Darryl Hall Says John Oates ‘Blindsided’ Him by Moving to Sell Half of Their Business

The 1980s hitmaker’s joint venture holds trademarks, likeness rights and online assets

FRANCE – JANUARY 01: Photo of HALL & OATES; (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

Daryl Hall can’t go for that.

The singer is accusing longtime music partner John Oates of the “ultimate partnership betrayal” over plans to sell his half of the duo’s joint venture to Primary Wave, the publishing rights house that holds a series of stars’ catalogs, according to a recent declaration in the hit-making duo’s ongoing lawsuit.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday in a Nashville court to determine the fate of Hall’s request to put any deal on hold. The judge in the case has issued a temporary restraining order blocking the sale for now while the legal issues wind through court.

In a declaration submitted Wednesday as part of a lawsuit filed Nov. 16 that seeks to block the sale, Hall said that Oates “blindsided” him by secretly moving to sell the joint venture, The Associated Press reported.

The company, Whole Oats Enterprises, holds the duo’s trademarks for their string of hits from the 1970s and 80s, their record royalty income, personal name and likeness rights and website and social media assets. Primary Wave has already owned “significant interest” in Hall and Oates’ song catalog for more than 15 years, the report said.

Oates said it isn’t so.

In court papers filed later Wednesday, he disputed Hall’s “inflammatory, outlandish, and inaccurate statements about me,” and maintained he had been working for some time to enhance their business partnership, The AP reported.

Oates said in filings that the temporary restraining order should be lifted, but also that he didn’t want to publicly discuss business dealings he considers “private matters,” The AP said.

Hall’s case argues that Oates and others involved in his trust can’t sell the joint venture’s rights until an arbitrator in a separate case weighs in on the deal, according to the AP.

Among the issues in the dispute is whether Oates disclosed the duo’s business agreement to Primary Wave in violation of a confidentiality provision. Hall laso said in the declaration that he would not approve the sale and doesn’t agree with Primary Wave’s business model, the AP reported.

Hall, 77, also accused Oates, 75, of becoming “adversarial and aggressive instead of professional and courteous” toward him in the last several years, and claimed that the planned sale was timed to disrupt his solo tour.

“I believe that John Oates timed the Unauthorized Transaction to create the most harm to me,” Hall said in the declaration. “Respectfully, he must be stopped from this latest wrongdoing and his malicious conduct reined in once and for all.”

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singers, who toured up until last year, are also considering a “global divorce.”

“Hall said he was entertaining Oates’ idea to dissolve their touring entity and a separate partnership related to their musical compositions and publishing, while Hall raised the idea of dissolving Whole Oats Enterprises.,” the AP reported.


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