Hall & Oates’ lawsuit and career ups and downs: It’s ‘f—k up’ being a duo

Hall & Oates’ lawsuit and career ups and downs: It’s ‘f—k up’ being a duo

hall and oates

They’ve lost that loving feeling.

When John Oates met Daryl Hall in 1967 is was the start of a beautiful friendship and musical partnership.

The two Philadelphia bred singer/songwriters eventually formed the pop duo Hall & Oates, were signed to Atlantic Records by Ahmet Ertegun and released their first album, “Whole Oats,” together in 1972.

Throughout their nearly five decade-spanning career, Hall & Oates released eight platinum albums and topped the Hot 100 chart more than half a dozen times with their plethora of no. 1 singles, including “Rich Girl,” “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” “Maneater” and “Out of Touch.”

Hall & Oates would go on to become the number one selling duo in American pop history but on Nov. 16 the duo hit a sour note when Hall, 77, shocked fans around the world and filed a lawsuit against his former musical partner Oates, 75.

The Post has reached out to both Hall’s and Oates’ reps for comment.

Here’s a look at the ups and downs of one of the greatest musical duos of all time, who went from making their dreams come true to sadly being out of touch.

June 2003: Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

Daryl Hall and John Oates of Hall and Oates, posed outside of the TopPop Studio Hilversum, Netherlands, January 1976. They were recording a video for their hit single ‘Sara Smile’.

In 2003 Hall and Oates were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, joining the ranks of some of the greatest artists in the industry including Bob Marley, Jon Bon Jovi, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Sting, Dolly Parton, Jay-Z and Elton John.

April 2014: Sworn into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Hall & Oates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10th, 2014 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center alongside Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt. Although it seemed like the duo had it in the bag, it was an honor that they didn’t see coming.

“I didn’t think it would happen as long as the people who were in power stayed in power,” Hall said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I’ve always been sort of on the other side of the fence with the old guard and the powers-that-be.”

Daryl Hall and John Oates of Hall And Oates perform on a TV show in 1975 in Hilversum, Netherlands.

He added: “So it was a bit of a surprise to me. This turn of events and the way things are changing is very pleasant. I think it’s the right thing and I think it validates something that needs to have a reason to be serious.”

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Despite the honor, Hall revealed in an interview with The Post’s Hardeep Phull in 2016 that the pomp and circumstance surrounding the event and drawn out acceptance speeches left them underwhelmed.

“It’s the most boring night in the world, if you ask me,” said Hall

March 2017: Founded the HoagieNation Festival

Famed duo Daryl Hall & John Oates took the “Dancing with the Stars” stage by storm with their Billboard No. 1 single, “Maneater,” from their 1982 album, “H2O,” accompanied by professional dancers Karina Smirnoff, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani and Dmitry Chaplin, on “Dancing with the Stars’” results show.

Hall & Oates founded the HoagieNation Festival: a celebration of everything Philly and headlined the event in 2017, 2018 and 2021.

“HoagieNation is a wonderful and colorful place where the citizens are united by a love of cold meat and Amoroso’s rolls,” said Hall in a Live Nation press release for the event. “P.S. they ALL got soul!”

“Philly is famous for a lot of things, but the highlights just might be the amazing music and of course the HOAGIE! Well we are going to put it all together for you on May 27th at the Daryl Hall and John Oates HoagieNation festival,” added Oates. “This will be the first, this will be historic, and you NEED to be there.”

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The inaugural event in 2017 also featured performances by international multi-platinum selling band Tears For Fears plus Philadelphia son G. Love & Special Sauce, Vivian Green, Marah, Son Little, Allen Stone and Kandace Springs.

“Daryl and John hold a special place in the hearts of Philadelphia music fans,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney at the time. “We are extremely excited that they are launching their first-ever curated festival back where it all began, right here in Philadelphia.”

February 2020: Hall & Oates request separate interviews with The New York Post

Ahead of their sold-out show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Hall and Oates sat down with The Post’s Chuck Arnold for an exclusive interview. Although the duo claimed they “never fight,” Hall & Oates may have already been on outs, conducted separate interviews for the story.

