John Oates was born at the perfect time, paralleling the birth of rock ‘n roll. Raised in a small Pennsylvania town, he was exposed to folk, blues, soul, and R&B. Meeting and teaming up with Daryl Hall in the late 1960s, they developed a style of music that was uniquely their own but never abandoned their roots. John uncovers the grit and struggle it took to secure a recording contract with the legendary Atlantic Records and chronicles the artistic twists and turns that resulted in a DJ discovering an obscure album track that would become their first hit record. This is not your typical rock and roll story. John was focused creating great music. Along the way he achieved incredible success, battling the ever-changing pop music landscape and coming to terms with complex managerial, business, and personal challenges.
Daryl Hall and John Oates have over 20 albums together, more than 60 million records sold, and 29 Top 40 hits. They are the most successful pop duo in the world and members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And yet John’s story has never been told. Relying on his many hand-written journals, he brings to light many fascinating stories spanning his entire life with a journalist’s eye and a poet’s heart.
In Change of Seasons, John shares his highs, lows, triumphs, and failures. He takes the reader on a wild ride through all the eras, personalities and music that has shaped him into what he is.
The mustachioed half of one of the best-known duos in pop history, Oates offers a memoir that might lead even his greatest critics to revisit the '80s icons. Encouraged to sing by his mother's traditional Italian family, Oates found rock 'n' roll and his first guitar before he was seven. Half-hearted journalism studies at Temple University in the late 1960s gave him time to explore the dynamic Philadelphia music scene before partnering with Daryl Hall. Stardom was a long time coming, and en route Oates took interesting detours including a hippie wanderjahr across Europe and an auto-racing career. Defined by a relentless work ethic and interests ranging from Beat poetry to Delta blues, Oates is a child both of the '60s and blue-collar America. Oates can gloat, pointedly listing his accomplishments as a skier, wrestler, pilot, and tennis player. Yet, above all, charm and curiosity distinguish him from the standard-issue pop star. Oates writes with brio on songwriting and the studio (although little about his relationship with Hall), but his early years and travels are even more intriguing. Such an engaging narrator is Oates that it's easy to miss the strict limits to his revelations romance goes almost unmentioned and '80s excesses are discretely elided. The second half loses focus, but there are still plenty of entertaining anecdotes on such topics as having Hunter S. Thompson for a neighbor.