Your Kiss Is On My List


Here’s Hall and Oates “performing” on an Australian TV show in 1981. Well, they didn’t really perform. Well, they didn’t actually play live—they lip sync, which amazingly was the accepted and encouraged practice at the time. But they definitely “perform.” Just check out Hall, Oates, and Their Friends groove on the beat with their wicked cool dance moves they just can’t keep inside. Dance moves so herky-jerky and casual because they are very self-awarely moving their bodies that were not meant to dance, but which can finally dance because Hall, Oates, and Their Friends have been relieved of the taxing burden of actually having to play their instruments. Also, this is proof positive that although both Hall and Oates enjoyed name billing in the group, Hall was doing the heavy lifting. He sang. His keyboard dominates the mix. Surely Oates, the guitarist, gets his moment to shine in this, one of the group’s biggest hits? No. He doesn’t get the guitar solo. Not even in pantomimed instrumental performances. Not even in television, pantomimed instrumental performances in a band partially named after himself.

Brian Boone

From the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Northwest, I contribute to the Retroist, write for trivia publications, and blog about music in a humorous fashion. I feel about "Back to the Future" the way you feel about "Star Wars." Also, I'm married and have a child (sorry ladies, orphans).

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