Finally, he's been renovating his own house in rural Sherman, Connecticut, in yet another TV show, Daryl's Renovation Over-Hall on DIY.
We talked to him a bit about those projects, the "windbaggery" of the Hall of Fame induction night and the possibility of foreseeing the future in lyrics — and we're not talking about "Private Eyes" (we asked!).
Daryl Hall: That was up in Duchess County [NY]. And I sold that house in order to buy the new house. So I needed a venue.
Songfacts: After all the work you put in constructing the original Daryl's House, that must have been sad to let it go. Or was it?
Hall: I was very proud of that work. But I can't say I was sad. Because I like to look ahead. I'm always looking toward the next project.
Songfacts: You've remade the old Towne Crier in Pawling into Daryl's House, a club that will open on Halloween. And then you spent a year putting a two story addition on your new historic house in Sherman, Connecticut, with a TV crew on the scene. How did that work?
Hall: It was a lot of coordination. I had not started renovation yet when they called, and it just so happened that I was going to get started right about the time they wanted me to start.
Songfacts: Did you have to wait to do the work until the cameras were there and you could coordinate shooting?
Hall: I'll be kind and just say they were a bit disorganized. I was organized. And they were the disorganized people. So I won't get into that too much.
Songfacts: And during all this time you are still out on tour with Hall & Oates?
Hall: I am. We're constantly going out there. We're going out for shorter periods of time, but we don't ever stop really.
Songfacts: Are you touring more because of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this year?
Hall: It's the same as always. We're a working band. We go out there all the time.
Songfacts: What was that whole experience like, the whole Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thing for you?
Hall: I have a lot of feelings about it. Did I think it was going to come? I wasn't really sure, because I don't get along with those people. I don't know. I think it was pretty much exactly how I expected: An overlong evening of a lot of windbaggery.
Songfacts: But it's good for you and your music and your fans to be recognized that way, right?
"He's got a few little hobbies and things that he's interested in, but in terms of where he's coming from as a person, music and creativity is really all that matters to him."
Songfacts: Are there some of your songs that have more meaning for you now than they did before, or that you enjoy playing more or that strike you differently?
Hall: When you write a song it is in the present. And sometimes I wrote songs about the future, oddly enough. And what surprises me is when the future comes true, and you look at a song that you wrote, it could be even 40 years ago, and it's more relevant in the present than it even was then. So that's an interesting thing.
Some songs, my life has changed and they have a whole different meaning. They become anything from ironic to poignant. And then some songs are just exactly the way they always were. They're the way I feel, the way I've always felt.
Songfacts: When you think about the future coming true are you thinking about "Private Eyes"?
Hall: No, not that one. When I was a kid I used to write a lot about what I thought things were going to be like. I can't even give you a specific. This permeated my lyrics. If I were to think about it right now, I could pull out phrases and say, wow, how did I even know that? How did I even know that that's going to happen? Or that's the way life works? That kind of thing.
The 1981 track is also the basis of Simply Red's 2003 single "Sunrise."
And Hall once said that while they were recording "We are the World," Michael Jackson told him he lifted the baseline of "I Can't Go for That" for his own megaseller, "Billie Jean."
Hall: No, no, no. Once it leaves me, it belongs to the world. As long as you pay me, do whatever you want, you know? I mean, playing around with songs is an interesting idea. I'm all for it. As long as you don't denigrate it or change the meaning to something that is inconsistent with the point of the song. I don't agree to that. I usually reject that, if that's thrown at me. But you know, anything else is sort of OK with me.
Songfacts: Are there some covers of your music that you particularly liked when you heard them?
Hall: I'll pick two: "Rich Girl" by The Bird and the Bee, who put out a whole album of their music in 2010 titled Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall & John Oates.
And Paul Young, who made a No. 1 hit out of "Everytime You Go Away" in 1985.
September 17, 2014. For more, go to livefromdarylshouse.com.
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