The specifics of the enigmatic court case and restraining order involving Hall & Oates have surfaced.
John Oates, Daryl Hall’s former musical partner, was sued earlier this month by Hall due to Oates’ purported plans to transfer his portion of the joint enterprise to a third party. Hall claimed that would go against the conditions of a commercial arrangement that the two partners, Hall & Oates, had made. A judge in Nashville’s chancery court quickly halted the sale while the case and an earlier arbitration are still pending.
Hall asked for a restraining order against Oates when he filed the lawsuit, and the judge granted it the next day. Chancellor Russell Perkins decided that until an arbitrator in the previously filed case evaluates the case or until the judge’s order expires, which is typically within 15 days unless an extension is granted, Oates and other parties involved in his trust cannot close the sale of their share of Whole Oats Enterprises LLP to Primary Wave IP Investment Management LLC.
A judge’s order from last Wednesday made more of the originally sealed legal file available to the public. The proposed sale and the terms of the business agreement between the two, however, remain unclear. The legal team representing Hall requested that the case be sealed, citing the privacy of the dispute and the existence of hidden terms pertaining to a secret arbitration procedure.
The “Maneater” hitmakers and Whole Oats Enterprises LLP, a limited liability partnership they owned and controlled, formed a commercial arrangement in October 2021. And while the details of the deal were not disclosed in the lawsuit that was made public, Primary Wave has held a “significant interest” in Hall and Oates’ song catalogue for over 15 years.
According to the case, on November 9th, Hall initiated an arbitration procedure against Oates and the other defendants, Aimee Oates, Oates’ spouse, and Richard Flynn, the business manager, in their capacities as co-trustees of Oates’ trust.
In addition to claiming that Oates’ team divulged their business arrangement to Primary Wave Music in breach of a confidentiality clause, the lawsuit claims that Oates’ team entered into a letter of intent with the music label for the sale.
“Thus, the entire Unauthorized Transaction is the product of an indisputable breach of contract,” the lawsuit states.
The Times’s request for comment was not immediately answered by the attorneys for Hall or Oates. A court hearing is scheduled for November 30 to discuss the case.
Hall & Oates are well-known for being the all-time greatest singing duo due to their 29 hit songs together. Two Top 40 hits are included among Hall’s five solo albums, which he released beginning with “Sacred Songs” in 1980.
Hall claimed to The Times last year that being a member of a musical team is “quite annoying,” despite their success together.
“I don’t like it. John and I call our touring company Two-Headed Monster, because it is that,” Hall said. “It’s very annoying to be a duo, because people always say, ‘Oh, you’re the tall one, you’re the short one. You’re the one that sings, you’re the one that doesn’t sing.’ You’re always compared to the other person. It works with comedy entities, like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello, but with music, it’s f— up, actually.”.
According to Hall, each member of a duo loses their identity because everything they do is compared to the other. The “Someone Like You” hitmaker further griped about the public’s perception that if a duo is “not working, they must be fighting.”