaving when we had to, any situation we’d built up over there would have to subside a little. But then while we were over there some of the thing we’d built up here faded... it’s really a limbo situation at the moment. Lots of people have said to me, ‘You should go out and sing ‘My Way’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ and make a thousand dollars a week.’ And I’m pretty sure I could do that. But I don’t want to. I want to do this. I want to sing Graham’s songs and if I can do that and lots of people like it, then that’s fantastic!”     

      Air Supply was not the only Australian band that struggled at home during this period. 1978 was the worst year since 1968 for the number of Australian singles in the top 100 (only nine) and likewise for albums (only nine). When Dragon’s ‘Are You Old Enough’ hit #1 in October it became the first local #1 for 17 months, and was only #14 on the overall annual singles chart. Ironically 1978 was the year when Australian recordings truly came of age on the world’s charts. In September, there were two Australian singles in the U.S. Top 10, an incredible achievement by any standard.

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Woman's Weekly Magazine - April,1978

      Graham moved into a motel in Adelaide following the Australian tour, and met up with new backing musicians in April for a week of shows at the Adelaide Old Mariner. This was to be Air Supply’s last Australian dates before heading overseas again. They planned to race off to a couple concerts in Bangkok at the end of the month, followed by a promotional tour of Japan. They hoped to re-release Columbia’s ‘Love and Other Bruises’ album now that the group was better known and the record would come out in the middle of the year instead of, as last time, Christmas when everyone was releasing records. There was talk about perhaps going out on tour again with Rod Stewart, this time through Britain and the European continent. “Nothing’s definite yet, but we’ve got our fingers crossed,” said Graham. “It would be fantastic for us because Britain is very hard to crack. But if you do, it’s a great springboard.”

      Graham moved to a cottage in Adelaide Hills, a popular wine region east of the city of Adelaide. He stayed there for six months writing songs for the next Air Supply album, which was to be recorded in Los Angeles in July. They planned a low profile tour of American campuses to promote the album, and to reestablish their name in that country. It seemed that Air Supply’s future was now in Los Angeles, where Peter Dawkins and his family were now living. “I did most of my writing in Adelaide,” said Graham. “It just seemed to have the right atmosphere. The Adelaide Hills has to be one of the most peaceful areas I know. I went up into the hills with a tape recorder, and sat in a field, and the songs just came. But there was almost no choice but to move to L.A. Even though it was expensive, it was the music center of the world. In Australia you could hit yourself against a brick wall. You could only go so far.”

      Shortly before Air Supply was to visit Thailand and Japan, their recording contract with CBS was mutually terminated. There were no nasty legal battles. CBS Australia was not happy with the direction of the band (Air Supply wanted to record more upbeat music), and Air Supply was not happy with the growing debt to their label. “The split with CBS was fairly amicable, and primarily came about because we just didn’t have the support we needed,” said Russell. “There were little things niggling us about the company, and things about us were niggling them. We were the first to admit we blew it. We left too many things for people to do which just weren’t done, but we learned from our mistakes.”

      Almost every record deal with a major label at that time stipulated that the label would recover its costs for all recordings made by the artist from all artist royalties. If an artist released multiple albums and only the last one was successful, no royalties would be paid to the artist until the recording cost for all albums had been recouped from the royalties earned on the successful album. Despite having a gold album, the mechanical (records sold) royalties paid to Air Supply for their first three albums would have been minimal at best. A popular saying in the music industry at the time was, ‘a hit single in Australia only pays for your next single.’ CBS figured that because the American album hadn’t broken Air Supply in America, they were never going to make it there. Plus, it was common practice for label’s to free artist’s from their contract so that the label could write off the debt that the artist owed them.

      Fact is folks, things aren’t going too well for your local grass roots industry at the moment. Over the past year, three or four new independent record companies have opened, only to close soon afterwards. Or be bought by a major record company. As for live work - well a director of Premier Artists the largest booking agency in Oz, admits the main work place, the Melbourne pubs, have definitely seen their glory days. Then again the controller of a major studio explains an interesting problem:

      “To record an album so the sound will stand up to what’s coming in from overseas you have to spend between $8,000 and $12,000 at least. And record companies are saying, ‘but the only guaranteed release market we have is Australia, and to make a profit on $8,000 to $12,000 we have to guarantee the album goes platinum. And very few Australian albums sell those 50,000 copies to make platinum.’” - Anthony O'Grady, RAM

