"Hall & Oates & Dozy Dotes"


Lovers of cable news and rock oldies came together recently when Jon “I’m the one you’re supposed to take seriously” Stewart featured Daryl Hall and John “where’s the mustache” Oates to sing a little ditty about the breakup of another pop culture duo, Sean Hannity and Alan “a mustache would do his face some good too” Colmes…

Of course, those of us who actually lived through the ’70s know that was a parody lyric attached to Hall & Oates’ ‘Philly Soul’ song classic “She’s Gone”. Thanks to my involvement with a college radio station that was getting promotional records from the major labels before it even went on the air, I got to hear “She’s Gone” the first time it was released (and bombed) in 1974. A couple years later, when H&O changed labels and started having hit records, of course the old label re-released “She’s Gone” (because in the record biz in the ’70s, nothing was ever really gone) and the song got some of the recognition it deserved. I say “some” because after all the subsequent years and Hall & Oates records, I still believe it’s just about the best thing they ever recorded. And the image of the duo singing it for Alan Colmes will not take that away from me.

Another awesome thing about “She’s Gone” for me is the original pre-MTV promotional video the guys made for the song. I’m not sure if this was for the first release or some kind of old-label obligation for them, but it is the single most entertaining example of an unenthusiastic, phoning-it-in, semi-lip-syncing (Hall doesn’t even bother with some of his vocals) performance in the history of Rock & Roll, especially considering some of the goofball performances they did in later videos. Of course, somebody uploaded it to You Tube (I recommend watching it all or at least clicking ahead to 2:45 where Oates dresses up in a “penguin tuxedo” to play guitar)…

But my second-or-third favorite H&O song was “Out of Touch”, the lead single from their 1984 let’s-get-more-edgy album “Big Bam Boom”. Now, this was during the time when that most horrific of technological devices, the telephone answering machine, was in common use. And I, in a vain attempt to relive my past radio glories, was making ‘creative’ outgoing messages for the machine. Most of you who are old enough remember how most of these 30-second-or longer amateur productions, intended to make the experience of ‘talking to a machine’ more pleasant, actually did the opposite. But those few messages that actually were entertaining usually resulted in some of your friends passing on your home phone number to people you don’t know and you getting dozens, or hundreds (if you were in L.A. or another Major Metro) of ‘hang-up’ calls on your machine. I got that dubious honor once, when I ‘sang’ (with my voice, that is always in quotes) a custom lyric to the tune of “Out of Touch” while the song’s intro played in the background:

You’re out of luck
I’m out to play
I don’t know enough to come in out of the rain

I’m out to lunch
I’m out of style
But I’ll call you back in just a little while

Talk to my phone
When you hear the tone…

I realized that I currently have recording capabilities far superior to what I had access to 24 years ago (yet still not enough to make my voice sound halfway decent – how DOES Britney do it?) so I re-recorded that audio oddity.
[audio:Out to Lunch.mp3]

This is my first attempt to embed an audio player in this blog, so it may or may not work (and may or may not even appear).Here’s a direct download of the mp3 for the truly masochistic among you.

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