"If you didn't live through the '70s and '80s, if you weren't a rockstar during that time, there's no way you can comprehend what it was like," John Oates said

By Dave Quinn
February 21, 2020 02:45 PM
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Credit: Dimitri Hakke/Redferns

John Oates doesn’t quite remember how many kisses were on his list.

The legendary mustachioed rocker, who is one half of the hit-making yacht rock duo Hall & Oates, opened up about his sexual past in a recent interview, admitting that he’s lost track of how many women he slept with back during the height of the duo’s success.

I’m sure it was thousands,” Oates, 71, told the New York Post‘s Page Six. “I’ve lost track.”

“If you didn’t live through the ’70s and ’80s, if you weren’t a rockstar during that time, there’s no way you can comprehend what it was like,” Oates added of the culture at the time. “There were no cell phones and people taking pictures of everything you did. There was no social media.”

As scandalous as it sounds, the “Maneater” singer said that his romantic rendezvous were “much more innocent” at the time.

“I used to meet girls in various towns and sort of have a relationship,” said Oates, who has been married to his second wife since 1994. “I might see them and then see them six months later.”

The one things Oates and his partner Daryl Hall didn’t do? Cocaine.

“Coke was ubiquitous. Daryl and I never had our issues with it because we never did it,” Oates said. “I tried it back in the Studio 54 days and it made me feel so uncomfortable that I couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t my thing. Both Daryl and I knew that we were going to be musicians for the rest of our lives and the only way for us to be musicians for the rest of our lives was to keep our s— together.”

John Oates and Daryl Hall
| Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty

Oates and Hall, 73, were close friends and roommates at Temple University, meeting in 1967 and combing their efforts into Hall & Oates back in 1970.

The band is the best-selling music duo in history, with 40 million records sold and a total of six No. 1 hits on the Billboard hot 100 — “Rich Girl,” “Maneater,” “Private Eyes,’ “Kiss on My List,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” and “Out of Touch.” Other Top 40 hits have included “You Make My Dreams,” “Sara Smile,” “She’s Gone,” and “Say It Isn’t So.”

Their success has earned Hall & Oates a sea of accolades, with spots in both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And though they’ve been together 50 years this year, the two show no signs of stopping, still frequently touring throughout the country (like they are now).

Even the thought of a farewell tour doesn’t cross them.

I don’t think we’d ever do a farewell tour,” Oates told Rolling Stone in January. “Every farewell tour I’ve ever heard about didn’t turn out to be a farewell tour, so I don’t know what the hell that means. Sure, if it’s a marketing ploy, hey, why not? Everyone needs a hook. Everyone need a schtick. Whatever.”

In fact, both said that once their current tour wraps, they’ll be working on new music. The songs will be the first original tunes Hall & Oates have dropped since 2003’s Do It for Love.

The one thing you won’t see from Oates anymore though? His once-iconic mustache, which he shaved off years ago.

“[It] felt like shedding my skin metaphorically,” he told Page Six. “I wanted to be a different person. I didn’t want to be that 80s guy with the giant mustache and it was more of a ceremonial shaving. I shaved it off, it was gone. I became someone else.”

Instead, he rocks a trimmed goatee — which makes him “the patron saint of facial hair” for the millennial generation, he said.