Temple architecture

Daryl Hall on Philly Soul, Flunking Bio at Temple and Opening for Bowie

Questions and answers

Ahead of his show in Philadelphia on April 9, we speak with half of Hall & Oates about his solo retrospective, today’s musical landscape and thanking no one.

Photo-Illustration by Jeff Manning

My full name is… Daryl Franklin Hall. My whole family on my dad’s side seems to have “Franklin” in their names. We’re an old, old Philadelphia family. Both parts date back to the beginning of the 18th century. I’m not going to say I’m related to Ben, because I really don’t know what the meaning of the name is. All is lost to history.

I was born in … Pottstown and came to Philadelphia when I graduated from high school. I lived in Mount Airy, West Philly, Center City. All over town, really.

These days, I live in… London and Connecticut.

My new project is… an overdue retrospective of my solo work from my five solo albums.

If you ask me if I’ll be touring as Hall & Oates again, I’d say… never say never.

I met John Oates… at Temple University in 1967.

My worst subject there was… definitely freshman biology. I completely missed it, which is why I became a music student.

The world of music these days is… fragmented and not like when I started in the late 60s. Now there are so many ways to reach a potential audience. This did not exist when I started.

The biggest crowd we’ve ever played for was… in Philadelphia. Live help. JFK Stadium. It was such an exhilarating day and time. We played a few things, and we also supported Mick Jagger and Tina Turner.

A song I wrote that became a lot more popular when someone covered it was… “Every time you leave.” I wrote that in 1980 and put it on the Hall & Oates album Voice. But then Paul Young cut it and turned it into a massive hit. He did a great job with it.

Music critics are… unimportant to me.

Every time I come back to Philadelphia, I… I really don’t have time to do anything but grab a cheesesteak, visit my family, and go to work.

One of the most memorable shows Hall & Oates ever opened for was… David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust Tour. He was amazing. It was amazing.

When I’m not making music, you’ll find me… supervising the workers of a house. I do a lot of renovation of ancient architecture. I always have a current project.

A current band that I really like is… Silk Sonic, with Anderson Paak and Bruno Mars. With this song “Smokin Out the Window”, they really should be called the Delfonics. This is so Philadelphia Cream.

The Philadelphia music scene in the late 60s was… very diverse. There was a lot of folk music. There was what they called hippie music. But for me, the most important thing was the soul. The world of Gamble and Huff and Thom Bell.

For Hall & Oates, MTV was… revolutionary. MTV changed the world of music – for good and the bad.

I passed the pandemic… do nothing, not like I had a choice. Total hibernation. But it’s a new day. A new world. And I hope it will stay.

If I were to write a memoir, the title would be… Everyone is an asshole. Including me.

The thank you page would include… Good considering the title…

Published as “One of Us: Daryl Hall” in the April 2022 issue of philadelphia cream magazine.