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第2-4章:Croissants Anyone?

发布者: hitchcock | 发布时间: 2017-8-29 14:09| 查看数: 113| 评论数: 0|帖子模式


Right: Billboard issue that covered the MIDEN conference in 1979.


Above: Marc released a solo album call Fiji Bitter in 1979.
Right: Ad from the Billboard issues that covered the MIDEM conference in 1979.

Croissants Anyone?

      The year was 1979, and I was living in London at a friend of a friend's apartment, completely broke with no prospects. Russell was in Australia working  as a runner and assistant to a video company, and I was trying to gamer interest in my songs from anyone I could. Back then, I tried to make demos at this tiny recording studio. I had to get the Tube to the other side of the city, always in rush hour. I used to dread it, but I needed to do something. I was running out of money, friends and favors.

      "Lost in Love" had already been a big hit for use in Australia, as had "All Out of Love," but we couldn't afford to be on the road. We were making $250 a show with a Top 10 single and album. It would cost us twice that to rent a PA and pay people, so we stopped working live. I thought England might hold something, but it turned out to be just the same, only with a lot of rain and grey skies.

      With my last few pounds shrinking away, I decided to go to see a psychic in London. Maybe they could offer some insight into my life. In a nutshell, the lady, who was very nice, said that I was in a dark tunnel. I already knew that part, but she also said that I was approaching a bend in the tunnel and would soon see daylight. Everything was going to change.

      I left her house feeling much better that when I arrived. Then when I got back to the flat, I had an envelope from Australia. It was a check for publishing for the previous six months. It was for 300 pounds.

      With this vast sum, I decided to take my two young children out for the day to a beach city on the train. With the rest, I decide to go to the publishing convention, MIDEM, held in Cannes in the south of France. This sounds very rich and famous, but believe me, I was the furthest I could be from either. My objective was to sell some songs or at least generate some interest in any of them from the major publishers that would be there from all over the world.
      I had already written several hits, so my track record spoke for itself. I was certain I could get something cooking.

      I went to Cannes the cheapest way I could - bus, ferry, train and a very cheap hotel. When I arrived, I was feeling under the weather with a fever, and I wondered if I'd eaten something bad on my trip. So I spent my first night in beautiful south of France throwing up every 20 minutes. I couldn't leave the room for two days, having certainly acquired food poisoning from somewhere. I hadn't eaten or drank anything all that time and was terribly weak and thin.

      On the third day, I started to feel a little better and a waiter brought a croissant, jam and coffee to my room. But at the sight of it, I began throwing up all over again. The next day, it had subsided enough for me to leave the room for the first time. I disovered then that convention had finished the day before and everyone had gone. I was devastated. I didn't know what to do, so I walked the deserted streets for about a stack of Billboard magazines left over from the convention. I picked one up, sat down and ordered a black tea (taking the big risk of drinking anything).

      I looked at the front page of the magazine and at the bottom it said, ""Lost in Love" enters the Hot 100 and is destined to go Top 5." I thought to myself, "That's typical. Another artist has released a song called 'Lost in Love,' and now there's no hope for us!" I read on, turning to Page 5 as instructed for the whole story. I saw a photograph of Russell and me, and it said, "Air Supply's 'Lost in Love' storms the U.S. charts, 70 with a double bullet!" I couldn't believe it. I literally looked up for a second and thought I was delirious. I thought it must have been the fever, that I was actually dreaming and really still in bed.

      But I wasn't. It was true. Clive Davis had heard the track from Australia somehow, bought the rights to it and released it all without our knowledge. I didn't care how it had happened; I just knew at that moment that my life had changed forever. I knew if we had a hit in the United States, it was huge and our financial worries were over.

      I miraculously felt my strength coming back to my body. I had a permanent grin from ear to ear. The confirm that my luck had changed, as I left the cafe and walked down the center of the cobbled road, I saw another tall person walking toward me that looked familiar. As we got closer to each other, the oncoming figure stretched out his arms in a gesture of greeting. Then I knew who it was, a very good friend of Russell and mine from another band in Australia. I put out my arms, too, and we embraced for about a minute. He also needed a friendly face, but not as much as I did.

      It was Marc Hunter from the group Dragon. We were on the same label in Australia and great friends. They had enjoyed even more success than we had. Marc was a big heartthrob with the girls. We were both 6-foot-5, but he just looked bigger and had a personality to match. I shared my good news with him, and he was thrilled. We celebrated with a few coffees in a posh cafe and promised to meet up back in London, which we did before I left England to go back to Australia.

      While still in Cannes, I made two phone calls - one to Russell, who had just discovered the news, and one to Clive Davis, who was in Los Angeles. I asked Clive if it was all for real. He said yes but that he needed the album ASAP to follow the success of the single that he assured me was going all the way. Back in Australia, it was all over the news and in all the papers. We put the band together again and went into rehearal for the album. We had already recorded "All Out of Love", and a few other songs. We add "Chances," "Having Your Near Me," "Old Habits Die Hard," "My Best Friend" and "Every Woman in The World," We soon had the album ready and headed back to the United States while "Lost in Love" was sitting at No.2. We were ready for anything and everything!

      It took me years to get past the sight of jam and croissants after Cannes. But I was so thankful I got to spend a few days with Marc in London. He sadly passed away a few years ago, a great loss.

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