Daryl Hall has taken out a restraining order against his longtime musical partner, John Oates, in a mysterious legal dispute playing out in Nashville.
It’s unclear what the dispute is actually about, as the court documents are sealed. The case summary on the Nashville Chancery Court website classifies it as a “Contract/Debt” dispute. Hall filed the initial complaint back on Nov. 16 (with Nashville journalist Nate Rau one of the first to pick up on it).
Along with filing the complaint, Hall filed a motion for a temporary restraining order (as well as motions to keep all the docs under seal). On Nov. 17, a restraining bond was set at $50,000, and the restraining order itself was issued. There’ve been no further updates since then. Along with Oates, summonses were issued for his wife, Aimee, as well as a man named Richard Flynn, both listed as co-trustees of the John W. Oates TISA Trust.
A lawyer for Hall and a rep for Oates did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s requests for comment.
With the exact nature of the dispute unclear, speculation has largely centered around comments Hall and Oates have recently made about their relationship in the press. Last year, for instance, Hall appeared on Bill Maher’s podcast, where he pointedly referred to Oates as “my business partner… not my creative partner.”
He added: “John and I are brothers, but we are not creative brothers. We are business partners. We made records called Hall & Oates together, but we’ve always been very separate, and that’s a really important thing for me.”
That interview originally dropped on Sept. 25, 2022, right before Hall and Oates played a handful of final shows together in October of that year. Those, as it turns out, may be the last shows the pair ever play together, as Oates speculated in an interview with The Big Takeover at the end of October.
“Daryl and I are pretty much finished touring,” he said before adding, “I never say never, but right now I don’t see any tours.”
Oates went on to explain: “I think we both have grown apart professionally and personally. I think we both want to do something else. I don’t want to sound like doom and gloom, but there’s a reality to being old, to being our age. I think Daryl and I feel the exact same way. As our life is winding down, we want to make up for lost time and do the things that we didn’t get a chance to do while we were working together.”