Hall and Oates have been eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1997, but they didn’t even make the ballot until a few months ago. “Critics were creating a sort of canon of music back in the day and they didn’t really understand my roots,” says Daryl Hall. “I think Philadelphia has been underrated over the years as a musical region. I wasn’t respected for being what I was.”
That will change on April 10th, 2014, when Hall and Oates are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center alongside Nirvana and Kiss (See the full list of 2014 inductees here).
Daryl Hall called Rolling Stone from London to talk about the honor, his past awards and his personal thoughts on Kiss.
Start by telling me your first reaction to the news.
Somebody told me when I was in the middle of filming Live From Daryl’s House. Everyone went,”Congratulations!” I went, “I know, man. It’s a really good show today!” I didn’t realize what they meant.
Is this something that you ever felt would happen?
I didn’t think it would happen as long as the people who were in power stayed in power. I’ve always been sort of on the other side of the fence with the old guard and the powers-that-be. So it was a bit of a surprise to me. This turn of events and the way things are changing is very pleasant. I think it’s the right thing and I think it validates something that needs to have a reason to be serious.
Why do you think the old guard was so opposed to you back in the day?
I haven’t a clue. It’s probably because they had their own opinions about what constituted exceptional music in that period of time and it was based on a lot of things that I wasn’t really interested in. I have slightly different roots than most of the writers.
There really has been a reappraisal of your work in recent years, though.
I do believe so and that’s a nice thing. All things change. Times move on and things get validated. The whole new generation of people are looking at me and John in a different way
I imagine it’ll be emotional to be back at that podium, but as an inductee and not just a presenter.
My emotions are mixed about it. I’m saving my thoughts about it. I don’t think I’m gonna prepare anything. I’m gonna let the moment wash over me and see how I react to it. I think that’s probably the best thing I could do, just be as honest as possible.
I don’t know if you know this yet, but you’re getting inducted alongside Nirvana, Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Kiss and Linda Ronstadt.
Well, those are all people who made significant contributions to late 20th century music.
I’m trying to imagine that all-star jam at the end of the night.
With that group, it’ll be very hard to imagine. I wonder what Gene Simmons is going to do?
Are you a fan of Kiss?
I can’t say that I am. I respect what they did, though. They did something pretty unique and I always respect uniqueness.
How does this rank with past honors you’ve received?
The biggest honor of my career was when I won R&B Artist of the Year back in the 1970s. I look at that as a major honor. The Songwriters Hall of Fame was a big honor. You know what? My biggest honor was winning the American Music Awards because the people voted. I’m always interested in what fans think. I don’t care about contras of secret voters or political moves and all that stuff. It doesn’t really resonate with me. If a fan lets me into something, I say, “Okay, I’m doing something right.” That’s how I look at it. I don’t really care about awards and if I do care, it’s definitely because of my fans.
The ceremony is in Brooklyn this year at the Barclays Center. You’re definitely going, right?
If it’s in Brooklyn, I’m not going! (laughs) I’ve got a dentist appointment in New York and I have no time for that. . . I’m kidding. Of course I’m going to be there.