‘More like brothers than actual friends’: The complicated, but enduring, partnership that is Hall and Oates

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They are forever linked by music, and by their band name: They are, after all, Hall and Oates. But, as Daryl Hall reminds, they’ve always been distinct personalities.

“We get along just fine,” Hall tells the Guardian ahead of a July 19, 2014 appearance at the UK’s Latitude Festival. “We weren’t — and aren’t — very much alike: we have different interests. But the differences aren’t important. What’s important is what we share, and that’s music.”

They famously met in a freight elevator, trying to escape a gang fight at a Philadelphia record hop. Later, John Oates moved in with Hall after Hall’s sister and her boyfriend walked out on a sublet — leading to Oates’ eviction. Eventually, with a funky early-1970s scene nurturing them along, the duo coalesced into a songwriting team, and then into multi-platinum superstars, and then into Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

Suddenly, it was like you couldn’t have Hall without Oates. “People think John and I live in the same house and spend all our time together,” Hall says. “It couldn’t be further from the truth. When we are off stage, he does what he does and I do it my way.”

Each has had a more active solo career lately, joining one another again only to tour as Hall and Oates. Then, they return to projects like Hall’s TV series Live from Daryl’s House or Oates’ new multi-disc roots project. No matter how long away, the two recombine like family — in the truest sense of the word.

“Daryl and I are more like brothers than actual friends,” Oates says. “We’re very different as people, but we have this incredibly strong musical bond.”

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