Hall and Oates Open Up About Their Dissolution in New Court Filings


Daryl Hall accused his Hall and Oates bandmate and partner John Oates of the “ultimate partnership betrayal” in a new court document filed Wednesday, which supports his Nashville chancery court lawsuit over an alleged breach of their business partnership. Hall described Oates’ plan to sell his half of their company Whole Oats Enterprises to Primary Wave as having happened “completely behind my back” and without his written consent, the AP and Rolling Stone report. “I am deeply troubled by the deterioration of my relationship with, and trust in, John Oates,” Hall wrote in his declaration.

In his filing, Hall claimed that he and Oates were in the middle of mediation to potentially dissolve or untangle Whole Oates Enterprises as part of what Hall described as a “global divorce.” Hall described Oates’ behavior in the past several years as “adversarial and aggressive instead of professional and courteous.”

Hall said he then learned of Oates’ attempted sale to Primary Wave. Hall offered harsh words about Primary Wave’s business practices, citing the potential of “unimaginable” harm to Whole Oats’ many assets (including the duo’s trademarks, likenesses, royalties, and online properties). “I have no intention of becoming partners with Primary Wave, and the Oates Trust cannot be permitted to thrust a new partner upon me in this outrageous fashion.” The judge issued a temporary restraining order to block Oates’ planned sale the same day Hall filed the lawsuit.

Oates filed his response in court on Wednesday, calling Hall’s statements “inflammatory, outlandish, and inaccurate.” He added: “I have no idea who or what is motivating Daryl to take these steps and make such salacious statements, but I am deeply hurt.”

“Over the years, Daryl has consistently and publicly been adamant about being perceived as an individual rather than as part of a duo or group. Thus, he has insisted on our being known as ‘Daryl Hall and John Oates,’ rather than the more commonly known ‘Hall & Oates,’” Oates wrote. “On this point I agree. I now must act with truthfulness and make decisions that are right for myself, my family, and my artistic future.”

Primary Wave has owned a partial interest in Hall and Oates’ song catalog for 15 years. Hall has spoken publicly about regretting that deal. “Never sell your publishing,” he said. “Maybe if you’re, you know, 80 years old and you decided to retire, then you can sell your publishing, but I wouldn’t even suggest it then. I don’t believe in that concept.”