As many of you long-time fans do, I have
a huge collection of "Hall & Oates
treasures" hidden in my closet. Among
them are a bunch of worn-out cassette tapes
on which I recorded the radio shows Daryl
& John appeared in while they were in
Japan. When I suggested making transcription
of the interviews on these tapes, Maki kindly
agreed to put it on her website so everyone
So here is the first one in the series
(hopefully!), an interview for a radio show
aired on FM Tokyo on November 1, 1980. Daryl
and John had just released the Voices album
and were touring Japan for the second time.
In this show, they talked about the new album
and the tour and answered some questions
from the listeners. They were also asked
to choose the songs to play between the questions.
You came here for the second time this year,
D: Yeah, that is true.
J: We came in, I think it was February last
That's pretty amazing, two tours in one year.
D: Yeah, it's unusual. We'd tried to come
here for two or three years before that,
and now it's twice in one year. That's extremely
unusual. I think it's because we're doing
the whole world tour with this new album.
So it's, it was on the way, more or less,
'cause we were going from, we were doing
some dates in Australia, New Zealand, so
we were at least to be in this part of the
globe, so we wanted to come back.
Do you want to play a track of the new album
Which one would you like to play first?
J: We want to play the single. "Hard
To Be In Love With You."
Which one of you is the fussiest about music?
D: I guess we both are. We both very much
are, we're perfectionists. But the things
with us is, we now, well, at least now, I
mean, I think it's a whole new era in our
music because we are in control of our music,
I suppose, because we produce ourselves now.
So we can be very, we know exactly what we
want, and it's easy for us to be perfectionist
about it now because we're in control of
J: In the past we've had a lot of problems
with producers. Producers never really understood
what we want, and it was a constant struggle
for us to explain ourselves individually
and collectively to producers, and then translate
it into the record. Now that the middle man
is not there anymore, it really has made
things so much easier, and this last album
was perhaps the easiest album we've ever
had to make, and I think the success of the
album probably reflects that.
Any songs that you heard recently that really
D: Oh boy. We haven't listened to music for
so long 'cause we've been on the road for
a year, but...
J: It's hard when you're working every night
and touring. You hear, you know, of course
you're playing every night, and music is,
you're trying almost to get it out of your
head and not into your head, so the last
thing you do is play music for pleasure.
It's really difficult. I like, uh, the only
person I really like is, well, I like Richard
Pryor. I like Richard Pryor, and I like Ian
Dury. I like Ian Dury's new song, "I
Want To Be Straight".
You played a concert in a disco, right? How
was it playing in a small club? It must have
been a long time since you did that.
D: Oh, no. We did it in the States in the
J: Last fall. A year ago.
Oh, really. Where at?
D: Everywhere. We went to all the country.
J: We did the entire club tour.
Oh, you did a club tour.
J: We did a special tour of only clubs, and
it was something we needed to do.
D: …and we wanted to do. It's fun. It's
a lot of, it's more fun to play a club than
a regular concert because it's a looser situation,
you know. It's not staged, and it's real
personal contact, plus everybody is up, and
they don't have to sit in chairs, everybody
is, they drink a little bit, so everybody
is crazy, you know. It's much more fun. Fun
In Japan, most of the people who go to see
concerts are young girls. Is that different
from the States?
D: Yeah. I'd say so. Well, it depends. In
the States, what I find is that very very
large concerts like stadiums, maybe 10,000,
20,000-seat are younger kids. And then
the smaller venues like 3,000-seat and clubs
are older people.
J: But we do get a lot of girls.
D: Oh, yeah, yeah.
J: But they tend, it's kind of hard for us
to judge because we can only see the front
D: Because of the lights.
J: Because of the lights. And the girls,
the real fans tend to come down to the front,
so you can't tell who's in the back, really.
It could be anyone.
Okay, Daryl, how about you? Is there anything
that you'd like to pick out? It doesn't even
have to be new, actually. It doesn't have
to be a hit or anything.
