Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Daryl Hall v. John Oates: Possible Reason for TRO, Flashback to 1985 Article That Shut Them Down First Time


Big news from TMZ today that Daryl Hall, one of the least liked pop musicians of all time, has filed for a Temporary Restraining Order against his business and music collaborator of 50 years, John Oates. Hall is also suing Oates, and both cases are sealed in a Nashville court.

TMZ only speculates why Hall has gone against Oates, a move that should finish them off as a group. Years ago they split up, but then reunited as a touring act for the money. Otherwise, they’ve had nothing to do with each other for decades.

You don’t remember this, but the Hall and Oates hit making machine has been over since the mid 80s. They gave what is now an historic interview to Rolling Stone’s Lynn Hirschberg that put all the nails in the coffin.

Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s weird,” Hall says, without a trace of irony. “I’m just about the best singer I know, and it’s time for everybody to say that. I have total facility with my voice. And for some weird reason, critics don’t talk about it. Americans think that if you’re popular there must be something wrong with you. To me, the best music now is music that everyone’s listening to. Obscurity is just obscurity. There’s no romance in obscurity.” Hall pauses to spear some more pasta. This subject clearly frustrates him; Oates shrugs it off.“I think we’re the Eighties Beatles,” Hall continues. “If we had been born twenty years earlier, maybe the world would have seen that. There’s something about our personalities that is very Lennon-and-McCartneyesque. And there is something about the body of work that we both have that’s similar.” Hall pauses again. “I know people will have trouble accepting that,” he says finally. “But I don’t have any trouble accepting it.”

Stories about Hall and his personal life have been around for years, especially about his one time girlfriend and co-writer, Sara Allen, and her sister, Jana, who died in 1993 from leukemia. Hall was also married for six years, from 2009 to 2015, to British socialite Amanda Aspinall. She filed for divorce but died from an apparent heart attack before it was finalized.

Hall and Oates have always had a contentious relationship, with Hall nearly always trying to downplay Oates’ contribution to their hits. But Hall has never been able to have a successful solo career despite making a few albums by himself. That alone may fuel his anger toward his partner.

“You think John Oates is my partner? … He’s my business partner,” Hall said last year. “He’s not my creative partner.” He announced last year that their time together was over.

What could be happening now? John Oates published a dry memoir in 2017 that didn’t give much personal juice about his relationship with Hall, or anything about their lives beyond the hits and the shows. The book ends around the year 2000. With the relationship totally broken, Oates may be ready to write the real book and set the facts straight. Hall could very well be trying to stop that, although he won’t have much luck. Oates can write his own story, assert the truth, and so on, just like Britney Spears. Hall could try and prevent him from using lyrics to their songs or prevent Oates from discussing him at all. There’s plenty that hasn’t been written.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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