      With no record contract and an uncertain future, Air Supply found themselves having to start all over. Graham returned to England where his wife Linda and his kids were now living, after having moved there during the Air Supply/Rod Stewart North American tour. The responsibilities of parenthood made it difficult for Graham to remain in Australia. To make ends meet he hoped to find work as an in-house writer for a music publisher (Riva Music Ltd.), and also finish a rock opera, Sherwood, he was writing about Robin Hood. “I sold everything I had in Australia,” said Graham, “but it was great to be back in England and to see the kids again. It was around 1975 when I began dreaming of the greenwood in musical terms, and feeling a renewed pride in being from Robin Hood country. Then I had a brainstorm, I should write some songs that tell the story of Robin and all of his adventures and call it Sherwood. At the same time, I entered Jesus Christ Superstar and during the show, began to realize how a show called Sherwood could be staged.”

      Russell took on several jobs in Australia. One of those involved working with his friend, filmmaker Chris Lofven, in a Melbourne-based film production company called VTC (Videotape Corporation) that specialized in rock clips. Lofven had filmed music clips for many Australian acts, such as Daddy Cool, Split Enz, Spectrum, Mother Goose, and Skyhooks. The Little River Band, a successful Australian group, were shooting a music video for their hit song ‘Reminiscing,’ when Russell was sent out to buy the group sandwiches. “It was the most humiliating experience of my life,” he said. “I knew someone should be going out and getting us sandwiches.” Russell also worked as a studio singer, doing commercials for Maxwell House, Coke and American Express, but he made very little money because the commercials paid a flat fee rather than a royalty for each airing. He was forced to settle for a fee of $120 for the Coke advertisement. To make ends meet, Russell reluctantly moved into his parents home in Melbourne.

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Darryl Cotton LP & Single

      Desperate for money, and wanting to stay involved in the music business, Russell sang backup vocals on a record by Australian Darryl Cotton. Cotton was a member of Australian band Zoot, who broke up in 1972. After five years in America, trying to make it as a singer and actor, Cotton returned to Australia to launch a solo career. He assembled a who’s who of Australian music to record the album, including members of Sherbet, the Little River Band, John Paul Young’s band, and Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply. Russell sang harmonies and backup on 8 of the 11 tracks. His higher pitched vocals helped shape the overall sound on the album, especially the track, ‘Don’t Let It Get To You,’ which was released as a promotional single in August, 1978. Two months later, it reached #22 on the Melbourne charts.  

      Darryl Cotton’s album, ‘Best Seat in the House,’ took two years to complete and was released in April, 1980. The second single, ‘Same Old Girl,’ was a national Top 30, and Top 10 on 2WS music chart. The song earned Cotton a Countdown award for Best Solo Male Performance in 1980, exactly ten years after his former band Zoot won the same award for a group. ‘Here Comes Another Heartache’ was the third single and it received significant airplay in parts of Australia. “Russell sang most of the harmonies on the album with me,” said Cotton. “Getting around to doing the album took a year and a bit, but the actual recording was done in two weeks.” Russell’s involvement on the record was no doubt a humbling experience. He was, after all, the owner of a gold certified album in Australia, and was now reduced to singing backup as a session musician.

      Air Supply believed that perhaps they would be better off as a trio once again, so they asked Darryl Cotton to join the band. “It was interesting,” said Cotton, “because after that [‘Best Seat In The House’] session, Russell and I got on really well, and he called me up a couple of days later and said, ‘I’m in this band and we are about to release our first single in America. We were wandering if you would like to join?’ I said, ‘Look, I’ve just come back from America. I really appreciate it, and I wish you well.’ But I said no to joining Air Supply. I liked [Russell] a lot. We got along really well, and our harmonies blended and everything. I had heard ‘Love and Other Bruises’ by Air Supply, and it had a good chance in America. It had that middle-of-the-road American style. But I said no, and the rest is history. I wouldn’t have had my beautiful daughter, my wonderful son and my wife. That was destiny.”  

      “We did talk about [adding Darryl Cotton] to Air Supply,” said Graham. “It would have changed everything because he had such a great voice. We had known him for a long time and had seen him play with Zoot. But he didn’t think it was his thing. He wanted to have his own career. But if he had joined, it would have been incredible because that third voice would have been fantastic. We have seen Darryl over the years and have joked with him about that.”  

