, author of Play It Loud and Light and Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page
, served as the moderator of the event. They discussed the theme of his new memoir Change of Seasons
, where Oates noted that he wanted to a write a book about transformation. "I was trying to figure out strategies to move forward," he said, during his live interview.
Oates, who was raised in Philadelphia, shared that "Philadelphia was a fertile place in the 60's," thus praising its rich music scene. "That is where all the R&B singers performed."
The veteran rock star opened up about the Adelphi Ballroom in West Philly, which is the place where he met Darryl Hall in the 60's. He noted that he went back there to do an interview, and he hasn't visited that venue in 50 years. Most impressive about Oates is that he does not talk about his guitar playing too much in his new book, especially since for him playing guitar is synonymous to a "way of speaking." In recent years, Oates re-dedicated himself to the guitar.
Following Tolinksi's live interview, Oates was gracious enough to take several questions from members in the audience, and it immediately broke into an acoustic performance from the iconic musician. Oates took his fans on a trip down memory lane to some early music from the 1920's by singing an endearing acoustic version of Emmett Miller's "Any Time." "The song was first recorded on a record," Oates said, prior to noting that each time Miller would sing the tune, his rendition would earn him three or four encores. "I probably won't get any, but that's okay," he said.
"This book project has gotten me thinking about all the songs that I've learned as a little kid," he said. "My mom taught me a song when I was four or five years old in the kitchen. She was a great stage mom." He went on to sing the wedding song, "For Me and My Gal," made popular by Judy Garland, as he showcased his rich and sultry baritone vocals, as well as his prowess on acoustic guitar.
"When I said I was going to play some old songs, you had no idea," he admitted. Oates went on to tip his hat to the late Mississippi John Hurt with a bluesy version of "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor." Oates closed his set by paying homage to Doc Watson with "Deep River Blues." "Thank you guys very much for coming," he said. "I hope you enjoy the book."
Overall, The Cutting Room audience was aware that they were in the presence of a living rock legend: John Oates. Aside from his immense talent, he showcased great humility and class; moreover, he was gracious enough to autograph copies of his book to the fans that gathered at the event as they enjoyed his music in a warm, intimate setting. His live performance garnered an A rating.
To learn more about John Oates
and his new book, check out his official website