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One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band Hardcover – February 18, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 288 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* 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. Framed as an oral history, the biography includes extensive, insightful comments not only from band members but also from players at all levels of the music business, from loyal roadies to gifted producers (including the late Tom Dowd) to money-minded record-company executives. They take us through the milestones, from the early days, when the band crisscrossed the country in the dead of winter packed into an underheated van, to the cusp of massive success and the deaths of bandleader and guitarist Duane Allman and bassist Berry Oakley, to the group’s decision to soldier on in spite of the losses. From the beginning, Allman had a certain vision for his band that included two lead guitarists, two drummers, and the soulful, whiskey-soaked vocals of his brother, Gregg. Improbably, Duane spearheaded a long-haired, multiracial band in the Deep South in the late ’60s, but he was supremely confident, at the tender age of 23, that his blues-based music would transcend any barriers. Augmented by photos and fascinating sidebars, this candid oral history has appeal beyond the Allman Brothers Band’s loyal fan base. --Joanne Wilkinson

Review

“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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; F First Edition edition (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250040493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250040497
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"There's only one guy who can sing in this band, and that's my baby brother." Duane Allman.
"There ain't no way because I can't get along with my brother in a band." Gregg Allman.

"You could feel the purity and the fire and intensity. This was music for music's sake." Col. Bruce Hampton.

"We don't wait for it to happen; we make it happen." Dickey Betts.

In a nutshell--this book is well worth your time and money. It's hard to imagine a more definitive look at the band and it's various members. Alan Paul has not only written about the ABB for 20+ years, but is also considered a friend of the band. He doesn't just tell stories about the band, he goes deeper into the "hows" and the "whys" behind the stories. Paul continually puts the reader right next to whomever is talking--no matter what the subject is. The casual conversational style of the book continually gives the reader the feel of being right there when someone is speaking.

"It was church, it was electrifying, it was inspiring." Butch Trucks.

"I'm no musical genius, but I have ears." Dickey Betts.

The book is laid out in a friendly, easy to read, chronological style that tells the entire story of the band. The many viewpoints about a particular point haven't been cleaned up, each person tells his side of the story which adds depth and interest, and that human touch of an oral history. The 35 chapters have been broken down into segments dealing with a particular event in the band's life. And it's refreshing to read viewpoints that aren't always in agreement. The book lays out the music, the drugs, the deaths, the legal matters, the split between Dickey Betts and the band, the recording of their many albums, the songs, and life on the road.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had previously read the Willie Perkins, Gregg Allman, and Chuck Leavell penned books about the band, so when I saw this book hit the shelves I didn't expect to learn a lot more about the band. Man was I wrong. A lot of the background of the ABB with Duane and Berry has been covered before, but the real gold mine in this book for me was the amount of material covered in the post Duane/Berry years. As someone who was first introduced to the ABB in the late 80's, I was especially thrilled to read the chapters that covered the '89-'13 era. The details provided by people like Jack Pearson, Jimmy Herring, Oteil, Marc Quinones, Derek, Warren, and others of that period in the band's history was riveting to me. Thanks to Alan Paul for delivering what I consider the most comprehensive book about the 45 year history of The Allman Brothers Band. It's a must read for any ABB fan.
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Format: Hardcover
First, a personal anecdote: On 3/20/14, on the eve of the release of Alan Paul's masterful oral biography of the Allman Brothers Band, "One Way Out," I attended a book signing and interview at NYC's 82nd St. Barnes & Noble (just eight blocks north of the band's home away from home, the Beacon Theatre), with both the author and ABB drummer/co-founder Jaimoe in attendance. After a fascinating talk by the two, I waited in line to get my book signed, and in short order was standing in front of Jaimoe himself. "You know," I said to him, "I've been a fan of the band for around 45 years and have seen you in concert over a dozen times, but this is the first time I've ever heard you talk." Jaimoe then gave me a slow smile and responded, "You weren't listening." I must have looked a mite confused, as Alan Paul quickly explained, "He's referring to his drumming." I relate this story to illustrate the rather jazzlike notion that Jaimoe was conveying that night; the idea of communicating thoughts nonverbally through one's chosen instrument. And indeed, the ABB has always, if one thinks back, taken the theories of jazz and applied them to its distinctive "Southern rock" (a term that ABB guitarist Dickey Betts apparently hates, the book reveals) sound; as longtime ABB producer Tom Dowd puts it, "They swing like they're playing jazz when they play things that are tangential to the blues, and even when they play heavy rock."

As I mentioned, Paul's book takes the form of an oral biography, and Jaimoe, Betts and Dowd are only three of the 60 people--band members past and present, crew, friends, managers, fellow musicians--who the author interviewed during its preparation.
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