Daryl at home with friend Sandy Allen
|Daryl Hall and John
Oates make music that doesn't fit neatly into categories. As teenage session cats for
Gamble and Huff, they worked with the Delfonics, the Stylistics and Chubby Checker. Their
sound reflects this, but they bridle at being labeled "blue-eyed soul" à la Boz
Scaggs or AWB.
"We're not doing Al Jolson
routines," says Hall, beginning to pace. "Y'know, mimicking, trying to copy
black people. We're white people having feelings. The essence or soul transcends blackness
or whiteness. Even though our stuff is superficially R&B, we sing about what white
people think about. Our songs have white image. Like in 'She's Gone,' for example, take
the lyric: 'Up in the morning, look in the mirror / I'm worn as her toothbrush hanging in
the stand.' It's a white image. That's why black people can't really cover our songs.