Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates on inviting fans into his home for new show
Legendary Daryl says he competes with himself and John Oates as he releases his solo back catalogue at 75
AS one half of Hall & Oates, the most successful pop-rock duo of all time, Daryl Hall has taken global fame in his stride.
If you Google Hall's name today, there are no scandals or stories of bad behaviour and meltdowns popping up.
"I've lived a fairly clean life," Daryl tells the Sunday World, chatting this week from his studio at Daryl's House in Pawling, NY, where he now films his hugely popular series Live from Daryl's House.
"I don't really have any big secrets. What you see is what you get with me. It all happened with me gradually over the years. It's been up and down. I wasn't the darling in the press or anything like that.
"My whole life has been music and it's just really been one step after another step. I never had any master plan or anything like that. I took things as they came and I learned from setbacks and tried to keep my head together in the successes.
"I'm a pretty self-aware person and I sort of know myself. My life is a wild horse that you have to keep under rein."
A hard grafter - he's set to release a back catalogue of solo music, and took time out from rehearsals for his upcoming solo tour for this interview - Hall says he had experience of the real world before fame and fortune came his way.
"Oh, I had plenty of real jobs when I was a kid. And I had some unspeakable jobs," Daryl says.
"I worked for four years in a Philadelphia discount drug store on skid row. The bums [homeless] were so cold during a snow storm one Christmas Eve they came in for shelter, and my job was to throw them back out!
"I know how to work hard, believe me. My work ethic was very much drilled into me at a young age."
He met John Oates at college where he studied music, and their collaboration has produced some of the best-known hits of all time including, You Make My Dreams, Out Of Touch, Maneater, I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) and Kiss On My List.
As he releases his first ever collection of solo recordings from his past on an album called BeforeAfter, Hall tells me: "You hear all the Hall & Oates songs and they're one of the reasons that this whole body of work has not been more noticed over the years, because I had to compete with myself," he says.
"It's a unique problem. I have no complaints about that. The good thing about our (Hall & Oates) partnership is that it's loose, it's not restrictive in any way. I'm restricted by my own success with John, but between the two of us we have a good relationship that way."
While there is no date in place, Hall says he intends to perform in Ireland on his solo tour. "It's a new era," Daryl says. "I've never really done any extensive solo touring. It's going to be fantastic to play these different songs. I'm really excited about it."
It's a new challenge? "That's what keeps it interesting man, otherwise it gets very stagnant. I thrive on novelty.
"It's fulfilling because now I'm finally putting this side of myself out into the world in a recorded way. I've played these songs on my Live from Daryl's House show, but I never put them out before this way and toured behind it."
In his online show, Live From Daryl's House, the rock star got to perform with his favourite artists.
"It redefined me in people's perception," Daryl says. "I think people know who I really am now. I don't think there's any doubts where I'm coming from because I couldn't have been more personal doing a show in my own house."
"It's amazing the people who come to the house and come to the club to do this show, people that I really, really care about and respect, and in some cases have known. And then new artists that I'm impressed by. It's a really amazing experience. I love collaboration and I thought, 'why not do something that will allow me to take that to the nth degree and have a completely different experience with a different person or people on every show,' and I really think that I shine in that situation."
Hall, who appears a decade younger than his 75 years, wrote some of the songs on Before After in his twenties, but he feels that they have stood the test of time.
"They seem like somebody older wrote them," he tells me. "I still pretty much believe most of the things I was saying and feeling in my 20s, and that's a bit of a surprise. I just thought I was this idiot kid back then, but I wasn't."
Still as passionate as ever about music and performing, Daryl adds: "I say this every time, 'a bird's got to sing.' That's what I do. I get my greatest pleasure from opening my mouth and singing and writing songs."
Daryl Hall's solo retrospective, BeforeAfter, will released next Friday, April 1.
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