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.
John William Oates (born April 7, 1948) is an American rock, R&B and soul guitarist, musician, songwriter and record producer best known as half of the rock and soul duo, Hall & Oates (with Daryl Hall).
Although Oates’s main role in the duo was guitarist, he also co-wrote many of the Top 10 songs that they recorded, including (with Hall): “Sara Smile” (the song refers to Hall’s then-girlfriend, Sara Allen), “She’s Gone”, and “Out of Touch”, as well as (with Allen and Hall): “You Make My Dreams”, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, “Maneater”, and “Adult Education”. He also sang lead vocals on several more singles in the Hot 100, such as “How Does It Feel to Be Back”, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” (a remake of the 1965 song performed by The Righteous Brothers that was written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil), on which Oates shared lead vocals with Hall, and “Possession Obsession” (with Allen & Hall). Oates also co-wrote and sang backup on the song “Electric Blue”, recorded by the Australian band Icehouse, which was a Billboard Top Ten hit. He also co-wrote, produced and sang duet with the Canadian group The Parachute Club on the 1987 song “Love is Fire” which was a Top 30 hit in Canada.
Oates was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004, and in 2014, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a member of Hall & Oates. His memoir, Change of Seasons, was published in 2017.
Oates has been married twice. He and his second wife Aimee Oates have a son, Tanner, who was born in 1996. They reside in Woody Creek, Colorado as well as Nashville, Tennessee.