Hall & Oates feud: Will the duo ever perform together again?

7 May 2024, 10:12

Daryl Hall and John Oates- Our Kind of Soul- Live – film trailer

By Mayer Nissim

Daryl Hall and John Oates are currently in a legal battle.

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Hall & Oates have technically been a duo together for over half a century, but in truth they've split and reconciled many times over the last 50 years.

Their current parting may prove to be a more permanent one, though, as details have emerged of a lawsuit between the musicians.

"Members of the beloved pop rock duo Hall & Oates are locked in mysterious litigation," reports Axios Nashville's Nate Rau reported last week.

"Daryl Hall filed a lawsuit yesterday against John Oates in Nashville Chancery Court. At least for now, all of the filings in the litigation are under seal."

But since those early reports, more details have begun to emerge. Here's everything we know so far.

Hall & Oates feud: Who is suing who and why?

Hall & Oates in 1982
Hall & Oates in 1982. Picture: Getty Images

As first reported, it's Daryl Hall suing his on-off bandmate John Oates.

We didn't know why that was at first, but The Hollywood Reporter now writes out that Hall wants to stop Oates selling his stake in a joint business venture.

Daryl is said to believe that such a sale would violate the terms of a business agreement between both men.

The lawsuit is still ongoing, but the judge has temporarily blocked the sale of Whole Oats Enterprises LLP to Primary Wave IP Investment Management LLC while proceedings continue.

Daryl Hall & John Oates - One On One (Official HD Video)

The judge's order is expected to expire within 15 days, unless they extend it, while an arbitrator involved in a parallel case will give its opinion on the deal.

It was initially speculated that the "joint business venture" may be related to the duo's back catalogue, and it later emerged that it includes includes Hall & Oates trademarks, personal name and likeness rights, record royalty income, and assets for their website and social media platform.

A court hearing is taking place on November 30.

Hall & Oates feud: What have Daryll Hall and John Oates actually said about each other in the filings?

Daryl Hall & John Oates - Out Of Touch (Official HD Video)

“While falsely contending over the last several months that the Oates Trust wanted to maintain ownership in WOE, John Oates and the Co-Trustees engaged in the ultimate partnership betrayal,” Hall said in a declaration obtained by The AP.

"They surreptitiously sought to sell half of the WOE assets without obtaining my written approval."

He added: "I am deeply troubled by the deterioration of my relationship with, and trust in, John Oates."

Hall claimed that timing of the proposed sale was done "to create the most harm to me" and that Oates has been "adversarial and aggressive instead of professional and courteous" to him in recent years.

In return, Oates has said: "Over the years, Daryl has consistently and publicly been adamant about being perceived as an individual rather than as part of a duo or group.

"Thus, he has insisted on our being known as 'Daryl Hall and John Oates', rather than the more commonly known 'Hall & Oates'.

"On this point I agree. I now must act with truthfulness and make decisions that are right for myself, my family, and my artistic future."

Hall & Oates feud: What's all this about a restraining order?

Daryl Hall & John Oates - I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) (Official Video)

Variety notes that in addition to the undisclosed complaint filed on November 16, Hall also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order.

The order was issued the following day and is due to begin on November 30.

Hall & Oates feud: Has this dispute come from nowhere?

Hall & Oates in concert in 2002
Hall & Oates in concert in 2002. Picture: Getty Images

As we've noted, Hall & Oates have never officially split up, but many outlets reporting the lawsuit have drawn attention to Hall's controversial appearance on Bill Maher's Club Random podcast last year.

"You think John Oates is my partner?" Hall said. "He's my business partner. He’s not my creative partner."

He added: “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 feud: When did Hall & Oates last record new music and perform live together?

Daryl Hall & John Oates - Maneater (Official Video)

Hall & Oates released 18 studio albums together, with the most recent being 2006's Home for Christmas.

They were performing live together as recently as last year, and concert archive setlist.fm lists their most last concert as a duo as taking place on October 22, 2022 at the Laughlin Event Center, Laughlin, NV, USA.

Hall & Oates feud: Will the duo ever perform together again?

John Oates and Daryl Hall in 1989. (Photo by Larry Busacca/WireImage)
John Oates and Daryl Hall in 1989. (Photo by Larry Busacca/WireImage). Picture: Getty

According to recent interviews with Daryl Hall and John Oates - separately of course - it seems the rift is irreparable.

It's near certain that Hall & Oates, the most successful musical duo of all time, are done and dusted.

Talking to Variety, Hall admitted the lawsuit "hit me by surprise", adding "I haven't had a creative relationship with John for at least 25 years."

"We didn’t write songs together, we didn’t do anything together except perform live shows. We had an arrangement that I couldn’t play my solo songs onstage with Hall & Oates - and now I get to."

Oates was a touch more straightforward in his feelings towards the duo getting back together again, in a recent interview with American Songwriter however.

"There’s no way in my vision, peripherally, or in the future that we’re gonna get back together," he said.

Believing the duo's music will "live forever", Oates feels that he and his former partner Hall are much happier pursuing their own creative ventures, for the long term.

"You know, he's one of the greatest … singers and talented people, songwriters, of all time. He should be able to spread his wings, the same … way I am doing, and enjoy a certain type of creative freedom."