One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band

Overview

A New York Times Best seller!

 

One Way Out is the powerful biography of The Allman Brothers Band, an oral history written with the band’s participation and filled with original, never-before-published interviews as well as personal letters and correspondence. This is the most in-depth look at a legendary American rock band that has meant so much to so many for so long.

For twenty-five years, Alan Paul has covered and written about The ...

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One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band

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Overview

A New York Times Best seller!

 

One Way Out is the powerful biography of The Allman Brothers Band, an oral history written with the band’s participation and filled with original, never-before-published interviews as well as personal letters and correspondence. This is the most in-depth look at a legendary American rock band that has meant so much to so many for so long.

For twenty-five years, Alan Paul has covered and written about The Allman Brothers Band, conducting hundreds of interviews, riding the buses with them, attending rehearsals and countless shows. He has interviewed every living band member for this book as well as managers, roadies, and contemporaries, including: Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Jaimoe, Butch Trucks, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, the late Allen Woody, Jimmy Herring, Eric Clapton, Bob Weir, and many others.

Tracking the band's career from their 1969 formation to today, One Way Out is filled with musical and cultural insights, riveting tales of sometimes violent personality conflicts and betrayals, drug and alcohol use, murder allegations and exoneration, tragic early deaths, road stories, and much more, including the most in-depth look at the acrimonious 2000 parting with founding guitarist Dickey Betts and behind-the-scenes information on the recording of At Fillmore East, Layla, Eat A Peach, Brothers and Sisters, and other classic albums.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This pot-stirring oral history reads like a backstory of how musical lightning comes to be. All of the surviving band members get to have their say." Rolling Stone

"Alan has a way with narrative that just draws you in without using the single-level storyline used by other writers who have attempted telling the Allman Brothers Band’s story. He gets right to the hows and whys that give his narrative real substance. Enjoy and become enlightened." —Butch Trucks, the Allman Brothers Band (From the Foreword)

"No journalist knows the ins and outs of the Allman Brothers Band better than Alan Paul." —Warren Haynes, the Allman Brothers Band

"I learned so much reading One Way Out. If you want to know the real deal, read Alan Paul." —Oteil Burbridge, the Allman Brothers Band

"Allman Brothers, unvarnished . . . [Alan Paul]'s vast trove of interviews allows the band to tell its own story." —Atlanta Journal Constitution

"Alan Paul is one of America's foremost experts on the Allman Brothers Band. For the past twenty years, he has written informative, comprehensive articles on the band, and he truly understands the essence of their significance. It's great to see him release this chronicle." —E.J. Devokaitis, Curator / Archivist, Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House

"Alan Paul’s One Way Out is a brilliantly detailed all-access pass to the Allman Brothers Band. Using his numerous personal interviews with the band members themselves—both past and present—as well as an almost endless entourage of friends, family members, roadies, managers, promoters, booking agents, record label executives, and fellow musicians, Alan Paul has successfully created the definitive ABB biography." —Randy Poe, author of Skydog: The Duane Allman Story

"One Way Out is perhaps the most in-depth look at one of America’s most beloved, but thoroughly dysfunctional ensembles. Engrossing reading . . . Alan Paul has written about the Allmans for the last 25 years, and his depth of knowledge shows. The stories are salty, unfiltered, and straight from the horse's mouth. The word 'definitive' gets tossed around so often it has lost some of its meaning, but this 400-page journey into the heart of rock and roll darkness deserves the accolade." —Guitar World Magazine

"No matter what you think you know about the Allman Brothers Band, One Way Out is bound to be revelatory on many levels . . . This is essential reading that strips away the myth to expose all the moving parts in vivid detail." —Seattle PI

"Music writer Paul catches up with the legendary band in this entertaining, compulsively readable oral history of the Allman Brothers. Duane's ghost haunts the book." —Publishers Weekly