      Graham and Linda divorced after 11 years of marriage. Graham’s prolonged absence made it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship, especially after the six months in North America with Rod Stewart. “I always knew that if the opportunity came,” said Graham, “I wasn’t going to let it slip away. Both of my children were very young and I had to go for six months. It was very difficult. That was the sacrifice that I had to make, and I made it knowing very well that [divorce] might be the outcome.”

      Graham returned to Australia and escaped to his motel in Adelaide for some much needed rest, and more importantly, revive Air Supply. He wrote new songs, perhaps inspired by his friend, Chrissie, who lived close by. They eventually moved in together. Graham remembers the night he wrote a song that would change his fortune. “I took six months off in Adelaide and I was living with Chrissie,” he said. “When I’m not busy or working I get a bit strange, cause I get jittery. Well, I got a bit jittery and got into an argument that night, and I walked out,’ cause I don’t like arguing. So I walked around, came back and wrote ‘Lost In Love.’ Because that’s how I felt.”

Very Early Air Supply.jpg
Brian Hamilton (Right)

      While still in Adelaide, Graham found two new band members in bassist Brian Hamilton and lead guitarist David Moyse, who were once members of the Adelaide-based group The Jules Funk Band. They both also performed on the 1974 self-titled album from Adelaide-based singer-songwriter David Ninnes. Brian Hamilton joined Graham and Russell up front, taking the spot offered to Darryl Cotton. Also joining the band was 28-year-old Australian drummer Ralph Cooper, who was a member of the critically acclaimed symphonic rock band Windchase. Due to financial reasons, Windchase decided in October, 1977, that it was not worth keeping the band together on the road. They had just completed an unsuccessful tour of Australia, and their single, ‘Glad To be Alive,’ did poorly on radio. The band members believed they could make more money playing in other bands. “It got to a place where originally there were three guys, Russell, Graham and Jeremy Paul, plus a backing band,” said Ralph Cooper. “Then they wanted to become a real group, so I came along. They seemed to like what I was doing, and I liked what I heard. With my background, I was coming from jazz, rock and roll and country, and I had an ear for all things good. Air Supply sounded good to me.”

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Windchase - R. Cooper

      Before parting company with CBS, Graham had planned on finding new band members in America. “We decided it would be just as easy to find the right people here,” said Graham, “and mold the outfit so we would be ready to hit the road as soon as we arrived [in America]. For the past month, we’ve been flat out rehearsing, getting tracks organized for the new album. At the moment, this is the most important thing to us. We’re rockier than before, and I think a lot better. The music is progressing quite quickly as we get to know each other better. We’re putting new things in all the time. The music we’re recording now is not blatant commercial music like it has been in the past. ‘Love And Other Bruises’ was just blatant commercialism and although it was a great song, we manufactured it for the market. But now we’re putting more emphasis on the feel of the music. And we’re hoping that people are going to slot into the feel that it has for us.”

      Despite continued interest from Billy Gaff, who was visiting Australia with his latest act John Cougar, it was not known on what label the next Air Supply album would be released. Gaff took working tracks from the album back to the States. Meanwhile, Air Supply couldn’t afford to be on the road because they were down to playing for $200 to $300 a night, and there were seven people in the band. David Moyse, who agreed to a retainer of $100 a week, contemplated leaving the band on several occasions. Russell phoned Graham to say he was not sure how much longer he could continue in the band. Graham explained that he had written new material, and that he needed Russell to come to Adelaide with a couple of the guys from the band. Russell got on a bus and made the 16 hour drive from Sydney to Adelaide, where Graham played him ‘Lost In Love’ on his acoustic guitar. Before he had finished, Russell knew they had something special. “This is a hit,” he said, “and this is going to put us in business worldwide.”
 楼主| 发表于 2012-10-24 09:39 | 显示全部楼层
译文:<转载请注明空气补给中文网>
      Air Supply在1977年12月24日回到澳大利亚,一大群歌迷聚集在悉尼机场的国际航站楼外围栏外。当Air Supply离开前往美国的5个月前,他们是一个由三个歌手和一个伴奏小组组成的。而现在他们变成了两人组合,感谢Jeremy Paul的离开。吉他手Robin Le Mesurier拒绝了Air Supply的邀请,因为他并不想搬到澳大利亚去居住。

     Air Supply不清楚澳大利亚歌迷会对这支长期离开的乐队报以如何的回应,人群拥挤在机场中,真是令人鼓舞人心。不幸的是,大多数人们并不是来欢迎Air Supply的。他们前来欢迎澳大利亚乐队Sherbet,一支从在Air Supply抵达后四小时从南非启程抵达悉尼机场的乐队。没有像迎接其他澳大利亚乐队回家那样的红毯仪式,没有媒体,什么都没有。