J: Oh well, then, in that case we've got
plenty of songs to choose from.
D: Okay, let's think of one…
J: Well, you could think of almost anything…
D: I'm the worse with this.
J: You're the worse with this. Well…
D: Oh, I know, I know. We just did a tour
of England with a group that opened the shows
for us called the Sinceros.
D: Yes. And they're quite a good band, and
they played a couple of good songs. What
was the one that…
J: "Little White Lies" and…
D: "Take Me to Your Leader". That's
a great song.
J: Yeah, I like that song.
(reading a letter from a listener) She just
said that my favorites of your music are
probably songs of the Abandoned Luncheonette
album. Are there any songs from that album
or from that period that you find particularly…
J: Offensive? (laugh)
…hard to throw away, if you like?
D: Well, obviously "She's Gone".
We've been playing that ever since those
days, '73, when we made that record.
That's the only record, the only song from
Abandoned Luncheonette that we still play.
J: Although there are some songs from that
album that are still valid, I think.
D: Oh, yeah, that we still like.
J: "Lady Rain", for instance. I
think that song is probably just as progressive
now as anything on the radio. So, there's
a number of songs in there. In general, that
was a good album.
D: We're proud of that album.
What do you think of the other albums that
you had around that period?
D: Well, the War Babies album was a complete
step in another direction to trying to round
out the kind of music. What we did is, the
first three albums we did, the Whole Oats
album, Abandoned Luncheonette and War Babies,
could be almost listened to as a trilogy
because they were three distinctively different
records, but it was those three records that
formed, the combinations of those three things
that formed the style we do now. That's the
combination of rock and soul music. And,
so, War Babies was, a lot of people didn't
understand why we did the War Babies album
right after Abandoned Luncheonette. We didn't
even know ourselves at that time why we were
doing it, but we knew we had to do something
like that. We wanted to do something that
was very different in order to explain the
other side of that kind of music, more…
just more rock'n'roll side, and uh, a little
D: Yeah, proving, experimental type music
that we do along with that kind of soul,
melodic things we did on Abandoned Luncheonette.
So, out of that period if you had to choose
one song that you would like to play now,
did you say what? "Lady Rain"?
D: Yeah, that's a good combination of progressive
and song style.
J: Yeah, that's a good one.
OK, let's go.
Have you both been soul fans for many many
D: We grew up in Philadelphia, so we had
J: That's right. I mean, that's our roots,
literally. That's the music we listened to
when we were kids, that's the music we began
to play first, you know, it's…
D: You can't really say we were fans. We
actually were instrumental in developing Philadelphia
music. I played and John played both on records
in the 60s, that were the records that formed
the sound of Philadelphia, so we were more
than fans. We originated it.
J: The music, the actual sound of Philadelphia
really developed only in the mid and late
60s. It was not something that, you know,
came from the early 50s or anything like
that. It developed in the 60s, so it's fairly
recent, you know. It's not exactly a real
old form. And we were part of that, Gamble
and Huff people…
You worked with those people?
J: Oh yeah. We…
D: Yeah. We started with them.
J: When we were teenagers, just starting
D: Like John said, it's a very recent
thing, the Philadelphia soul music. I mean,
soul music is obviously old, but that version
of it, that melodic Philadelphia style, chords
and melody, was really developed in the mid
60s, when we first started making records,
and you know, I had a record out on a label
called Arctic Records which was formed, the
first label that Kenny Gamble formed, and
he had a band called Kenny Gamble and the
Romeos, and that turned into Leon Huff and
Tommy Bell and all the guys that played on
J: That turned into M.F.S.B.
D: Right. And I was part of that. I played
piano for, you know, Stylistics and the Delfonics
and all those kinds of groups.
Oh really. I didn't know that. Wow. So, do
you like, Philadelphia sound was much closer
thing than, say, Motown or Stax?
J: The Philadelphia sound was developed partly
from the early Motown material, as well as
some of the early Chicagos like Curtis Mayfield,
the elements of that in Philadelphia music.
