John Oates — one-half of the most successful pop duo in the world, Hall & Oates — will release his memoir, Change of Seasons, on April 4, 2017. Next spring, not only will fans get to read about Oates’ life and career in his own words, but alongside the memoir, the icon will also release a set of both original and traditional songs that reflect the stories of the book, including a special live version of “Maneater.”
EW is excited to exclusively reveal the cover for Change of Seasons — and below, Oates tells us more about these projects and why he’s telling his story.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why is now the right time to write a memoir?
JOHN OATES: I guess you just get to a point in life where you look back and realize that you are really fortunate to have grown up during a very unique musical era in American history. I remember the post war era of Big Band Music and how it evolved from the ’40s to the ’50s. I grew up with rock ‘n’ roll, and rock ‘n’ roll grew up with me. And then there was the folk movement, doo-wop, and R&B. I was in the thick of it all. I really feel that my life paralleled so many of these American musical movements, and so this really felt like my chance to document not just what I’ve done, but what others did around me. But this book is not just about music, it’s about reinventing a life and overcoming personal challenges. I was a journalism student in college and have always dreamed about writing a book, so the time has come.
How did you help remind yourself about the events you wanted to cover? Were you a journaler? Did you interview friends and family?
I kept handwritten journals starting in 1970, the day I graduated college, until the end of the decade. Somehow I knew my life would change dramatically, and it did. There are many experiences taken directly from these journals as well as plumbing the memory, which has turned into a kind of regressive therapy for me, going back in time and letting the floodgates open. Many of my friends and family have also added their recollections.
Why did you want to release new songs along with the book?
I wanted to include my personal interpretations on some of the important music and artists that influenced me before I began to work with Daryl Hall. There’s a lot people don’t know about my musical roots from childhood. I wanted to create a kind of companion/soundtrack to the book. I really want this to be a unique experience for readers, something that goes beyond just the printed page.