      “我们回到澳大利亚,想着我们是坚无不摧的英雄,” Russell说, “我原以为在机场大概只会有几个人带着他们的女友和狗来欢迎我们。“Sherbet, Little River Band和其他乐队对澳大利亚音乐做的巨大的贡献确实是个里程碑。当我们去年回家,那个景象太令人伤心。这确实是澳大利亚乐队在1977年在美国做的最大的巡演。我们进行了50场演出,最小的一场演出也有9000名观众。我们做的事相当有意义。”

      北美巡演狂热的步伐让Air Supply消耗殆尽,而他们几乎没有时间去休息。他们渴望回到澳大利亚歌迷身边,他们开始面试新的乐手为1月中旬开始为期8个星期的全国巡演做排练。巡演乐队成员包括吉他手Ken Francis和Tim Gaze,贝斯手Bill Putt,键盘手Rick Melick和鼓手Nigel Macar。他们于1月27日开始在昆士兰州做预热演出,整个星期都在布里斯班。乐队的声音听起来相当的棒,而第一个麻烦的信号发生在黄金海岸的库伦加塔,Air Supply因为再一次很重要的试音和排练中迟到和醉酒而解雇了Tim Gaze。Tim之前是Taman Shud和Ariel乐队的成员,被认为是一名极具天赋的吉他手。当然也是很不令人放心的乐手。

      “生涯第二次,Nigel Macara,祝福他们,这次是和Air Supply。”Tim说。 “我飞到悉尼,做了排练,你知道吗,第一次演出是在库伦加塔射流俱乐部。很好,我只想说,第二天我回到了喷气机俱乐部,迟到了一个小时的排练,被告知我被解雇了,然后我我拿到了我的钱还有飞回悉尼的机票。”

  年仅24岁的Ken Francis是乐队中最年轻的主音吉他。Ken在他的朋友Rex Goh推荐之下于巡演后加入了乐队。“我正在做修吉他的工作,收入不高。Rex已经和Air Supply一起参加了美国巡演,所以他问 ‘你想要演出吗?’ 我认识Rick Melick,我认为他已经在乐队中担任键盘手了。面试挺吓人,因为他们已经选了Bill Putt,他是一个传奇。而另外一名参加面试的吉他手 (Tim Gaze)是我钟爱的乐队Tamam Shud中的一员。能够再次参加巡演真的很令人兴奋,因为是和最近有排行榜金曲的乐队一起演出。音乐很棒,乐队也很出色!每个人都知道自己在干什么,我们都非常努力,就如Graham让我们做的那样。”     

      “最重要的事情就是在观众面前演出。” Russell解释道,“我们喜欢现场演出,但是我们不可以。因为我们远离家乡太久了,我们不得不去酒吧和摇滚俱乐部演出。但是我们的风格比去美国之前更摇滚了,所以我们喜欢在有些酒吧演出。能再次和听众见面真是太棒了,尽管我们在Rod Stewart巡演中被宠坏了。”

      巡演于3月在新南威尔士和维多利亚继续着,但是演唱会赞助商由于听众稀少开始撤出了。按照Russell说的,那时演出观众在超过20场演出总共只有1千名。” 雪上加霜的是,‘Love and Other Bruises’ 在美国灾难性的开始了,而他们最近由Jimmy Horowitz制作的澳大利亚单曲 ‘Do It Again’ 没能上榜。 “这太不可思议了。”  Russell说. “这简直是对灵魂的摧残。我们在2月份发行了一支单曲(‘Do It Again’), 一支很棒的单曲,但只有卖了400份拷贝。这是我们发行的第二好的单曲,但是销量真是令我们抓狂,‘我们已经被完全背弃了。’ 我们已经在别的乐队上看到了这种反弹,然后离开,然后变得消极的现象。”

      随着酒吧听众的愤怒,Air Supply乐队成员变得越来越沮丧。小镇的歌迷并不总是对Countdown里的帅小伙一直忠诚。Sherbet和Hush都在澳大利亚卖出几千张专辑,但是和Air Supply一样,他们也在澳大利亚酒吧里成为攻击的对象。许多乐队都被迫在巡演中带上三名管理人员来做保镖。一些墨尔本,悉尼,珀斯的郊区酒吧经常聚集着狡猾,暴力的青少年黑帮。“此时你的孤独感就像你被锁在宾馆房间里一样。”Sherbet的Darryl Braithwaite说,“你不得不待在房间里。一旦你进城,你会被暴力笼罩,到处都有人冲着你大喊。”