“John and I never fight,” he told The Post. “We’ve never had a real fight since we’ve known each other — and that’s since we were kids, teenagers. We just know to deal with each other. That’s why we’re still together.”

Oates later implied that he was surprised the band was still together after so many years. 

“The fact that Daryl and I are still friends, that he and I still get along — it’s a miracle,” he said oddly foreshadowing the lawsuit that had not yet come. “But we do.”

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Stuart M Berg

March 2022: Hall admits its “f—ked up” being in a duo

Hall has released five solo albums throughout his career starting with “Sacred Songs” in 1980 and although he has always reunited with Oates to tour and record, in an interview with Los Angeles Times, the rocker confessed that he didn’t enjoy being in a duo.

“I don’t like it,” he said. “John and I call our touring company ‘Two-Headed Monster,’ because it is that. It’s very annoying to be a duo, because people always say, ‘Oh, you’re the tall one, you’re the short one. You’re the one that sings, you’re the one that doesn’t sing.’ You’re always compared to the other person. It works with comedy entities, like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, but with music, it’s f— up, actually.”

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The musician also implied that Hall & Oates had seemingly broken up.

“I don’t have any plans to work with John,” he explained. “I mean, whatever. Time will tell.”

While there were rumors that the duo would be releasing a new album “before the pandemic,” he admitted that Covid-19 altered their plans.

“Perceptions changed, life changed, everything changed,” Hall said. “I’m more interested in pursuing my own world. And so is John. That takes me back to what I was saying about duos. I had to say, ‘And so is John.’ I couldn’t just say what I think, I had to add what he thinks. That’s the f— up part of being a duo.”

September 2022: Daryl Hall says he doesn’t view Oates as a complete equal

During an appearance on Bill Maher’s “Club Random” podcast, Halls alludes to the fact that he views Oates as his subordinate.

“You think John Oates is my partner? He’s my business partner. He’s not my creative partner,” he said in a dismissive tone. “John and I are brothers, but we are not creative brothers. We are business partners. We made records called Hall & Oates together, but we’ve always been very separate, and that’s a really important thing for me.”

Hall then cited the duo’s 1980 No. 1 hit “Kiss on My List” as an example of their apparent creative separation. “I did all those [harmonies],” Hall said. “That’s all me.” Oates is not credited as a songwriter on “Kiss on My List,” but is listed as a co-produced with Hall.

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March 2023: John Oates reveals Hall & Oates are done touring

John Oates of Hall & Oates performs on day 1 of the ALL IN Arts & Music Festival at Indiana State Fairgrounds on September 03, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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Fans hoping to see Hall & Oates live may be out of luck. In an interview with The Big Take Over, Oates revealed the band is done hitting the road

“Daryl and I are pretty much finished touring,” he said. “I don’t foresee, and I never say never, but right now I don’t see any tours. And I think we both have grown apart professionally and personally. I think we both want to do something else.”

Oates did not imply that the duo were feuding and instead blamed the break on their age. “I don’t want to sound like doom and gloom, but there’s a reality to being old, to being our age,” he explained. “I think Daryl and I feel the exact same way. As our life is winding down, we want to make up for lost time and do the things that we didn’t get a chance to do while we were working together.”

November 2023: Daryl Hall gets restraining order against John Oates

Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates performs on day 1 of the ALL IN Arts & Music Festival at Indiana State Fairgrounds on September 03, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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On Nov. 16, Hall filed a lawsuit in Nashville, Tennessee, relating to a “contract/debt,” according to court records viewed by The Post.

Little is known about the lawsuit since the court documents are sealed, but based on court records, Hall and his organization The Daryl Hall Revocable Trust filed an undisclosed complaint against Oates’ trust, The John W. Oates TISA Trust, and its co-trustees in Davidson County Chancery Court.

The lawsuit also names Oates’ wife, Aimee, who holds the role as trustee of her husband’s investment trust.

The following day, the court officially issued a temporary restraining order, to begin Nov. 30, against Oates, although there are no details as to what the injunction exactly prohibits the singer from doing.

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