"Perhaps no music journalist has written as extensively about the Allman Brothers Band as Paul, who has tracked the rock group’s career for 25 years. And his deep familiarity with the band and its music shows everywhere in this fluid account. Augmented by photos and fascinating sidebars, this candid oral history has appeal beyond the Allman Brothers Band’s loyal fan base." —Booklist, starred review

"With this fine work, Alan Paul accomplishes the admirable feat of delving the depths of the Allman Brothers, a great aggregation of talent and artistry. He puts together the sweeping picture of how these gifted individuals with their special Southern stylishness created something utterly unique to the world. Rock on." —Billy F Gibbons, ZZ Top

"Open this book to any page, start reading, and I dare you to stop. Alan Paul captures all the momentum and energy of the Allman Brothers' long, wild ride, which continues at a breakneck pace. One Way Out? There's no way out of this rollicking narrative until, with regret, you reach the end." —Anthony DeCurtis, Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone

"I was struck by the similarities between the Doors and Allman Brothers, especially in our origins—the Eureka moment of certainty amidst a jam. Alan lets the people who were actually there tell the story, and I couldn't put it down. Great read!"—Robby Krieger, The Doors

"Like a master bandleader, Alan Paul orchestrates a bluesy, jazzy, rocking chorale of voices telling the tale of a brotherhood under stress and a band who got what they hardly realized they wanted, lost what they had and fought a decades-long struggle to get it back."—Charles Shaar Murray, author of Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop and Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker

"Paul’s One Way Out is a fresh, intelligently arranged, and satisfyingly complete telling of the lengthy (and unlikely) history of the group that almost singlehandedly brought rock up to a level of jazz-like sophistication and virtuosity, introducing it as a medium worthy of the soloist’s art. Oral histories can be tricky things: either penetrating, delivering information and backstories that get to the heart of how timeless music was made. Or too often, they lie flat on the page, a random retelling of repeated facts and reheated yarns. I’m happy to say that Paul’s is in that first category."—Ashley Kahn, author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album

"Though enough tomes have been published about the Allmans’ troubled history to deforest half of Brazil, only Paul’s book gets all the principal figures assessing and confessing. However open and moving Gregg Allman’s autobio from 2012 may have been, Paul’s book gives a much fuller picture of the dynamics that drive every member — including why guitarist Dickey Betts remains so vexing." —New York Daily News"Paul's book presents the most complete and detailed telling of the band's still-unfolding saga to date. Elizabeth Reed, Melissa and Jessica would also probably agree."—Houston Press