     对于Air Supply来说在巡演的这个时间点上,很难继续保持好的心态,乐队内部摩擦也接踵而至。当他们抵达昆士兰准备进行巡演时,在伊普斯维奇迎接他们的是看到一个女人在场馆外被殴打。这样的事情在酒吧时常发生,这地方正是Air Supply为这群暴力酒鬼演出的地方。Russell在巡演早期就得了嗓子感染,他说 “每次去昆士兰都会发生。”

      为了让巡演继续,巡演经理给伴奏乐手一个选择 - 减薪或者减人。这些乐手都很不情愿的接受了减薪,Air Supply则能够继续去珀斯和阿德莱德进行演出。而当伴奏乐手抵达珀斯的市中心酒店后,他们发现他们的房间脏乱差,房间还没有锁来保护那些乐器和装备。此外,当乐队成员得知Graham,Russell和Fred Bestall入住了小河公园旁的星级酒店后心情就更为沮丧了。在小型起义后,乐手们终于搬进了于Graham和Russell同样的酒店了。

       不满的乐队成员继续完成了余下的演出,但场次减少了,很明显Air Supply的音乐无法适应澳大利亚酒吧内的风格。在一次阿德莱德的室外演出之后,巡演过早的结束了。乐队经纪人团队责怪这次失败的巡演。“对巡演的宣传不足是致命的。” Ken Francis说, “公平的说,有些场馆确实不是好的选择, 对可怜的观众只会建立起坏名声。 - 有许多别的场馆更合适。情况越来越明朗我们渐渐地不太会获得好的反响了。我知道所有Bill Putt和Nigel Macara曾经合作过的乐队,我也曾经自一起好的摇滚乐队中待过,Graham和Russell的音乐不太可能有大的成功。”  ”      

       Russell相信,紧接着北美巡演在澳大利亚的这两个月是Air Supply历史上最悲惨的两个月,“这次澳大利亚巡演是是一个混乱的,没有准备的,错误的场馆,错误的广告。是个令人不快的经历。这太令人羞愧了,什么都是废话,没有组织的废话。显然我们的首支单曲是情歌 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 。然后你看到两个穿着像睡衣一样的家伙。我们去了昆士兰演出了几场演出,我们的6个人都住在同一个酒店房间。我们驱车前往那里,午夜抵达后不得不去叫醒前台小姐。我们的房间满是蟑螂。”  

      一名乐评家听过Air Supply在悉尼邦迪海滩的演出后写道:
      他们依旧穿着白色的演出服,他们的强项依然是Russell高亢清澈的嗓音。唯一的麻烦则是俱乐部里的赌徒。And for the skills Air Supply have to offer, they deserve something different to this. It’s no real surprise when the group gives an interview a week later in which it’s claimed they’re pulling up stakes and leaving Oz for ‘as long as possible.’ There’s absolutely no shame playing music for engaged couples (and other romantics) but it is a shame to put it in front of rock ‘n’ roll punch drunks. There’s obviously something wrong with the Oz Music biz when a band like Air Supply has to appear there. - Anthony O’Grady, RAM

      “过去我们曾经为AC/DC在邦迪海滩作过暖场演出,我觉得这里有世界上最长的吧台。”  Graham说,“AC/DC曾经在那里包场演出。可能有4到5千人在那个酒吧里观看。我们心想,‘噢天哪,那简直要我们的命!‘ 我们被吓坏了,声音震耳欲聋。我们穿着白色的衣服,唱着情歌。然后AC/DC过来接管了这里。但是做这样的演出给予了我们很好的经验。Angus和他的乐队成员到后台来告诉我们和我们一起演出是多么的高兴。这正是我们以后在世界别的角落演出的标志性风格。”

      澳大利亚贝斯手Bill Putt在Rod Stewart的北美巡演时被介绍进Air Supply,他也记得乐队的困难时期。“1977年我在美国,然后就碰到了他们。” Bill说,“他们说,‘当我们回澳大利亚的时候,你愿不愿意为我们弹贝斯?’ 然后我支支吾吾, ‘aaa-ooo-eeer-好吧。’ 我知道这仅仅只有3个月,然后就变成了几个星期,所以事实上我感觉还不错。他们都是好人。而那时[Air Supply] 太糟糕了。事实上,Russell问什么时候巡演结束,他是否可以再乐队里唱和声。他对他的那份钱已经绝望了。我们说,‘不,你太矮了,走开。’”

