(Philadelphia) If you’re like me, you like to picture Daryl Hall and John Oates as BFFs, playing shows and making ladies swoon, then hitting the streets as pop’s smoothest private investigators. The next morning they roll out of their bunk bed to harmonize while flipping pancakes and blow-drying their hair and waxing their mustache.
“Nope!” they say in unison. “We’ve got too much music in us!”
Alas, this is not the case. Longtime fans will tell you: Hall & Oates have broken up and reunited several times. And despite their awesome combined power — eight platinum records, six number one hits — the two often have often gone years without playing or recording together.
And, I mean, they still like to do things together sometimes. As a pair, they sued their own publisher in 2008. They teamed up again to sue a granola company for selling “Haulin’ Oats” back in 2015. And we can’t forget those hometown HoagieNation concerts (2017, 2018 and 2021), headlined by Hall & Oates.
But, here. Watch a little bit of this interview Hall did in Bill Maher’s sad little basement last year. It’s cued up to the bit where Hall refers to Oates as his brother but mainly his business partner, not his creative partner. Then Hall smirks about how several Hall & Oates songs were way more Hall than Oates.
It can be irksome having your name and career tethered to somebody else. “It’s very annoying to be a duo,” Hall told the LA Times in 2022, while trying to discuss his latest solo record. “Everything you do is juxtaposed against another person. Try doing that sometime. I don’t want to use the word ‘emasculating,’ because that’s male, but it takes away your individuality.”
Furthermore, however friendly Daryl Hall and John Oates are with each other, the pair are also business partners, which is why it’s maybe not so surprising to see this lawsuit filed in Nashville chancery court last week. Yes, Hall is suing Oates. (h/t to Nashville journalist Nate Rau for tweeting about it on Friday.) Here’s what that looks like: