"Rich Girl," "Kiss on My List," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do),” "Maneater" and "Out of Touch": Hall & Oates racked up so many infectious pop soul nuggets during their golden creative period in the 1970s and ‘80s. But while their hit songs are a big reason fans, old and new, still flock to see the Philly-born duo, Hall & Oates don’t intend becoming too predictable, and just roll out a greatest hits set each night.
“We don’t always do only what’s expected,” says Hall, speaking from his home in Upstate New York. “We do all the songs we think people want to hear and throw in a few they might not expect. It’s a fine line to walk, to give fans what they want but not be predictable. We keep it interesting.”
The latest news for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers is that they will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Hall is relatively unenthused with the news, though: it takes two years for the award to see fruition on that noted stretch of L.A. sidewalk, so he isn’t dusting off his tuxedo, metaphorically speaking, just yet. (“I don’t think you’ll ever see me in a tuxedo for anything,” he says tersely.) The honor for him lies in keeping company with some artists who have stars there.
“Andy Griffith, Syd Caesar: these are my heroes,” he announces warmly. “They were pioneers in a medium that I inadvertently entered. They were working in TV when it was a brand new."
Hall continues, "I was lucky enough to experience MTV and VH1 when it was a new medium and saw what could happen. It was like making something from nothing. It was the same when I started 'Live from Daryl’s House' eight years ago,” he says of his successful MTV Live and VH1 Classic show. “It was an Internet show at first; similarly I had to convince people about this thing that didn’t fit the normal mold.”
Though there hasn’t been an album of Hall & Oates original songs since 2003’s “Do It For Love,” Hall doesn’t rule one out: “I never say never, but there is no plan for one.” Whether an album happens or not, he already has a wealth of Hall & Oates hits and memories, too, especially from their early years.
“The first time John and I toured outside of Philadelphia was probably the best memory,” Hall says. “We were getting to know the world as kids; it was really educational and fun. Few things beat that.”