All artists have insecurity.
Americans think that if you’re popular, there must be something wrong with you.
Any song I don’t feel good about, I shelve. Anything you ever hear me sing, it’s because I want to.
Art is a continuum.
As a singer, I float around. I’m kind of scatty, bouncing around a lot. I try to adapt to what’s going on around me in the song and the arrangement.
As I got older, my voice got better.
Being at college, I think that’s the time when you really start searching for things outside yourself.
Chronic Lyme causes arthritis, heart problems, stroke – even death.
Every artistic form has its golden age, and unfortunately I think the golden age for whatever I do probably ended about 1990.
Everybody who I ever cared about has told me that they like my music: Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Al Green, The Spinners, Smokey Robinson. Everybody that matters.
For years and years, I was beset with snide remarks by certain members of the press, where they would turn John Oates into a joke, or they would trivialize what I do, which never really bothered me all that much.
Having a solo career is a funny thing.
I always say the same thing – believe in what you do, do it, and don’t veer away from the truth of it.
I definitely dislike pomposity and artifice. I hope that I’m not that. Once I write a song, it belongs to the world, and the way people perceive it, it’s cool.
I do a project, and then I move on.
I don’t like showboating. I was never a fan of showing off.
I don’t really strain my voice.
I grew up in a very racially integrated place called Pottstown. It was an agricultural / industrial town which has since become a suburb of Philadelphia. I grew up basically in a black neighborhood.
I had the idea of ‘Live From Daryl’s House’ way before I contracted Lyme disease.
I have an English family and I’ve lived in England for years.
I have gone from one relationship to a marriage and stepchildren.
I have to say I have never been comfortable with somebody else telling me what to do – in any way.
I hear a lot of people singing in funny voices and singing like they’re stupid. Singing in a deliberately fey and dumb and childish way. And I find it to be a disturbing trend.
I knew that I would be making music for my whole life; as far as how many people respond to it, you can’t plan for that.
I love antique architecture, so if I have any indulgences, I have owned and renovated and reconstructed a lot of old houses.
I never felt entitled to anything. I’m the hardest worker I know.
I returned to upstate NY where I just laid in bed for days with a fever that just wouldn’t go away. After more of this, I grew increasingly sure that this was not simply the flu!
I specialize in early homes, and what I care about the most is renovating a home and taking it back to its original construction idea.
I think an artist’s true worth comes through an inter-generational thing – when you go beyond your own time, and start influencing people in a greater way than just what surrounds you.
I think Philadelphia has been underrated over the years as a musical region.
I think there are people who really always have and always will care about the quality of music in general, about the sound of the music, things like that.
I wanted to show the world, and myself too, what I can do. I came up in the world of Philadelphia soul, but I’m fluent in a lot of languages musically and I like working with different people from different generations.
I was a pioneer in MTV and I was there from the very beginning. So I saw how that developed and how loose it was and how much fun it was in its looseness. And I was influenced a lot by that.
I was always an introvert as a kid. Then, when I first kind of came out as a human being, I used to be one of those guys who’d go nuts on the dance floor, and people would gather around.
I was just like a 21st century person waiting to be born, and this is the medium that I thrive in. And I feel stronger now than I did any time since I’ve been a teenager – I mean, musically, creatively.
I was very inspired by my mother. She was a vocal teacher and sang in a band, and my first memories of her were going out with her on the local circuit.
I’d like to see more crossover between white and black music. That’s something I’ve been advocating for years.
I’m a born collaborator. This is what I was born to do, really.
I’m always interested in what fans think.
I’m constantly on my toes and re-examining my own music.
I’m in the trenches; I do the best work I can always do. Having said that, the way that what I do converges with the outside world is fascinating to me. Because it ebbs and flows. People’s interest and understanding, it changes all the time.
I’m just about the best singer I know, and it’s time for everybody to say that. I have total facility with my voice. And for some weird reason, critics don’t talk about it.
I’m not a big fan of any video, especially my own. In a word, I hated the Hall & Oates videos.
I’m quite an eclectic musician.
I’m used to the egos in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s where people just expected massive success and thought it was their birth right to be successful.
I’m very enthused about everything. I have a lot to say and a lot of things I’m interested in.
I’ve always been a guy who likes to stretch my limits – to find out if I have any, really.
I’ve always been a spontaneous singer. And all the stuff that you hear on the end of the songs, what they call the ad libs – that just comes out of my head. That’s not thought out at all. I have the verses and the choruses, and then after that it’s total improvisation.
I’ve been traveling around the world forever.
