Change of Seasons

John Oates, with Chris Epting. St. Martin’s, $29.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-08265-7
The mustachioed half of one of the best-known duos in pop history, Oates offers a memoir that might lead even his greatest critics to revisit the ’80s icons. Encouraged to sing by his mother’s traditional Italian family, Oates found rock ’n’ roll and his first guitar before he was seven. Half-hearted journalism studies at Temple University in the late 1960s gave him time to explore the dynamic Philadelphia music scene before partnering with Daryl Hall. Stardom was a long time coming, and en route Oates took interesting detours—including a hippie wanderjahr across Europe and an auto-racing career. Defined by a relentless work ethic and interests ranging from Beat poetry to Delta blues, Oates is a child both of the ’60s and blue-collar America. Oates can gloat, pointedly listing his accomplishments as a skier, wrestler, pilot, and tennis player. Yet, above all, charm and curiosity distinguish him from the standard-issue pop star. Oates writes with brio on songwriting and the studio (although little about his relationship with Hall), but his early years and travels are even more intriguing. Such an engaging narrator is Oates that it’s easy to miss the strict limits to his revelations—romance goes almost unmentioned and ’80s excesses are discretely elided. The second half loses focus, but there are still plenty of entertaining anecdotes on such topics as having Hunter S. Thompson for a neighbor. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/09/2017
Release date: 03/28/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-1-250-13140-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-1061-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5113-1060-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5113-1062-8
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