When I was asked to write a short piece about Hall & Oates being inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame I thought, sure, I'm a long time fan, and John Oates shares my passion for car racing!
Seriously, Hall & Oates had already been part of my landscape as a songwriter when my career started. Few duos have endured as they have, with artistic vision, which grew with every album. They managed that illusive task of making music that has credibility, but was also a commercial success, much like another fave of mine, Steely Dan.
So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I had a small appearance in the first Yacht Rock video with Daryl and John's characters.
While Hall & Oates stylistically are more R&B influenced and I lean more toward Brian and Carl Wilson, we both have become part of that "West Coast" sound, now known as Yacht Rock, that has become such a cult fascination in recent years worldwide. I think the way Yacht Rock has grown, garnering fans across the world and even celebrity fans like my buddy, Jimmy Fallon, is proof the that the sound Hall & Oates played such a big part in creating is truly a page in Rock and Roll lore.
They have proven themselves worthy of joining this esteemed group in The Hall Of Fame by having an undeniable catalog of songs that are not only classics, having stood the test of time, but are songs and productions that hold their own when compared to artists that I am sure are heroes to them, like Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye. Daryl and John might humbly be too shy to accept that comparison, but as a fan I can say it: "She's Gone" and "Rich Girl" are just about as good as it gets, and could have been as big of hits on Motown as they were on Atlantic.
You could see the affection Smokey had when he was a guest on Daryl's brilliantly innovative show, "Live From Daryl's House."
Rock and Roll goes beyond the songs. To be invited into this group means you have had a profound influence on the genre, as Hall & Oates have. I have had the pleasure of seeing them live, and the show is knocked out. Daryl is as good a blue-eyed soul singer as there is, and their set is soulful and dynamic with material ranging from "Man Eater" to the beautiful "Sara Smile."
I'm sure like everyone, I am always curious to hear who the year's inductees will be. Hall & Oates time has certainly come, and I for one am very pleased that the Hall of Fame is recognizing their contribution to the history of music. They are truly gifted artists and genuine rock stars in my book.