Research for a piece about a local New Year's celebration that features both surviving members of 1980s chart tyrants Hall & Oates, Daryl Hall and John Oates, led us away from the eight-track player and into the city. We trolled the streets in search of an outsider's perspective. You know, the average Joe's opinion on the pop phenomenon that is Hall & Oates. Somehow, blank stares met our greeting of, "Hey. New Year's Eve. The Wyndham Anatole. Hall, Oates and you. Whatcha think?" But we're sure it's just because of seasonal holiday stress. Undeterred, we ventured into a record store. We got an answer...and a whole lot more.
An employee (let's call him Lee) noticeably perked up at the news of the Anatole's first Rock'n the New Year celebration. A longtime fan of the duo, Lee was there for the highs of "Kiss on My List" and "Maneater" and the lows of more recent output like 1997's Marigold Sky.
Lee's not a front-runner, as he stuck with "the boys" during the latter-decade decline of H&O's pop/blue-eyed soul fusion, citing 1987's Ooh Yeah! as an underappreciated gem. Still, it's when asked how Daryl and John were so successful that things got heavy. Lee says it's blatantly obvious that Oates is not playing his guitar. "John's throttling the neck like he's killing a chicken," Lee says, which leads our informed clerk to one conclusion: "Since his live skills are questionable at best, and he certainly wasn't 'the hot one,' Oates has to 'have something' on Hall."
We went looking for some retro revelry and ended up with The Oates Conspiracy. That's all the more reason to spend $145 on New Year's at the Anatole, since it also entitles you to a buffet dinner, arcade gaming and a live 10:30 p.m. concert from the venerable Hall & Oates (including a champagne toast at midnight) that will allow you to personally evaluate the situation. See you there...Oh, and Daryl: If Lee's right, screw up the first chorus of "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)." We'll read ya loud and clear.