The Pitch’s reviewer, David Hudnall, probably wishes he was never assigned to interview anyone from the group “Hall and Oates,” who are peforming at Starlight Theatre Saturday night.
Hudnall had arranged to interview John Oates and was prepared with questions for Oates. But a mix-up caused Hudnall to be stuck interviewing Daryl Hall.
And Hall did not seem particularly pleased to be interviewed.
Hudnall seemed as if he got off on the wrong foot with Hall— and then things seem to go downhill from there. Many comments from readers about his interview and story have also been pretty brutal.
Credit Hudnall for even printing the interview and also admitting to readers that it was not his best work. He could have simply trashed it.
“I tried to salvage the interview, but Hall seemed miffed and gave mostly curt answers,” wrote Hudnall. “It was a total missed opportunity. But he said a few interesting things; read on for the full conversation.”
Hudnall admitted he was not thrilled to speak with Bottom Line Communications about the interview, but stepped up to the plate.
“I think Hall, like most people who’ve been interviewed thousands of times in their careers, isn’t especially eager to sit on the phone for twenty minutes and talk about music he made 20, 30 years ago,” says Hudnall. “I don’t really blame him for that, although if Hall and Oates is going to tour and try to sell tickets to shows where they play mostly songs that they wrote 20, 30 years ago, that kind of goes with the territory.”
Was preparing to interview one band member and getting the other a challenge? Well, yes.
“I thought I was interviewing Oates, so I’d prepped for the interview by researching a lot of the things Oates has done in recent years, and planned to make it more about him than the band,” he says. “Somewhere in the tangle of managers, publicists, and promoters who coordinate these things, there was a miscommunication, and when I answered the phone it was Hall.
“So I had to wing it, and all I had to fall back on was my general knowledge of Hall and Oates (I’m a casual fan) and a few other questions about the band that I’d jotted down. I came off as unprepared, which I was, although it wasn’t really my fault. And what I got was basically just a bad interview.”
Any thoughts of simply trash-canning the entire interview?
“We considered scrapping it but ultimately I tend to think that shading in context and humor and being honest about why an interview turned out poorly is more interesting than publishing a straight, boring Q&A,” noted Hudnall. ”
“Or at least, that’s my preference as a reader. Obviously some of the commenters, a disproportionate number of whom claim to be “award-winning journalists,” disagree. But I definitely have no regrets about publishing it the way we did.”