June 29 2011
Not just an ironic hipster joke, Hall and Oates are music legends. Perhaps their biggest crime was becoming popular during the proliferation of “easy listening,” something they capitalized on immensely. It’s easy to forget that they had six (6!) number one singles, six (6!) platinum albums between 1973 and 1988, and over 13 million copies sold. Not bad for a group that labeled their music (with complete seriousness) rock n’ soul.
Plus they’d be the least likely duo to ever be united by gang violence, but that indeed is how they came to be.
At the time they met, each was heading his own musical group, Hall with The Temptones and Oates with The Masters. They were there for a band competition when gunfire rang out between two rival gangs, and in trying to escape, they ran to the same service elevator.On further finding out that they were interested in the same music and that both were attending Philadelphia's Temple University, they started hanging out together on a regular basis and eventually ended up sharing a number of apartments in the city. One of the apartments they shared had "Hall & Oates" on the mailbox, which is what they ended up using as their duo's name.
Definitely a definition for excess, a favorite urban legend of the band was the celebration of H2O at RCA records, which included a mirrored table with the message “Congrats to Hall and Oates” written out in cocaine. This was when our overpaying for records bought cocaine parties and ice sculptures for record companies and a handful of artist. They call it Yacht Rock for a reason.
H&O fell out of favor with the general public at the start of the 90’s, like most things popular in the 70’s and 80’s. However people long for nostalgia and it will be in full splendor at Summerfest tonight. Hall and Oates, headlining a show for a bunch of boomers and hipsters with very little in between. I will be one of the hipsters there singing “Rich Girl” and laughing post-ironically about a band that we often made fun of.