‘He’s a part of it in spirit’: Memory of T-Bone Wolk remains for Hall and Oates

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When Tom “T-Bone” Wolk died in 2010, Hall and Oates lost more than just their long-time bassist. Over a collaboration that went back to 1981’s Private Eyes, he’d become so much more. “He was my best friend,” Daryl Hall says in this clip.

Over Wolk’s time with the band, he’d appear on four of Hall and Oates’ six No. 1 singles. He also played a featured role once Hall started his broadcast series “Live from Daryl’s House” in 2007.

By the time disaster struck for Wolk in 2010, he and Hall were in the planning stages for Hall’s 2011 Laughing Down Crying solo project for Verve Records. Wolk died in February 2010.

“We had worked out the whole album in advance,” Hall says. “We were three days into the album when he had an unfortunate heart attack. So, it obviously threw the album into complete disarray. But once I got myself back on my feet, and restarted the album, he was there, man. He was there for the whole thing. He’s a part of it in spirit, as well.”

Hall and Oates also performed a touching version of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ song “I Miss You” that was dedicated to Wolk in one of the most memorable — and emotional — episodes of “Live from Daryl Hall’s House” ever to air.

“When it came time to dedicate a show to him,” Hall adds, “I just channeled something — and it was a very unique moment, very poignant, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to that particular place in my life, before that.”

Oates, in an exclusive SER Sitdown, put Wolk’s contributions in perspective: “We made a joke all the time, but it wasn’t a joke — he was the ampersand in Hall and Oates. It was true. Even before he passed away, when I was playing something, in the back of my mind I would say: How would T-Bone do it? He’s the yardstick.”

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