Hall and Oates Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Inducted by Roots drummer Questlove, who offered an affectionate speech in which he paused to list all the duos who’ve been more popular than Hall & Oates in the rock era (“Okay, I’m done. That’s how many were more popular: Zero”) and asked the crowd to “please join me in being a proud child of Philadelphia, a child of the ’70s, a child of the ’80s, a child of soul, a child of recognizable hairstyles, a child of mustaches, join me for one glorious night in making the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the Hall and Oates of Fame,” the longtime partners took the stage together — and, fittingly, gave their acceptance speeches side by side.
“Can we do this together? Nobody does this s— together,” asked Hall, to which Oates replied, “We’ve been doing it together for 40 years. Why should we stop now?”
“I just wanna start out — I know everyone here is so cognizant of their past and the music that brought us all here tonight because the roots of American music are so important to all of us here tonight, that’s why we’re here,” continued Oates. “I wanna thank a young couple in their 20s in New York City in the early ’50s who bought a ’47 Chrysler and decided to move my sister and I to Pennsylvania.”
“Fifteen miles from my house,” added Hall.
“That’s right,” Oates answered. “And I listened to big band music, and then they took me to an amusement park where I heard Bill Haley and the Comets in 1953. And if it wasn’t for that move to Pennsylvania, I wouldn’t be here. I owe so much to my parents and my sister Diane, and — Philadelphia, I think I was born at the right time. It was a great time to be in Philadelphia. The Uptown Theater, I saw the greatest R&B acts in the world. The Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Second Fret, it was a hotbed of incredible music happening in the ’60s, and that’s where I wanted to be. It really defined the way I think about music and the way I write songs and the way I play.”
“Amen,” said Hall. “And speaking of Philadelphia, you know, I did some research, and did you know that we’re the only homegrown Philadelphia band that’s been put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Now, I’m not saying that because I’m proud of it — I’m saying that because it’s f—ed up. What happened to Todd Rundgren? The Stylistics? The Delfonics? Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes? Len Barry? Chubby Checker? How about the biggest single in the history of the world? Chubby Checker. Why isn’t he in? You guys tell me. I’m calling everybody out. That’s all I got to say. I wanna go play.”
And play they did — but not before a few more thank-yous. “I do have to thank my wife Amy and my son Tanner, and I want to thank all the unbelievable producers, musicians, managers — everyone who had so much to do with the records we made,” concluded Oates. “New York City, because we made the records in New York. I just wanna thank you guys, and the fans for sticking with us over the years. I know we have a lot of hits, and people always talk about our hits, but as Quest said earlier and alluded to, we spent just as much time and care with every track on every album. The hits were a byproduct of our hard work. Thank you very much, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
“I agree,” nodded Hall. “Thank you so much!”