In a mystery Nashville court case, Daryl Hall filed for a restraining order against his longtime musical collaborator, John Oates.
The sealed court documents make it difficult to determine the true nature of the dispute. The case is categorized as a “Contract/Debt” dispute in the Nashville Chancery Court website’s case summary. Hall originally complained back in November.
Hall filed the complaint, a move for a temporary restraining order, and motions to keep all the documents confidential. The restraining order itself was issued on Nov. 17, along with a $50,000 bond. Since then, there have been no new developments. Summonses were also sent to Aimee Oates, Oates’ spouse, and Richard Flynn, who was listed as a co-trustee of the John W. Oates TISA Trust.
Rolling Stone’s requests for comment were not immediately answered by an attorney for Hall or a representative for Oates.
Though the specifics of the disagreement are still unknown, much of the conjecture has focused on remarks Hall and Oates recently made regarding their relationship to the media. On Bill Maher’s podcast last year, for example, Hall made a point of referring to Oates as “my business partner… not my creative partner.”
“John and I are brothers, but we’re not creative brothers,” he continued. We collaborate on business matters. Although we collaborated on albums under the Hall & Oates moniker, we’ve always maintained a strong sense of separation, and I think that’s really important.”
Shortly before Hall and Oates’s last few performances together in October of 2022, that interview was first released on September 25, 2022. In an interview with The Big Takeover at the end of October, Oates hinted that those might be the final shows the two ever perform together.
“Daryl and I are pretty much finished touring,” he stated prior to adding, “I never say never, but right now I don’t see any tours.”
“I think we both have grown apart professionally and personally,” Oates continued. We both seem to want to pursue different endeavors. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but growing older and being our age comes with certain realities. I believe that Daryl and I share the same sentiments. As our lives are coming to an end, we want to make up for lost time and accomplish the things we were unable to accomplish while we were coworkers.