The New York Times Book Review - Howard Hampton
Alan Paul's One Way Out…is nothing fancy, but its alternating-voices format lays the band's mottled history out with a convincing sense of how its triumphs and hard times were wholly interwoven. The book's virtue is the way its democratic ethos mirrors that of the Allmans' racially integrated, communal aspect: The roadies play nearly as large a part in the story as the band members themselves.
Publishers Weekly
10/28/2013
Music writer Paul catches up with the legendary band in this entertaining, compulsively readable oral history of the Allman Brothers. Through interviews with every member of the band except Duane Allman and original bassist Berry Oakley, their friends and music associates, as well as in sidebars about various aspects of the band’s history and a “highly opinionated” discography, Paul traces the ups and downs of the band and its music from Duane’s and Gregg’s early bands in Jacksonville, Fla., the earliest days of the Allman Brothers as they developed their signature sound with the original members of the band, Duane’s side projects with Derek and the Dominoes and Muscle Shoals, through the deaths of Duane and Berry in the early ’70s to the various incarnations of the Allman Brothers over the past 20 years. In many ways, Duane’s ghost haunts the book. As Gregg recalls of his brother: “He was always up to something… he either had his head in a book, his arm around a woman, or his arm around a guitar and it was singing to him.” According to original drummer Jaimoe Johnson: “After Duane died, a lot changed. Everyone wanted to be Duane, but no one knew how to do shit except play music.” On the mystique and power of the Allman Brothers’ music, Dickey Betts reflects: “We seemed to have the longevity of an elephant.” (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-11-26
"I have viewed everything with the eyes and ears of a journalist but the heart and soul of a fan," writes Guitar World senior writer Paul (Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing, 2011), who spent decades and hundreds of interviews earning the trust of musicians who didn't always trust each other. "The Allman Brothers Band, I believe, has no equal." One need not share the author's belief in the band's supremacy to find its story engrossing. The majority of the book takes the form of oral history, which on other projects might sometimes seem slapdash and lazy but here proves crucial, for there are so many different perspectives--on everything from the band's name to leadership and songwriting credits--that having dozens of different voices serves readers well. Nobody disagrees on the overwhelming talent, inspiration and legacy of guitarist Duane Allman, who formed the band, saw it coalesce into something special, and died recklessly and young before the music reached its popular peak. Explains one fellow musician, "Duane died just on the downstroke of the diving board, as the band was about to launch." The loss of Duane and founding bassist Berry Oakley a year later would have brought an end to a less determined band, but the ABB somehow flourished despite a leadership void and decades of tensions exacerbated by drugs and alcohol. Perhaps the most complex relationship was between Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts, as the former was never considered an equal partner with his brother, and the latter resented the implications of the band's name as he attempted to fill the guitar void and rule more by dictatorship than the universal respect Duane commanded. In the wake of Betts' departure and Gregg's sobriety, the responsibility has largely shifted to a new generation of guitarists, as the band improbably boasts its strongest dynamic since its original leader's death. The author doesn't pull punches, but all involved should find it fair as well as comprehensive.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250040503
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/2015
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 801,383

Meet the Author

Alan Paul

ALAN PAUL is a senior writer for Guitar World magazine and has interviewed the Allman Brothers Band hundreds of times. No one has written more frequently about the band, and his work has earned the praise of Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Butch Trucks, and other band members. He is the author of Big in China, and his work has also appeared in The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, People, and ESPN.com, among others.

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Table of Contents

Author’s Note xi

Cast of Characters xiii

FOREWORD BY BUTCH TRUCKS xix

PROLOGUE 1

1. BEGINNINGS 13

2. PLAYING IN THE BAND 17

3. GEORGIA ON A FAST TRAIN 32

4. DREAMS 51

SIDEBAR: DOUBLE TROUBLE 67

5. ONE MORE TRY 71

SIDEBAR: BLUE SUEDE 76

6. KEEP ON GROWING 81

7. LIVING ON THE OPEN ROAD 92

8. LIVE ALIVE 116

9. PUSH PUSH 135

10. SWEET LULLABY 143

11. MEAN OLD WORLD 147

12. WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN? 157

13. AIN’T WASTING TIME NO MORE 165

SIDEBAR: SWEET MELISSA 176

14. DRUNKEN HEARTED BOY 179

SIDEBAR: THE BIG HOUSE 195

15. GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD 198

16. DEMONS 211

17. MOUNTAIN JAM 218

18. SHINE IT ON 225

SIDEBAR: SOUTHERN MEN 232

19. END OF THE LINE 234

SIDEBAR: OR GA NI ZA TION MAN 242

20. CAN’T SPEND WHAT YOU AIN’T GOT 245

21. IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY 265

22. REVIVAL 277

SIDEBAR: MARCH MADNESS 288

23. SECOND SET 290

24. STAND BACK 318

SIDEBAR: KICKIN’ ASS 336

25. LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN 340

26. WALK ON GILDED SPLINTERS 351

27. ONE MORE RIDE 357

SIDEBAR: YOUNGER BROTHER 367

28. HITTIN’ THE NOTE 371

29. THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER 379

AFTERWORD BY JAIMOE 399

Ac know l edg ments 403

APPENDIX: A HIGHLY OPINIONATED

ABB DISCOGRAPHY 407

Index 419

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