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John Oates Speaks Out on Relationship with Daryl Hall Amid Legal Battle

'The Hall & Oates catalog of hits will always trump almost anything that Daryl does on his own or I do on my own,' Oates told podcaster David Yontef.

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The strange late-2023 saga of Hall & Oates added another chapter on Dec. 27, when John Oates appeared on a podcast to discuss his relationship with partner Daryl Hall, with whom he recently became embroiled in a high-profile legal battle.

The two longtime collaborators have been grabbing headlines ever since Nov. 16, when Hall filed for a then-mysterious restraining order against Oates. The heart of the dispute turned out to revolve around Hall’s claim that Oates attempted to sell his share of their joint company, Whole Oats Enterprises, to music publisher Primary Wave IP Investment Management LLC without consulting Hall. Oates described Hall’s claim as “inflammatory, outlandish and inaccurate” in a statement.

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The two longtime collaborators have been locked in a public legal battle since November.

Amidst the bad blood, Oates stopped by David Yontef’s “Behind the Velvet Rope” podcast, discussing his relationship with his erstwhile partner.

“You can’t ignore the fact that the Hall & Oates catalog of hits, and (our) 50-year career, will always trump almost anything that Daryl does on his own or I do on my own,” Oates said on the show. “Which is okay because I’m very proud of that music. I’m really proud of what Daryl and I created together.”

He went on to discuss the “heavy demands” of his time during Hall & Oates’ 1980s heyday. “Daryl and I were at the top of the pop world,” he said. “We had No. 1 record after No. 1 record. We were traveling around the world constantly. Everyone thinks that that was probably the high point of my life, but to be honest with you, it actually wasn’t my favorite time.

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Hall made headlines in November when he filed for a restraining order against Oates over a business dispute.

“I don’t like to live in the past,” he continued. “I make the analogy of what it’s like when you go to a great museum and you’re really excited to go and see all the beautiful paintings or the exhibits or whatever it might be, and then near the end, your feet start to hurt and you say, ‘You know what? I can’t wait to get out of here.’ That’s kind of how I feel about it.”

Famously first meeting on a Philadelphia elevator in 1967, Hall & Oates notched 16 top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1976 and 1990, reaching No. 1 with “Rich Girl,” “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” “Maneater” and “Out of Touch.”

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'I don't like to live in the past,' Oates said on a podcast on Dec. 27.

As wildly successful as they were together, their personal relationship was not always close. As Hall said of Oates last September: ”He’s my business partner. He’s not my creative 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 & Oates was inducted into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Hall's award-winning web series Live From Daryl's House returned this fall after an extended hiatus, while Oates made an unexpected appearance as a contestant on The Masked Singer earlier this month.

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