      “在许多方面上我们都是很不幸的。” Russell说,“我们的首支单曲在澳大利亚成名,我们也拥有了自己的乐队。接下来我们加入了Rod Stewart的巡演,突然我们不得不去了美国 - 从来没有哪支澳大利亚乐队遇到过这种情况,有机会再50万观众面前演出。但是由于签证失效,我们却没能继续待在这里。我们努力建立起来的人气就此渐渐淡去。许多人都对我们讲,‘你应该去唱 ‘My Way’ 和 ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ ,一个星期能赚1000美元。’ 我很确定我有能力这样。但是我不想,我想要这样,唱着Graham的歌,那真是相当美妙的一件事情!”     

      Air Supply不是唯一一支在自己家乡挣扎的澳大利亚乐队。1978年是自从1968年以来最糟糕的的一年,只有9张澳大利亚单曲在Top100内,专辑也是同样(9张)。当Dragon乐队的 ‘Are You Old Enough’ 在10月登上榜首时,这首歌成为了17个月内第一首本国冠军曲,而总成绩排行榜上,仅仅排名第14。具有讽刺意味的是,1978年也是澳大利亚音乐第一次真正进入世界排行榜的日子。9月,有两首澳大利亚单曲进入了美国榜Top 10,不管用什么标准看,这都是一个不可思议的成就。

      Graham在澳大利亚巡演之后搬进了阿德莱德的旅馆, 为了在阿德莱德老水手演出一个星期,在4月份见了一些新的伴奏乐手。这是Air Supply再次前往大洋对岸之前最后一次去澳大利亚。他们准备在曼谷表演几场,紧接在日本宣传演出之后。他们希望重新发行哥伦比亚唱片公司制作的Columbia ‘Love and Other Bruises’ 专辑,如今乐队的知名度有所提升,这次专辑将在年中时候发行,而不是像上次一样在圣诞节时候和许多歌手一起发行专辑。有传言说可能会再次和Rod Stewart一起巡演,这次是在英国和欧洲的演出。“没什么事是确定的,” Graham说,“太棒了!因为英国是相当难征服的。这是一个很好的跳板。”

      Graham搬到阿德莱德山上居住,这是阿德莱德城东部著名的产酒地。他在那里住了6个月,为Air Supply下张专辑写歌,专辑7月份将在洛杉矶录制。他们计划在美国校园进行低成本的宣传巡演,为了在那个国家重新建立自己的名望。似乎Air Supply的未来全依靠洛杉矶了,Peter Dawkins也住在这里。“我大部分歌都是在阿德莱德写成的。” Graham说,“似乎这里的感觉正合适。阿德莱德山相当宁静。我带着录音机爬山山顶,坐在一块平地上,然后歌就这么写成了。但是我们不得不搬到洛杉矶去。尽管那里成本很高,那里是世界音乐的中心。在澳大利亚你会遇到瓶颈 ,你只能走这么远了。”

      在Air Supply出访泰国和日本之前,和CBS的唱片合同被双面终止了。没有讨厌的法律战争。CBS不太喜欢乐队的发展方向(Air Supply想要录制更快节奏的歌曲),Air Supply也对这个厂牌日益增长的债务很不满意。“和CBS的分裂是比较友好的,主要因为我们没有得到应有的支持。"琐碎的事情互相烦扰着我们和公司。"Russell非常小心翼翼的没有把责任全部归结到CBS的头上。“我们首先要承认,我们搞砸了。我们把许多没有完成的事情留给了别人,但是我们从中吸取了教训。”

      几乎所有厂牌都会从艺人的版权费中获利。假如艺人发行了多张专辑,只有最后一张是成功的,直到所有专辑记录的成本已收回的特许权使用费所得的成功的专辑那么版权费才会被支付给艺人。Air Supply一开始三张专辑获得的利润微乎其微。CBS想通了因为美国专辑肯定不会在美国成功。加上,这是唱片公司的惯用手段,来把艺人从合同中解放出来,这样艺人的债务就会从中被注销掉。  

      最近几年,3到4家独立唱片公司开张,很快又关门,或者被主流唱片公司收购。这个有趣的问题可以这样解释:

