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After facing Lyme disease, Hall is ready to rock

By Steve Morse, Globe Staff | August 23, 2005

Singer Daryl Hall has endured a potentially life-threatening summer. He was diagnosed with Lyme disease after stumbling offstage with a 102-degree fever in June. He and touring partner John Oates -- one of the most popular soul-pop duos of the past 20 years -- canceled their July shows as Hall sought medical help and retreated to his upstate New York home. Hall & Oates are now launching a national tour (with Todd Rundgren opening) at the Bank of America Pavilion tonight. Hall recently spoke about his ordeal for the first time.

How is your health right now?

I'm not out of the woods, but I'm fine, let's put it that way. With tick-related diseases, it takes a long time to rid yourself of these things -- if you're lucky enough to actually be able to do that. I've become an instant expert on this, having been exposed to it. I actually have four tick-related diseases. Everybody thinks it's just Lyme disease -- and they all have different cures. But I was lucky. I caught it fairly early and my doctor, who is considered to be one of the top experts on this in the world, is using the word ''cure." And that's a rare word to use with Lyme disease.

How did you know you had it?

I had this raging fever, and my bones were aching and my muscles were twitching. And I had an extreme headache. I just felt like I had the worst flu in the world . . . I was tested and what came up was a disease called ehrlichiosis.

Were there any fears that you might not play any dates this summer?

I was seriously scared for a while. I mean, I'm an athlete of sorts. What I do is very physical. If you have this stuff, you can maybe stumble into the office and work if you have a sedentary kind of job. But if you do what I do, you've got to be in peak condition. People are paying money to see me do my best, and that's the only thing I accept is to do my best. And when I was faced with the possibility in the beginning of not knowing where I was at, it was terrifying. It was, 'What am I going to do? Is life over? Can I sing again? Can I get onstage again?' All these things went through my mind.

Is there another album in your future?

Yes, and I'm already writing. I had plenty of chances to write this summer. I wasn't doing anything else. I was just sitting around with my guitar and my keyboards and my sickness, but I've been coming up with a lot of ideas. I hope we can get another album out by the end of '06.

Source: Boston Globe & New York Times

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