John Oates: Rock Hall of Fame has 'reality' problem
John Oates, of the pop duo Hall & Oates, isn't shy to admit the duo's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month was way overdue.
ST. LOUIS - John Oates, of the pop duo Hall & Oates, isn't shy to admit the duo's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month was way overdue.
They'd been eligible for induction since 1997.
"It wasn't like Daryl [Hall] and I were losing sleep over this," Oates said in a recent interview. "It was what it was, and I learned in life you can't worry about stuff you can't do anything about. A small group of guys get in a room and make decisions based on their personal tastes.
"It has nothing to do with anything."
Oates, who has traditionally handled guitar, backing vocals and songwriting with Hall, pointed out many artists who have had tremendous influence on American popular music who haven't been inducted yet.
"You can't get involved with the political stuff," he said, especially after realizing that the duo was the only act to be inducted from Philadelphia. "That's crazy. Philadelphia has an unbelievable music tradition going back to the early days. All I can say is, it's not very representative of reality."
The soulful duo has the nice problem of having too many hits to choose from in concert, including "Sara Smile," "One on One," "Private Eyes," "You Make My Dreams," "Kiss on My List" and, of course, "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)."
And there's Oates' personal favorite, "She's Gone." He said that that song is always at the top of his list.
"It's a song we wrote together in the early '70s, and we play it every night and it still sounds good," he said. "Something about that song brings it all together. The show's not complete without doing that."
The two are proud that their hits have stood the test of time, though they reinvent them in subtle ways in concert.
"There's a lot of stuff going on in there that's not like the record," Oates said. "We let the musicians stretch - do things like that to keep it contemporary."
They switch up some of their lesser-known songs but what won't make the cut is their respective solo work, which includes Oates' latest release, "Good Road to Follow."
"We both have solo careers, and we keep the solo projects completely separate and I think that's a good thing," he said.