      “越洋录制一张专辑,你必须得花费至少8000到12000美元。然而唱片公司说,‘但是只保证能在澳大利亚市场发行专辑,并且获得8000到12000美元才能保证这张专辑走向白金销量。但是几乎没有澳大利亚专辑卖掉50000份拷贝,获得白金销量。” - Anthony O'Grady, RAM

      没有唱片合同,只有不确定的未来,Air Supply不得不从头开始。 Graham回到他妻子和女儿现在居住的英格兰,在Air Supply/Rod Stewart北美巡演期间他们搬到了这里。父母的责任让Graham很难继续待在澳大利亚。他希望自己成为写歌的室内作家。他也同时计划着完成一部摇滚音乐剧,Sherwood,他正在写关于罗宾汉的故事。“那是在1975的时候,感受罗宾汉的国度的骄傲。” Graham说。“然后我头脑突然有了个点子, 我应该写一些歌关于罗宾汉和他得冒险故事,就叫‘Sherwood’。与此同时,我加入了耶稣超级巨星,在演出期间,我知道了这部叫Sherwood的音乐剧是可以被搬上舞台的。”

      Russell找了许多工作。其中一个是参与一个电影的制作特别是关于摇滚剪辑的,他的一位朋友Chris Lofven是墨尔本当地电影制作公司VTC(Videotape Corporation) 的。,他们制作了许多澳大利亚的音乐电影,如Daddy Cool, Split Enz, Spectrum, Mother Goose, and Skyhooks。The Little River Band,一个成功的澳大利亚组合,正在为他们的金曲 ‘Reminiscing,’拍摄一部MV,Russell被派出去买小组的三明治。“这真是我生命中一个莫大的羞辱”他说,“我知道有人应该会出去给我们买三明治。” Russell也做个录音室歌手,为麦斯威尔,可口可乐和美国快递做广告,但赚非常少得钱,因为广告支付固定的费用而不是每期播映支付费用。他被迫接受$120为可口可乐拍广告。由于入不敷出,Russell搬进了他父母的房子。  

      急需用钱,并且想要继续参与音乐界,Russell找了一个Darryl Cotton,和声歌手的工作。Darryl是澳大利亚乐队The Zoot的成员,1972年离开。在美国混迹5年多后,想要成为一名独唱歌手和演员,Darryl回到澳大利亚开启了独唱生涯。他集合了一些澳大利亚音乐人录制了专辑,包括了Sherbet,the Little River Band,John Paul Young’s band,和Air Supply的Russell Hitchcock。Russell唱了11首中得8首和声曲目,尽管他得声音非常的特别,特别是歌曲‘Don’t Let It Get To You,’ 这首歌在1978年8月份作为宣传单曲发行。“2个月后,它最终爬上了墨尔本排行榜第22名的位置。

      Darryl Cotton的这张专辑 ‘Best Seat in the House’花了两年时间来制作,于1980年4月发行。第二支单曲‘Same Old Girl’ 在国家排行榜上进入Top30,在2WS音乐排行榜上排名Top10 chart。这首歌让Cotton在1980年获得了一个最佳男声独唱的Countdown大奖,就在他过去的乐队Zoot获得最佳男乐队表演奖的10年后。‘Here Comes Another Heartache’ 是第三首单曲,在澳大利亚获得了很大的播放率 “Russell和我唱了专辑中的大多数和声。” Darryl说,“这张专辑慢慢制作了一年多,但实际上录音只用了2周就完成了。” ‘Don’t Let It Get To You’ 和 ‘Here Comes Another Heartache’ 同时作为单曲发布。但是没有一首像‘Same Old Girl’一样成功。Russell在这张专辑中的参与无疑是一个震撼人心的体验。他毕竟曾经是澳大利亚金唱片的拥有者,然后如今只能再次成为一个合声歌手。

      Air Supply相信他们最好再次成为三重唱,所以他们询问Darryl Cotton是否愿意加入乐队。“这相当有趣。” Cotton说,“因为在那个专辑之后 [‘Best Seat In The House’] ,Russell和我相处的很好,他对我说, ‘我现在的乐队正准备发行我们的第一张美国单曲。你是否愿意加入我们?’ 我说,‘看,我刚刚从美国回来。我很感激。’ 但是我却不能加入Air Supply。我挺喜欢Russell。我们相处很融洽。我听过Air Supply的‘Love and Other Bruises’,在美国真是个好机会。这是半路出家的美国风格。但是我对此说不,然后接下去的就是历史了。不然的话我也不会有我漂亮的女儿,很棒的儿子和妻子了。这些都是命中注定的。”  

