Yup, it seems that hipsters can indeed go for that. Daryl Hall and John Oates are enjoying a late-career renaissance, earning good reviews for their last couple of efforts, including last year's holiday album, “Home for Christmas.” We caught up with Oates to talk about the holidays and find out how the duo got from “Maneater” to “Jingle Bell Rock.”
When is it OK to start listening to Christmas music?
You listen to it in July…if you are making a record at least. Daryl did some of the recording on his own down in the Bahamas, so I don’t know what he was thinking there. But officially, it is OK to start listening Dec. 1.
Have you ever heard your songs while shopping for fleece?
Oh, definitely. Our album was number one on the holiday charts last year. The good thing about a Christmas album is that it never goes out of style.
What can we expect from your show?
It’s going to be a real Christmas show where we play the entire album. More than likely the format is going to be Christmas music for the bulk of the show with some Hall & Oates hits sprinkled in.
So, which hits?
The songs you would expect us to play. I’m sure we are going to do “She’s Gone” and “Kiss On My List” and “Sara Smile” and “No Can Do.”
Yes. We are probably going to play a 20 to 25-minute set of hits.
Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
One thing that both Daryl and I have always done, no matter where we were in our careers, is to cut off the touring during the holidays—even in our heyday when we were running around the world like lunatics. Everything always stopped. Daryl went to his parents’ house, and I went to my parents’ house.
What will you be doing this Christmas?
I live just outside Aspen, so my parents will come out to Colorado and we will do the normal thing…wake up early and open presents with my son. I think we might make lasagna on Christmas Eve day. It’s all about staying home.
What’s on your son’s wish list this year?
[Note: Tanner Oates, if you are reading this, stop! Or else everything is going back to the store.] Well, it doesn't ever stop. He is hitting me up for a huge gift this year. He wants the Mac Pro tower, which is really expensive. He already has a really nice laptop, so there is no reason for him to have this…but it doesn't matter to him. But I don't know if he is going to get that. Also, I can't talk too loud because he is here, but I found him a student-sized bass. He's played guitar a little bit and is not too into it. But he said he is interested in bass.
What do you want?
I really don’t want anything or need anything. So, world peace.
OK, some non-Christmas questions. When did you first see “Yacht Rock” and did you think it was funny?
I saw it a couple years ago and didn't take offense. I thought it was pretty funny and interesting that, over time, one could become a sort of iconic character. I guess if you are lucky and hang around long enough, it can happen to you. I met the guys who did it out in L.A. and they couldn't have been nicer and more respectful.
Were any of those supposedly over-the-top scenes realistic?
Let me put it this way, if it did happen it was in the ‘70s or ‘80s and I probably don’t remember. I don’t think I had a fist fight with Kenny Loggins. I did play racquet ball with Kenny Loggins. I just recall that he beat me.
And that you were wearing a headband?
Yes, and the shorts were very tight.