Hall & Oates: ‘We are the victims of … rickrolling’

hallCelebrated 1970s-80s pop duo Daryl Hall and John Oates met with elementary school-aged children in Austin, Minn., on Friday with what appeared to be a desperate plea:

“You have the Internet here. Put us on it,” whispered Oates, his Tom Selleck-ian facial hair worming dangerously close to a the ear of a third-grade boy.

The rock and soul’ers, as famous for their frothy follicles as their so-gay-its-almost-Swedish looking album covers, are visiting playgrounds and computer camps in support of their recently released 74-track, 4 CD box set “Do What You Want, Be What You Are.”

It is a perceived slighting at the helm of this unconventional tour.

“We feel that we are the true victims of the rickrolling phenomenon,” Hall explained. “That joke should have been about us.  ‘Maneater’ gets to the heart of rickrolling in a way that ‘Never Going to Give You Up’ ever will. In fact, most of our discography is way more hilarious than anything that … that … Englishman ever wrote.”

“I mean, have you people ever heard the song ‘Private Eyes’?” Oates asked dramatically, wiping his hands on his spandex-covered thighs.

Rickrolling is a bit of Internet hilarity that surfaced in 2007 in which a seemingly innocuous Web link redirects surfers to a video for the 1987 pop hit by Rick Astley. The meme has made Astley wildly popular with children who were likely conceived while that song was playing.

The 300 students shifted uncomfortably. One looked to his teacher and whispered “If they offer me candy, I should say ‘no,’ right?” His teacher nodded and shushed the tot.

“Please right this wrong,” Oates appealed to the children. “When you get home from school, find a way to surreptitiously link to one of our songs on You Tube. … ‘Rich Girl’ or ‘You’re Kiss is on My Lips’ are good picks for this sort of thing.”

“And when someone asks you what you’re doing, say something like ‘Ha! You just got Hall’ed,” Hall said excitedly.

” Oates. Oates-rolled. Rolled Oates,” Oates corrected his longtime partner.

“It’s Hall’ed. But whatever. It’s going to be huge,” Hall said. “And we’re giving you the chance to start it.”