I’ve been watching RFD-TV for a few years. As a person who lives mostly in the country, I appreciate a network that shows the many facets of rural life.
I’ve got a sense of humor. I’m a funny guy.
I’ve watched the world crash and burn in every sense. I’ve watched the record industry crash and burn; politically I’ve watched it crash and burn, financially crash and burn.
If Paul McCartney tells me that so-and-so song is his favorite song, what do I care? What do I care what anybody else says?
If you are a superstar, or whatever you want to call yourself, a person who’s had outrageous success, and you decide to go indie and tell the record companies to screw themselves? That takes a certain amount of courage. And bullheadedness, really.
If you can sing, you never lose your voice. If you don’t know how to sing, your voice goes away because you sing from your throat.
If you see me walking down the street, you’re gonna see the same guy as you do on stage, dressed the same, looking the same, and nothing changes. I’m just one person.
If you take a bunch of superstars and put them in a room where they don’t have their assistants and entourage, it’s funny to see what happens.
If you work hard and you’re good, you can build something for yourself.
If you’re African American, you are forced into making different choices, in a lot of cases, than you are as a white person.
In my Philly neighborhood, black and white kids hung together without even thinking about it. The spirit of Martin Luther King was alive and well.
In the early ’70s, I started to feel like Philadelphia soul was the black-sheep brother of rock and roll. I decided to try to get away from it.
Late 20th century music was a really important thing. It changed the world, and I’m part of that, and now I’m part of the museum that celebrates that.
Like all soul singers, I grew up singing in church but sometimes I would leave early and sit in the car listening to gospel band, The Blind Boys of Alabama. Hearing their lead singer Clarence made me connect the idea of church and show business and see how I could make a career singing music that stirred the soul.
Most artists try to avoid cliches, but it’s pretty hard to avoid them if you yourself end up being one.
My fan base is really expanding into an inter-generational thing – it’s what every artist probably hopes for.
My house is actually two houses that were deconstructed. They were Connecticut Valley houses built in 1771 and 1781. I took them down piece by piece and reconstructed them about 50 miles to the west on the New York/Connecticut border.
Nixon was the beginning of people not trusting politics.
Nobody really cares about what other people think anymore; they’re all about themselves.
Nobody’s going to sell 10 million records by not working hard.
Obscurity is just obscurity. There’s no romance in obscurity.
Reject what you don’t want. Get rid of dead wood.
Smokey Robinson is one of my heroes as a singer and songwriter; a major influence on my own music from the very start.
Some artists are nervous – most of them are, to tell you the truth, and they have different ways of exhibiting that. Some of them are boisterous, some are really quiet.
Success and failure are equally surprising.
The ‘Daryl’s House’ thing has made me into a live musician even more than I ever was, and even in the way I record.
The biggest honor of my career was when I won R&B Artist of the Year back in the 1970s. I look at that as a major honor.
The difference between me and other people in my generation is instead of saying the Internet’s killing the record business, I say, ‘Who cares about the record business, the Internet is enhancing music.’
The first thing I ever did was play talent shows at the Uptown Theater and the Adelphi Ballroom.
The Internet allows me to be more free.
The late 20th century had just enough communication abilities to allow superstar-ness and communality to happen. It was a musical renaissance that rivals the visual one that happened in the 1400s.
The Philadelphia/New York world of the music business is a tough place to be.
The song ‘Laughing Down Crying’ is not a typical Daryl song.
The whole American pop culture started in Philadelphia with ‘American Bandstand’ and the music that came out of that city.
The younger generation gives me more respect than I could ever hope for.
This illness made it impossible for me to give my best effort to our audience, but now that it’s been identified, I’m looking forward to a complete, quick recovery and to get back out there with John as soon as possible.
To me, there’s two kinds of music these days. There’s ephemeral music, and there’s music that has lasting power and depth.
To write a good song, an artist has to drawn from reality. There has to be some spark from realism that communicates a real feeling to someone else. You have to be real. Or you have to be a really good storyteller.
Traditionally, duos get accused of lots of things.
What I do isn’t black music; it’s just my music.
When I was a kid, I always looked up to people like B.B. King and Ray Charles.
When you’re playing in front of people, everything is external. It’s all going from you out to an audience. When you’re in a studio, it’s very internalised, it’s going from the air through you into this meticulously crafted, layered piece of work.
Who knows what the right time to get married is?
Yes, I travel in unusual circles. George Osborne and his wife Frances are my cousins.
You don’t have to be a good musician if you’ve got certain computer skills.
You don’t have to be a good singer any more if you can rap well.
You externalise extreme emotions, and you look at them objectively and understand them from a different standpoint.