Are there any particular songs from that
period that you'd particularly like to play?
D: If you could find them. I mean, I could
think of a lot of them. That might be easy.
"La La Means I Love You" by the
Delfonics or any early Jerry Butler songs.
J: Yeah, Jerry Butler, like "Hey Western
D: …or "Only the Strong Survive".
If you can find any of these, that
would be very appropriate.
J: Or any Intruders songs too. "Cowboys
to Girls" or "Together"…
If the two of you were professional DJs and
had your own program, are there any songs
that you'd definitely, absolutely definitely
want to play to people, sell to people?
D: Oh boy. New ones or old ones?
Let's take one of each.
D: One of each… New records? I don't know.
I would only sell my own records if I sell
anywhere, not anybody else. Gee, I don't
J: New records, I have to say that I'd only
play my own music. (laugh)
D: I don't know. I haven't heard any new
bands. If I had a Police record, I mean,
a record by the Police, the group. I really
like the Police a lot. I think they are my
favorite other band other than me. So, any
one, I don't know what their new single is,
but you could play that, whatever that might
"Don't Get So Close to Me". It
just went to No.1 in England.
D: All right. There you go.
Why do you think your music is so popular
D: Oh… Well, I don't know if I could say.
(laugh) I don't know. We never, we don't
try. It just happens. Whatever it is that
we do, we do it very naturally. So that's
the way I can put it. There's no effort that
we make to appeal to women as opposed to
anything else. It's just, I guess the kind
of music. I think our music is sensitive
in a lot of ways and on a lot of different
levels, and I think that in some ways that
appeals more to, apparently more to women
than men, who tend to like more straight-ahead
loud rock'n'roll. I think that's true in
all cases. Usually rock'n'roll concerts are,
there's more boys to come to those, and our
kind of music is song-oriented and it's melodic,
and I think it has a certain feminine appeal.
How about an old record?
D: An old record? "My Girl" by
Do you listen to cover versions of your songs?
J: Well, if we hear them. Let's put it that
way. 'Cause we cannot always find them. (laugh)
But they, for instance, the song Portable
Radio from the X-Static album. It was just
covered by a South African group called Clout.
And they did a fairly good version of it.
They did a good job with it. But I normally
don't like cover versions of our songs. They
never seem to capture the essence of what
the song is, for some reason.
With "Sara Smile", there's one
version I really love by Mike Mainieri. Did
you hear that one?
Do you know Mike Mainieri, the vibes player?
D: Oh, he's done an instrumental version
With David Sanborn on sax.
D: Yes, yes, I heard that. That was nice.
That was nice.
J: I heard Eric Gale.
Oh, the reggae one.
D: That's the one I heard.
J: Eric Gale. He's a guitarist. That's instrumental…
That's true. That's another terrific one,
J: Yeah, that's the only one I've heard.
I haven't heard the one you mentioned.
D: Yeah, I know. I didn't know that one.
Mike Mainieri's is really nice. Do you want
to hear it?
J: Sure. Why not? Let's listen to it.
D: (asked about which song to play next)
How about "Kiss On My List"?
Oh, a nice one. Is that going to be the next
D: I think so.
J: I think so. It looks to be. In fact, it
will probably be the next single all over
the world. See, we have different singles
in different countries. In America, the first
single was "How Does It Feel".
In England, the first single was "You've
Lost That Lovin' Feeling". In Japan,
it's "Hard To Be". In Australia,
it's "How Does It Feel". So it's
different in each country. So, I think "Kiss
On My List" will be the next worldwide
Thanks very much for being on the show.
D: Our pleasure.
Have you had fun?
D: Yes, very much fun.
J: It was interesting. An interesting way
to do an interview.
Would you like to say something to the fans?
D: We were glad that everyone came to the
concerts, and we're still coming, and we'll
see you next time.
J: Right. Thank you very much.
(transcribed by Yusa Koizumi)
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