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4/16: An interview with Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates

For Generation Xers, Hall & Oates were a guilty pleasure imbued with white-boy soul, instantly hummable tunes and that oddly enthralling John Oates’ mustache.

But despite their success (29 top 40 hits), they never had the resonance or respect of their ‘80s counterparts such as Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson.

Yet there they were in December on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” serenading the departure of Alan Colmes from “Hannity & Colmes” with a tongue-in-cheek parody of “She’s Gone.” Then they popped up recently on “Dancing With the Stars” crooning “Maneater.”

And ABC’s new dramedy “Cupid” in its very first episode March 31 featured a plotline revolving around — you guessed it — Hall & Oates.

What’s going on?

Lead singer Daryl Hall isn’t sure but their core fans who grew up with them, now in their 30s and 40s, are in positions of influence as critics and producers of TV shows. That’s helping keep them in the spotlight.

And many of the duo’s fans will be singing along to classics such as “Rich Girl” and “Private Eyes” Friday at Chastain Park Amphitheatre. We talk with Hall about his career.

On his relationship with John Oates: “We never separated. We are never completely together either. That’s the essence of Hall and Oates. We have individual lives and we share stages. That’s the way it’s been since we were 18 years old.”

On the tour: “It’s going to be more intimate. We’re going to mostly play acoustic guitars. We’re going to bring back some songs from our early days.”

On Hall’s monthly Web show “Live From Daryl’s House,” which features Hall playing with artists such as K.T. Tunstall and Matt Nathanson at his home: “I’ve been collaborating with people for years as a way to step out of my comfort zone. And instead of going around the world to make my music, let’s bring the world to me.”

On Chastain Park Amphitheatre: “Chastain’s cool as long as the weather is good. It’s a real casual thing. People go out there, bring their wine and hang out and have a good time. In its own way, it’s intimate.”

On looking so young for his age [somewhere in the 60 year old range]: “I think by nature I’m a relatively moderate person. I don’t eat myself to death. I have good genes. I try to pace myself.”

On playing the same songs over and over: “I don’t think I’ve ever done a show where I don’t sing ‘She’s Gone’ or ‘Sara Smile.’ But you know those songs. They’ve evolved in a way they’re still fresh. I still have as much fun singing those songs as I did when I wrote them.”

On Oates’ mystical mustache, which he actually got rid of in 1990: “I have no idea. Ask Bert Reynolds, not me!”

4 comments Add your comment

Wink

April 16th, 2009
3:51 pm

After watching the clip from DWTS I’ll need some crackers to go with that cheese!

Christopher Cook

April 17th, 2009
8:42 am

Never could figure out Hall and Oates apart from they seemed to churn out disposable pop with catch phrases meant to be recited by the nation’s teenyboppers. Sort of like what Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers are doing now.

Linda Lou

April 17th, 2009
1:31 pm

John Oates…

Best. Pornstache. Ever.

Ray

June 25th, 2009
11:28 pm

One needs to listen to what H&O songs are not popular to truly get what they are about. It is all about the soul and the groove… that is what was important in Philly when they were growing up. The lyrics and message came second.

More challenging times like exist now tend to lead people to nostalgic, better times… like the 80’s. H&O were an important part of that era, especially with the musical stylings of Big Bam Boom… an H&O effort that introduced newer technology.