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The Legendary John Oates Discusses Break With Daryl Hall, Aging Gracefully, And Reuniting With Himself

He may not be the tallest musician going, but John Oates casts a immensely large shadow in music. One part of the most successful duo in music history—Daryl Hall & John Oates—he co-wrote a number of the band’s legendary catalogue including “Sara Smile,” “She’s Gone,” “Out of Touch,” “You Make My Dreams,” “I Can’t Go for That,” “Maneater” and more.

In 2014, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 2014, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But at 76, Oates is taking stock in his life, reflecting on the love he shares with his wife and their son, with his father who is 100, and those who are truly important to him.

“I wanted to make sure that things were clean and tight as I move forward in my life,” Oates said on the most recent episode of The Load Out Music Podcast.

John Oates on break with Daryl Hall

Without question, he’s moving on—leaving his immensely successful business and artistic partnership with Hall behind, working to sell his stake in the duo’s catalogue, touring with a new band and performing songs that have deeper meaning in his life. Oates is simply going forward and disconnecting from things that have held him up.

“I started digging into the things that were going to enable me to do that,” he told us. “There were things that needed to be corrected and improved. But there was a lot of push-back against changing things and looking at things from my point of view. And when that started to happen, that’s when the whole house of cards began to fall.”

Things with Hall got sticky, and very public, over the past six months. Hall accused him of committing the “ultimate partnership betrayal” when Oates began working towards selling his share of their business. But much like Arizona trying to legislate women’s bodies with dumb laws from the 1800s, Oates noted the relevance of agreements he and Hall created in 1972 that have no correlation to their lives and circumstances today. Indeed, as he noted, “that stuff was written when we were kids.”

Thus, his focus is on leaving the past behind. All of it.

“At a certain point, due to frustration, I just said, ‘well you know what—I’ll just sell my share of what I own and then I won’t have to deal with it anymore,’” he said. “And it didn’t go over very well and hence the lawsuit. So that’s the way it is.”

Oates said a “solution” is close at hand. Most important, he feels better than he has ever in his life—focusing on what makes him happy or helps others. Oates’ new album Reunion was actually inspired by his father.

“He’s not doing well,” he said. “He told me he’s going to reunite with mom, who’s passed away a number of years ago. And that really struck me because I thought of the true meaning of the word reunion, reuniting, in a more emotional and metaphysical way.”

That’s when Oates started thinking about the idea of “reuniting with myself” as he puts it—trying to leave the past behind, reconnecting and rediscovering the artist and man he is.

Previously: The Endurance Of Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer John Oates

“You need to know when to say when,” he said. “It’s really interesting how some classic artists are still trying to cling to their past glory. I think it’s important to age gracefully and exit gracefully in order to enter something new. I may have exited from my experience with Hall and Oates, but I’ve reinvigorated my creative life in a very cool way.”

Thus, Reunion is what Oates says is his most personal record yet. Tracks “I Found Love” and “All I Ask of You” were originally written in the ‘90s; there’s an ode to Piedmont blues-and-folk duo “Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee;” and he covers John Prine’s “Long Monday” and Canadian folk duo Fraser & DeBolt’s “Dance Hall Girls.”

He’s also embracing today’s lawless music industry, simply diving in head first.

“Well, there’s no rules,” Oates said, in discussing the six singles he’s released in the past year. “In terms of my creative approach and there’s also no rules in the modern music business, which like it or not, I have to be part of.”

John Oates’ career is legendary. There’s no debating that. But he wants to focus on the here and now and not the things that made him a legend any longer.

We discuss this and more on a terrific episode of The Load Out Music Podcast. Take a listen here.


The post The Legendary John Oates Discusses Break With Daryl Hall, Aging Gracefully, And Reuniting With Himself appeared first on BroBible.


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