      “我们那时确实考虑过 [让Darryl Cotton] 加入Air Supply,” Graham说。“这原本将会改变一切,因为他有如此棒的嗓音。我们认识他很长时间了,曾经看他和Zoot一起演出。但是啊想要他自己的音乐生涯。但是如果他加盟了,这简直太不可思议了,因为这第三个声音太棒了。我们这些年见过Darryl好多次,经常拿这个开玩笑。”  

      Graham和Linda结束了11年的婚姻。Graham长时间的分离让这段婚姻很难维持下去,特别是在北美与Rod Stewart长达6个月的巡演。“我一直在想这是不是一个机会。” Graham说,“我不打算让他溜走。我的两个孩子都还小,我不得不离开他们6个月。这真是太艰难了。我不得不做出如此牺牲,显然离婚是唯一的出路。”

      Graham回到澳大利亚,躲进了阿德莱德的旅馆中休整,更重要的是为Air Supply复出做准备。他写了许多新歌,也许是受到他的朋友Chrissie启发的。他们事实上他们已经同居了。Graham记得他写了改变他一生的那首歌的那个晚上。“我在阿德莱德与Chrissie住了6个月。” 他说道,“当我不是那么忙的时候,我会很不安。而那个不安的晚上我们有了一些争吵,我出去散散心,因为我不喜欢争吵。然后回来了时候我写了‘Lost In Love’,因为那完全是我那时所感受到的。 ”

      同时在阿德莱德,Graham找到了两个新的乐队成员,贝斯手:Brian Hamilton和主音吉他:David Moyse(他们都曾经是阿德莱德本土乐队The Jules Funk Band 的成员)。他们也一起在阿德莱德当地歌手David Ninnes的1974年的同名专辑中做出贡献。Brian的加入,让Air Supply再次成为了三重唱组合。同时加入乐队的是28岁澳大利亚鼓手Ralph Cooper,他曾经是广泛好评的艺术摇滚乐队Windchase的一员。由于财务上的原因,Windchase决定在1977年10月解散。他们刚刚结束了不成功的澳大利亚巡演,他们的单曲‘Glad To be Alive’ 在电台中的表现也不佳。乐队成员认为他们可以在别的乐队中挣更多钱。“一开始乐队只有三个家伙Russell, Graham 和Jeremy Paul加上伴奏乐队。” Ralph Cooper说。“他们想要成为一支真正的乐队,所以我加入了。他们似乎很喜欢我的鼓点,我也喜欢这些歌。我自由热爱爵士,摇滚和乡村音乐。Air Supply的风格非常适合我。”

      Graham准备在美国寻找一些新乐队成员。“我们相信在这里一定能很容易找到人。” Graham说,“在过去几个月,我们一直在排练,为新专辑组织新歌。而此刻,最重要的事情则是如此。我们比过去更摇滚了。我们相互之间更加了解了,音乐的制作速度也更快了。我们比过去好多了我们一直在添加新元素进去。我们录制的音乐不是像过去那种喧嚣的商业音乐。 ‘Love And Other Bruises’ 尽管是一首好歌,但它也是商业化的产物,为市场制造出来的。但是我们如今把更多重点放到音乐的感觉上来了。我们希望人们能体会到这种感觉。”     

      尽管和Billy Gaff继续在合作,他去了澳大利亚见了最近签得艺人John Cougar,他还是不太为人知晓。Gaff回到美国继续制作专辑中余下的歌曲。同时,Air Supply已经无法负担起巡演途中的费用了,因为他们只能为了$200到$300演出一晚。然而乐队却有7名成员。David Moyse同意花100美元一星期雇佣一名随从,他好几次考虑要离开乐队。Russell致电Graham告诉他不知道他还能坚持多久。Graham向他解释道他正在写一些新歌,需要Russell带着之前一起巡演的一些家伙到阿德莱德来一起完成制作。Russell花了16个小时乘上从悉尼到阿德莱德的巴士,Graham用木吉他唱了其中的一首(Lost In Love)。在完成之前,Russell知道一定有特别的东西会发生, “这是一首金曲,这一定可以把我们的事业推向海外。”

 楼主| 发表于 2013-2-5 14:16 | 显示全部楼层
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 楼主| 发表于 2015-1-13 12:57 | 显示全部楼层
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