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

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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 the Allman Brothers Band, conducting hundreds of interviews, riding the buses with them, ...

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

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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 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

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
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.)
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

Library Journal - Audio
Guitar World magazine writer Paul (Big in China), who has written about eclectic Southern rock pioneers the Allman Brothers Band for over two decades, recounts the notoriously dysfunctional group's nearly 50-year-long saga in this extensive collection of interviews with past and present band members, collaborators, managers, producers, roadies, and even a few fans. This chronologically linear oral history offers an impressively candid, in-depth, and balanced look at the various intraband feuds, radical lineup changes, legal problems, drug abuse, and tragic deaths that have threatened to derail the band from the very beginning. The book's emotional core is the death of 27-year-old guitar genius and band cofounder Duane Allman, who perished in a 1971 motorcycle accident just as the group was becoming a commercial and creative force. Duane's spirit pervades the entire book, and he is mentioned in many of the conversations. Dan John Miller narrates with a heavy Southern drawl that hardly varies in tone from one contributor to another. This is a minor complaint about an overall satisfying audiobook. VERDICT Recommended to rock music fans seeking insight into the Allman Brothers' long and drama-filled career.—Douglas King, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
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: 9781452649863
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/26/2014
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
  • Sales rank: 473,124
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Paul

Alan Paul is a senior writer for Slam and Guitar World magazines. 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, and People, among other publications.

Actor and musician Dan John Miller is an award-winning audiobook narrator, having garnered multiple Audie Award nominations and one win, twice been named a Best Voice by AudioFile magazine, and received several AudioFile Golden Earphones Awards and a Listen-Up Award from Publishers Weekly.

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Table of Contents

Author’s Note xi

Cast of Characters xiii






4. DREAMS 51







9. PUSH PUSH 135









16. DEMONS 211


18. SHINE IT ON 225






22. REVIVAL 277


23. SECOND SET 290

24. STAND BACK 318









Ac know l edg ments 403



Index 419

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    I've read them all. All of the books published, liner notes, art

    I've read them all. All of the books published, liner notes, articles I could find for the past 44 years, and internet searches too. However I must say reading Alan Paul's book One Way Out is a joy to read and pulls it all together. Most of us old timers have heard or read the all of the war stories through the years but this fills in the blanks of the Allman Brothers story.

    This is a real story of a bunch of young men figuring out their way through life with all of us on board to see and hear and of course read about.

    Long strange trip indeed, to borrow a phrase. All the while making some of the most incredible music for my ears.

    I no longer idolize these guys like I did in the seventies when I was young and naive. Not sure if I would even like some of them. However the constant is the music. That's what is it all about, in the beginning and now. Throughout all that they have been through in their lives the music has remained the dominant force. That is what I take away after reading this book.

    Alan Paul you did a great job on this including all of the beauty and the blemishes of the Allman Brothers Band. Thank you for "getting it" as a lot of us ABB fanatics would say and putting this book out there for us to enjoy.

    Steve D.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    I could not get enough of this book. Did not want to put it down

    I could not get enough of this book. Did not want to put it down but at the same time did not want it to end. I could have read and read more tails and stories about my beloved Allman Brothers Band. It is clear that Alan was/is a huge fan and wanted to present a clear and accurate account from all people who were/are close, up front, and personal. I especially liked the clarity of stories that fans never had a clear picture of. Every time period was accounted for and there was no gossip being spewed. The actual people involved were giving their side and knowledge of events. Great to hear from the ones who have done few interviews regarding their time in or with the band. Just excellent. This book is about the music, the people who created it past and present and loved it and still do to this day. I didn't think I could love this band any more. Reading these words told by each of them, and given to us from Alan is a gift..

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2014

    "One Way Out - The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Ba

    "One Way Out - The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band"
    St. Martin's Press - 2014
    Author - Alan Paul

    It's been long overdue; a once-and-for-all, no-holds-barred history of the Allman Brothers Band as told from the inside. While it's true that there's been no shortage of books dedicated to them over the years, including pictorials, a lengthy discography, an unauthorized band biography, one biography dedicated almost entirely to Brother Duane Allman, Gregg's autobiography, and a pair of readers from two longtime road warriors (one a roadie - the other from a former manager), all of them combined still didn't quite quench the thirst to hear the story as told by band members, both past and present. Well, the wait is over and it's an overwhelming success. Author Alan Paul goes far beyond the reaches of his e-book of a few years ago and offers up a 400-plus page tome that finally reaches the very core of this incredible band and the unerring vision that founder Duane Allman had. Breaking out of the Deep South (Macon, GA) in 1969, the Brothers delivered notice with their first album by blending a heady mix of hard-edged blues, touches of jazz and a bit of psychedelia that was quite unlike anything else of the time. The band's second and third albums went even further and brought the group some well-deserved acclaim before tragic accidents took the lives of guitarist Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley. As much as previous books about the Allmans had landed on these still-exposed nerves in the past, it's safe to say that none of them quite reached the pit of devastation the outfit felt over two consecutive years. Alan Paul's "One Way Out" wonderfully turns countless hours over years of interviews into first-hand accounts from band members that finally tell what it was truly like to reach the peak of rock music's mountain, overcome gut-wrenching tragedies, land on top of the charts and later decline into years of drug and alcohol abuse, then hit the top again two decades later, winning over new fans and reclaiming those who were around at the beginning. By transcribing a massive number of interviews, the author allows the story to be told by founding members Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks and Jai Johnny Johanson, as well as those who joined in later years, Tom Doucette, Chuck Leavell, Warren Haynes, Allen Woody, Johnny Neel, and a cast of others. And it doesn't stop there, with additional and very enlightening quotes from many more who were there at the outset and beyond; Kirk West, Linda Oakley, Willie Perkins, Joseph "Red Dog" Campbell and Kim Payne, this effort is as close as we'll ever get to sitting on the porch listening to everyone reminisce about all that's transpired over the decades of music and history. The fallouts, the friendships, the downs and the ups, the low and high points are all here, but it's not a trash-talking tell-all of embarrassment. Instead, it's been thoughtfully woven together to give the reader the inside scoop. Trust and great interview skills obviously played a major role in the author getting to the heart of the stories and those stories are many. To us, the Allman Brothers Band is a group that transcends time and transforms lives, and much like the band itself, Alan Paul's "One Way Out" will transcend time and become as timeless as the brilliant music created over the past forty-five years. Wonderfully done!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014


    Superficial and unenlightening. A huge disappointment, for what might and could/should have been a fascinating subject.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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