Ax Facts and Stats: John Oates of Hall and Oates

As a music writer, I get to meet and interview numerous brilliant artists, but seldom do I get to interview an artist that has made such an impact in music pop culture as this month's "Ax Facts & Stats" featured artist John Oates, of Hall and Oates.

Without doubt, Hall and Oates is the most successful duo in pop history and perhaps best known for incorporating elements of new wave, rock and a R&B influence into such chart toppers as "I Don't Wanna Lose You", She's Gone", "Kiss On My List", their revival of the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", "You Make My Dreams", "Private Eyes", "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)", "Your Imagination", "Maneater," (the duo's fifth US #1 and sixth million-seller), "One On One", Family Man" , "Out of Touch" , "Say It Isn't So" and countless other super-hits that generated recognition for the guys including: winning several American Music Awards, over 19 US gold and platinum awards., RIAA's confirmation in Billboard and Newsweek that Hall & Oates "are now the most successful duo in US recording history" and The list goes on and on!

John Oates is presently on the road this summer with Daryl Hall as well as keeping busy supporting and promoting his most recent solo endeavor "Phunk Shui" and his DVD "John Oates Live at the Historic Wheeler Opera House" which are both extraordinary projects that are sure to not only exhilarate Hall & Oates fans, but entertain enthusiast of countless musical genres including pop, rock, R&B and Motown. These projects accurately draw attention to John's guitar and songwriting talent as well as his incredible vocal range. A special thanks goes out to Mr. Oates for taking time out of his hectic schedule to take part in Extreme Guitars "Ax Facts & Stats" and inviting EG as a guest to his show in Charlotte, NC.

My name is: John Oates

My current job is: 1/2 of the most successful duo in pop history.

My hometown is: Aspen, Colorado.

My current album or project is: My first solo DVD "John Oates Live at the Historic Wheeler Opera House". later this year.

Former band(s): I Have been in H&O for so long I can't remember!

My guitar influences growing up were: Chuck Berry, Curtis Mayfield, and Doc Watson.

The guitars I use are: 1958 Strat, 1941 Gibson acoustic, 1961 Telecaster, Various Taylors and Takamines.

The strings and tunings I use are: Dean Markley with Standard Tuning and occasionally a dropped D.

My current rig setup consists of: Fender Vibro King or ToneMaster with analog pedals: Full Tone Full Drive 2 + chorus + Vox Wah Wah pedal.

The greatest invention for guitars is: The Guitar Tech.

My normal songwriting process: Keeping an open mind and understanding how best to utilize the reality of the moment and personality of whoever you're writing with.

My Favorite Hall and Oates song is: "She's Gone".

My Career highlight is: Surviving over 30 years in the music business.

My most embarrassing moment on stage: The clothes I wore in the 70's.

Other than my guitar, the one piece of my gear that I cannot live without is: My John Deere Tractor.

The first song I mastered on guitar was: "Deep River Blues".

My first guitar was: A Stella acoustic.

If I am only sure of one thing in life, it's... going to change!

My Greatest fear is: onstage is: Losing my family.

The one ritual I always perform prior to going onstage is: Take a safety piss.

Favorite quote: onstage is: "Never quit and don't give up if you know you're right."

The exact moment I knew I would pursue a career in music was: From birth.

The one thing most fans don't know about me is: I'm a way better singer than most people think..

The best advice I could give beginning guitarists is: Learn from your heroes.

The CD(s) I'm listening to right now is: Rough mixes from the next H&O album.

My 3 all-time favorite albums are: The Band, Blue, The Temptations Greatest Hits.

I'm a sucker for: Ice cream.

One of my favorite artists that I jammed with onstage was: David Ruffin and Eddy Kendrick during our "Live at the Appollo Theater" show.

My best gig was: My recent solo show at the Roxy in L.A.

If I could meet any ONE person living or Dead, he/she would: Leonardo Da Vinci.

My favorite junk food: Chocolate.

My biggest pet peeve: Being out of tune.

The word or catch phrase I say too often is: "Dang!"

The hardest part of my job: The travel and hotels.

The first thing I do when I come home from touring is: re-adjust to the high altitude.

I knew I hit the "big time" when: I heard my song on the radio as a teenager while making out with my girlfriend.

The worst job I ever had: I've been blessed to have been a musician all my life.

Right after this interview I'm going to: Work on my waterfall.

I couldn't imagine being on the road without: My family.

If I wasn't doing the musician thing, I could really see myself working as: Stone mason.

My favorite movie ever: Patton.

My mission in life: Be a good and true person and live every minute like it was the last.

My greatest obsession: Telemark skiing.

My first band was: The Soul Sound Continentals.

My next major step is: Another solo album.

The greatest contribution guitars have brought into my life is A passion and a career.

Check out my Website at:

The coolest toy I had growing up was: A guitar

The one musician I would love to work with that I have not yet had the chance would be: Curtis Mayfield but I missed the opportunity when he was alive.

If I could have three wishes, they would be: 1) Life, 2) Love, 3) Happiness

When it's all said and done, I want the world to remember me for: my songs and my commitment.

For more facts and interesting bio stuff at

Extreme Guitars is the web home of articles and interviews written by Dave Roberts. All Dave Roberts interviews & articles are available for use or reprint ONLY by Permission. Permission can be obtained by contacting Dave. All materials are Copyright Dave Roberts and Oceanbreeze Ent. All Rights Reserved.

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