Hall Versus Oates: What Went Wrong?

No one thought much of it when Daryl Hall and John Oates set out on separate tours this year. They'd done it before only to reunite for arena shows.

John Oates onstage at the original City Winery in Manhattan, Daryl Hall performing with Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives at his club in Pawling, NY.

John Oates onstage at the original City Winery in Manhattan, Daryl Hall performing with Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives at his club in Pawling, NY.

Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco (BOTH PHOTOS)

So maybe some but not others were surprised by the news that the pair is embroiled in a legal battle, one that led Hall to obtain a temporary restraining order against his now-former music partner.

A judge has sealed a lawsuit that Hall filed last week in Nashville, where Oates lives, according to multiple news outlets.

So little is known about the dispute -- other than maybe that it's gone too far (but you know it don't matter anyway).

Pennsylvania natives Daryl Franklin Hohl, 77, and John William Oates, 75, met when both were attending Temple University in 1967. They signed their first record contract five years later and produced a radio-friendly blue-eyed soul that made them prominent purveyors of the sweet burgeoning sound of Philadelphia.

Hall and Oates quickly had a hit with "She's Gone." They went on to international superstardom, selling more albums than any duo in recorded music history and rifling off chart toppers that included "Rich Girl," "Sara Smile," "Kiss On My List," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," "One on One," "You Make My Dreams," "Say It Isn't So" and "Out of Touch."

Hall launched the "Live From Daryl's House" webcast more than 15 years ago, featuring musicians who traveled to his then-home in Millerton, NY, to perform with him and his band.

The still-soulful singer shifted the stage to Daryl's House, a restaurant and live music club that he opened on Route 22 in Pawling, NY, on Halloween 2014.

Guests on the Webby Award-winning show included Kenny Loggins, Joe Walsh, Smokey Robinson, the O'Jays, Aaron Neville, Cheap Trick and CeeLo Green. Hall also took the show on the road to Charleston for a special episode with Darius Rucker.

Oates, meanwhile recorded five solo albums, including the critically acclaimed Americana masterpiece "Arkansas" in 2018.

That same year, "Live From Daryl's House" broadcast what would be its last episode for five years. The show returned earlier this month, kicking off with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, on a dedicated YouTube channel.

Although they were more often soul alone than together, Hall & Oates never officially split up.

Oates told GQ in 2021 that they had "way more ups than downs" and called it "a miracle" that he and Hall were still playing together.

Then came an infamous interview on Bill Maher's "Club Random" podcast last year in which Hall said: "You think John Oates is my partner? 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 also downplayed the role that Oates played in the partnership -- citing, for instance, the song "Kiss On My List."

"I did all those [harmonies]," he told Maher. "That’s all me."

Hall and Oates performed onstage together for the last time at the Laughlin Event Center in Nevada on Oct. 22, 2022.

Oates earlier this year released a reggae version of "Maneater," which he claimed was how it was originally supposed to sound more than 40 years ago.

That may or may not have influenced the Daryl Hall Revocable Trust to file a contract lawsuit against Oates and two co-trustees of The John W. Oates TISA Trust in Nashville Chancery Court last Thursday, Nov. 16.

That same day, Hall's lawyers applied for a TRO, which a judge granted on Friday. Oates and his co-trustees were then sent summonses.

A judge sealed all the papers for the time being. Details are expected to emerge as the case moves on.

Hall is in Japan, continuing a "Live From Daryl's House" tour with Todd Rundgren and the members of his webcast band.

Oates is headed to Colorado at the end of December and the beginning of January, with a May date scheduled at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Meanwhile, longtime Hall and Oates fans better learn how to face it.

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