The musician is currently prepping for a run of shows in September, kicking off with a performance at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night
From the beginning, John Oates wanted “Maneater” to go reggae.
"I had just come back from Jamaica when I got the idea for the chorus, and I wanted to write it as a reggae song because that was the place I was in, both musically and mentally," Oates, 75, tells PEOPLE about the creative beginnings of the Hall & Oates song that would ultimately reach the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 100 charts back in December of 1982.
"I fooled around with it, and then when [Hall & Oates bandmate] Daryl [Hall] and I got together, I played it for him, and he was like, 'This is a great hook, man.' He just felt it wasn't really going to fit into what Hall & Oates were doing at the time. And he was right."
But earlier this year, roughly over 40 years later, Oates' reggae wishes came true when he traveled to Jamaica to work with producer Native Wayne Jobson and a lineup of legendary reggae musicians to record a reggae version of "Maneater."
"I went to Kingston for three days, and it was crazy," Oates remembers of the recording session. "We went to this little, tiny studio in the middle of this little funky neighborhood, and we just jammed, and we played, and I took it back to Nashville and finished it."
And while fans have loved the new version of "Maneater" since its official release back in May, Oates still isn't sure what Hall thinks of it.
"Nope, I haven't heard from him," Oates tells PEOPLE. "I'm not even sure if he has or hasn't heard it."
Granted, Oates doesn't have much time to dwell on such things, as the New York native recently returned to his home in Nashville after a three-week stint at his other home in Colorado.
"Colorado is almost like going to a health spa, honestly," says Oates with a chuckle. "I'm outside all day long. I'm on my tractor, I'm working on the ranch, or I'm hiking in the mountains or riding my bike. It's really about being healthy and that sort of thing."
Of course, the atmosphere in Music City is a whole lot different.
"When I'm here in Nashville, I kind of hit the ground running," says Oates, who has also been busy releasing original tracks such as "Too Late to Break Your Fall" and "Disconnected" as of late. "It's recording studios, it's interviews, it's shows — it's more music business oriented for me. Tennessee has some great things to do too, but it’s completely different."
Oates is currently prepping for a run of shows in September, kicking off with a performance at the legendary Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night.
"I love that I can get on that same stage with the legends of country, obviously from a genre and a style of music that I'm not necessarily associated with, but one I have a deep knowledge of and a reverence for,” says Oates, who will also perform at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Sept. 6.
“Just the fact that I can go to the Ryman and stand on that historic stage and play different types of music… I mean, I don't think a lot of classic rock artists get that opportunity. I'm very proud of that, and I'm very aware that it's a very unique thing that I've been able to carve out for myself."
He pauses for a moment.
"At this stage in my career, this is what it's all about. It's all about these unique experiences and really celebrating the fact that I've had this 50-year plus career, and I get a chance to do these unique, amazing things."
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Read the original article on People.