Monday, April 07, 2008

I Have To Get Air Supply Off My iPod

I got their Greatest Hits CD from the library, under the influence of a blow to the head by nostalgia. One of my very first concerts ever was Air Supply. I saw them with my parents at the Front Row Theater in Akron. The Front Row, now defunct, was an interesting place to see a concert. The circular stage was in the center of the theater and rows of seats radiated out. The novelty of this place was that the stage revolved so that everyone could have a “Front Row” view of the band.

It was also a bit of a fancy theater; people got dressed up to go to concerts there. I was probably 10 years old when I put on a dress, tights, and patent leather shoes to ride 45 minutes with my parents to see Air Supply in concert. I was so psyched! Air Supply was on MTV and I was going to see them. It was a very grown-up evening for me. We got a program. I got a button. My Dad walked up the aisle to the stage’s edge and took pictures. It was awesome.

I look back at that evening, though, and scratch my head. What was it about Air Supply? Why would we want to go see them? And what was a 10 year-old doing being psyched by such a concert? Because I was definitely psyched. But, have you listened to the lyrics? Check them out…

I’m all out of love. I’m so lost without you. I know you were right, believing for so long. I 'm all out of love, what am I without you? I can't be too late to say that I was so wrong.

Or worse, here is a small sample of a truly bizarre song. If you get a moment, find the lyrics and read them in their entirety. Kooky, I tell you. But I’ll supply you with the kookiest, to save you some time.

I can make the run or stumble, I can make the final block; And I can make every tackle, at the sound of the whistle, I can make all the stadiums rock. [oh, really? Who do they think they are, Styx?] I can make tonight forever, Or I can make it disappear by the dawn; And I can make you every promise that has ever been made, And I can make all your demons be gone. But I’m never gonna make it without you, Do you really want to see me crawl? And I’m never gonna make it like you do, Making love out of nothing at all.

I just don’t understand what they mean by the last line. What does that mean? Can someone explain it to me please? “And I’m never gonna make it like you do, Making love out of nothing at all.” Does that mean she fakes it? I don’t know. It’s making my neck hurt, frankly, trying to figure this out. But, the bottom line is, why would my 10-year-old self be engaged by their music? It’s obviously aimed at adults who have mortgages. Perhaps my habit of listening to music and hearing the vocals as just another instrument is the key. I’m often surprised by the content of lyrics well after I’ve been snagged by a song’s hook [coughjohnmayercough].

Anyway, since I put their greatest hits CD on my iTunes and then synched my iPod (It’s a shuffle named Twiggy), I’ve enjoyed the occasional blast from the past from Air Supply, mingled amongst the likes of Sergio Mendez, the Black Eyed Peas, Blake Lewis, Dolly Parton, and the Old Crow Medicine Show. But whenever I hook up the iTunes to my car stereo, which the kids and I call “listening to rock and roll,” they complained loudly whenever any Air Supply tune came up. “That’s not rock and roll, Mommy…skip it!” I always comply, of course. I must maintain my cred as a rock and roll momma.

And now when I listen to my iPod at work, Air Supply comes up, I start grinding my teeth. It’s like…remember when Wendy’s started using “Blister in the Sun” for their add campaign and you were all like, “Whaaaaa?? The Violent Femmes on mainstream TV…awesome!” and then they kept playing it and then the band got in a fight saying Gordon Gano sold the rights without consulting the other two and then you’re pissed because your favorite fringe group had just sold out to a fast food restaurant and now when you hear that song it just cheeses you off instead of sending a thrill up your spine that something very special has just floated over the airwaves? It’s kind of like that. A little bit of shame and a shitload of annoyance.
Therefore, Air Supply delenda est. Toot sweet.


  1. A long time ago I asked my In laws for a Fresh Aire album for a Christmas present.

    Mom in law goes to the store, mentions to the helpful clerk that her sonny in law wants "air something" for Christmas, and lo and behold, I wind up owning an Air Supply album...

  2. I own Air Supply's Greatest Hits on LP. I got it for 35 cents at a library sale in college. I feel that that's an appropriate amount to spend acquiring the Air Supply collection. I was frankly amazed when I would see it among the CD collections of college friends and acquaintances; 'til then, I honestly believed those people where cool. However, "Makin' Love Outta Nothin' At All" and "Here I Am" are among the great cheesy ballads of the time. Awesome kitsch value. Your girls are probably a little young to appreciate kitsch. (Although I think you should lay Cheap Trick's "Surrender" on them and see what happens.) Also, Air Supply is for the lovelorn, and you've got Doc. I like the story of the tights and patent leather shoes; I was that little girl sometimes. Wasn't it great?

  3. You know, I always thought that "love outta nothin at all" line referred to a kind of MacGyver-type approach to sex & relationships. You know, like making something substantial out of inconsequential bits.

    Come to think of it, that explanation makes less sense than the line does.

  4. The girls have "Surrender" down pat.

    Flannery, you should repost the video of Lucy singing it.

    I love Cheap Trick. I hate Air Supply and I don't consider Cheap Trick kitsch. They're just Rock-N-Roll, plain and simple.

    "Who do they think they are, Styx?"

    Haha, Flannery you rock!

  5. hmmm... Well, getting dolled up for ANY concert when you're 10 rocks pretty hard, U know.

    And lets admit something here: Air Supply was pretty campy and mushy (and queer, frankly) back when they were hott: we were pretty forgiving with music and whatnot during the 80's (look at Mike Score's hair, lookit all them menfolk with makeup, lookit Stryker, the 80's Christian metal band-- christ, they were so bad you can't even FIND them on Wiki now, such is our collective desire to forget. You certainly can't blame your 10 year old self (who probably didn't listen to the lyrics anyway) for this.

    Scrub & reload the iPod. You and I BOTH know, in our heart of hearts, some day you'll put one or 2 of their bestests back on there in a seperate playlist marked "my dirty lil' secret" that th' kids will never hear. It's OK-- I gotcher back.

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  7. Hey Cap'n, you're thinking of Stryper. I know lots of things I shouldn't.

  8. I say that your iPod is contaminated. You have to give it to me so I can obliterate the library!

  9. Uh, I don't see the problem here. "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" is like, one of the greatest songs ever and that line about making all the stadiums rock is at once unintentionally hilarious and totally awesome. It's a Jim Steinman song, so no one should be surprised that it is a dramatic masterpiece.

    I have the Air Supply Greatest Hits CD, and I will give it up when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

    I was very sad when the NYC band, Hair Supply (a metal tribute to Air Supply) disbanded, because I never got to see them. There were many thwarted attempts, but I never made it. But you should look them up on MySpace, because their page still exists and their cover of "Lost in Love" is grrrrreat.

    They've now become "Tragedy," the metal tribute to the Bee Gees. I don't know if that will be as funny, but I may have to try to see that mess as well.

  10. "One of my very first concerts ever was Air Supply."

    At first this alarmed me, until your follow up: "I saw them with my parents."