Daryl Hall Has Filed a Sealed Lawsuit Against John Oates
Daryl Hall has taken hit-making partner John Oates to court in Nashville. Long-time local journalist Nate Rau describes the situation as "mysterious litigation ... At least for now, all of the filings in the litigation are under seal."
Oates has a home in Nashville, while Hall lives in Millerton, N.Y., where he launched the popular series Live From Daryl's House. Hall and Oates met in an elevator in 1967 at the Adelphi Ballroom in Philadelphia while leading their own bands, before pairing up to release 29 Top 40 hits and eight platinum albums. Hall was the lead singer on their biggest singles, but Oates co-wrote half of their six Billboard No. 1 songs, including "Out of Touch," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" and "Maneater."
Even as early as 1985, Rolling Stone magazine described their relationship as "strange." Hall and Oates "are a cross between business partners and brothers. Hall doesn’t seem to really like Oates, and Oates seems removed, even distant, from the entire Hall and Oates organization."
READ MORE: How Hall and Oates Perfected New Wave Soul
Hall memorably bristled when discussing their partnership in a conversation with Bill Maher last year. "It's very annoying to be a duo," Hall admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 2022. "Everything you do is juxtaposed against another person. Try doing that sometime. I don't want to use the word 'emasculating,' because that's male, but it takes away your individuality."
Daryl Hall Files Restraining Order Against John Oates
The case is being weighed in chancery court, which focuses on equity in financial issues rather than strict questions of law. Philadelphia Magazine said the proceedings are "classified as a 'contract/debt' matter." A temporary restraining order and the request to file under seal mean the details of the dispute will likely remain out of public view.
Hall sued in his official capacity as trustee of the Daryl Hall Revocable Trust, naming Oates and fellow co-trustees Aimee Oates and Richard Flynn from the John W. Oates TISA Trust as defendants. Summons were issued on Nov. 20, after the proceedings were placed under seal on Nov. 16.
Hall and Oates' last album of all original material was 2003's Do It for Love. They played only a handful of concerts in 2022, then none in 2023. Hall just completed a tour with Todd Rundgren, who produced Hall and Oates' 1974 album War Babies. Oates focused on releasing a series of solo singles, the last of which was this summer's "Too Late to Break Your Fall."
Classic Rock's 20 Worst Mistakes
Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso
They Hated Their Own Albums