John Oates Talks Partnership With Daryl Hall Amid Legal Conflict: ‘I Don’t Like to Live in the Past’

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John Oates, one-half of the successful rock duo Daryl Hall & John Oates, has opened up about his partnership with his ex-bandmate amid their ongoing legal debates.

Oates and Hall have been in the news recently over Oates’ attempt to sell his share of their joint venture. Notice of the legal case arrived in increments, first with the news of Hall placing a restraining order against Oates until it was revealed that Hall was attempting to block his longtime musical partner from selling his share of the duo’s Whole Oats Enterprises to Primary Wave Music.

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During a recent podcast appearance for David Yontef’s “Behind the Velvet Rope,” Oates explained that the music the duo made — spanning hits from “Rich Girl,” “Private Eyes” and “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” — “will stand the test of time” but he has “moved on” from the experience.

“You can’t ignore the fact that the Hall & Oates catalog of hits and the 50-year career will always trump almost anything that Daryl does on his own or I do on my own, which is okay because I’m very proud of that music,” Oates said. “I’m really proud of what Daryl and I created together.”

But, Oates continued, “I don’t like to live in the past… I make the analogy of what it’s like when you go to a great museum and you’re really excited to go and see all the beautiful paintings or the exhibits or whatever it might be, and then near the end, your feet start to hurt and you say, ‘You know what? I can’t wait to get out of here.’ That’s kind of how I feel about it.”

He added, “It’s just a matter of living in my present.”

Reflecting on the height of their stardom, Oates said being constantly on the road left “no time for reflection. It was a lot of business demands, a lot of heavy demands… Daryl and I were at the top of the pop world. We had number-one record after number-one record. We were traveling around the world constantly. Everyone thinks that that was probably the high point of my life, but to be honest with you, it actually wasn’t my favorite time.”

Earlier this month, Oates was revealed as the Anteater on Season 10 of “The Masked Singer.” Speaking with Variety, Oates said of the lawsuit: “I can’t really talk about it. I don’t really want to talk about it… Things will work itself out and time will tell.”

Primary Wave, which owns the music rights of numerous iconic songwriters, artists and labels, including Bob Marley, Prince, Stevie Nicks, James Brown, The Doors and more, already purchased a “significant” stake in the duo’s catalog rights 16 years ago. Hall has indicated that he regrets not owning all his publishing.

Parts of the lawsuit remain under seal, with the judge assigned to the case agreeing with Hall’s attorneys that it contains details that are covered under the confidentiality agreement they say Oates breached in his dealings with Primary Wave.

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