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

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  925 ratings  ·  137 reviews
This oral history of the Allman Brothers Band has been culled from hundreds of hours of interviews, all conducted by award-winning author and journalist Alan Paul, of Guitar World magazine. Interviewees include band members Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Jaimoe, Butch Trucks, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Chuck Leavell, Jack Pearson, Jimmy Herring, David Goldf ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by St. Martin's Press (first published May 21st 2012)
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Clark It's not a secret at all; but the owners want their privacy, and do not want it to become a tourist trap the way the Rose Hill cemetery, big house, et…moreIt's not a secret at all; but the owners want their privacy, and do not want it to become a tourist trap the way the Rose Hill cemetery, big house, etc. all are.(less)

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Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I have never listened to the Allman Brothers, having come of age musically in the early 90s with the Seattle scene, but I often enjoy music biographies, and found this one to be a very informative and enjoyable read.

I was aware that tragedy had surrounded the band over the years, and also knew that 'Almost Famous', the Cameron Crowe film, was based on his experiences touring as a journalist with the Allman Brothers, but the extent to which death and demons associated with drug and alcohol abuse
Alan Paul
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Please note that all reviews posted here are for a different book. The Ebook edition was a shell of what is being released by St. Martin's on February 18.

The new book is five times longer and will have 150 photographs.

Sharon Barrow Wilfong
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
People are a little surprised that I like reading books about rock stars. I am largely into classical literature and biography, but I also am very interested in the entertainment industry. Not so much as a screaming fan, although I'm not above that, but because I like to get inside what makes a musician tick, how do they write their music, how did they arrive at national, international success.

I think people, or maybe just me, think of rock musicians as uneducated people that got discovered at a
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 Jaimo ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ONE WAY OUT: THE INSIDE HISTORY OF THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND by Alan Paul is an extensively researched biography of the legendary band that covers the entire history from Duane and Gregg’s beginnings and early bands until 2014 when this book was published.

Every aspect of the band in it’s tumultuous existence is covered here in a unique approach that the author also used in his excellent biography Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan where he has multiple quotes from different band
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you are an electric guitar player and you are NOT an Allman Brothers Band fan - then you really aren't a guitar player.

This is the Allman Brothers Band book that i've been waiting over 25 years for (ever since Warren Haynes made the Pattern Disruptive album with Dickie Betts back in 1989 - when I bought it.)
This book was so exciting I didn't even need a bookmark. Everytime I picked it up I knew exactly where i had left off the time before.

I'm a Warren Haynes fan, so those are the stories I
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads

***** This is a First Reads, Thank You Goodreads ******

Mr. Paul has gathered every surviving member of the band, past and present, to give an honest, raw account of the band, each other, the music, what was, and what happened. Duane Allman's demons come into account, the drugs, the fame, the brilliance that died too soon. The darkness that fell over them and yet through it they continued, they made music.
I love how this is told and weaved - the stories from different perspectives at the same ti
Mac McCormick III
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any Allman Brothers Band fan
I am a long time fan of the Allman Brothers Band. Their music has appealed to me since late in high school when I began to lose interest in harder rock, metal, and pop music and became more interested in music like theirs and Eric Clapton's. The emotion and the varied influences drew me in and with the Allman Brothers Band, so did the sound. It was blues, jazz, rock, and country all stewed together. Drums crashing like waves on a beach, a rhythm section that was rolling and artistic instead of j ...more
Mike Mitchell
Apr 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you dig the Allman Brothers, this is a must. If you don't, well, what's the point? Most or all of the book is culled from interviews with the band members or folks that were there when it all went down. I usually have little or no patience for anecdotes about fighting and dysfunctional musicians but the Abros and this book raise it to an art form. Maybe it passes muster with me just because I'm such a fan of the music. There aren't many or any of this type left and these guys are wrapping up ...more
Sharon Chance
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing

If you are from the South, love Southern Rock music, and are a "baby boomer," then you know and love those boys from Florida - The Allman Brothers Band. Their music is legendary, their lives are legendary and now the tales of everything we've always "heard of" are related in a brilliant biography, "One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band," by Alan Paul.

Paul has gathered interviews with all the players, all the families and friends, and all the hangers-on to make this book o
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Musicians will have an appreciation for learning how the original lineup was instinctively constructed by Duane, the methods use to come up guitar harmonies, etc. Much of the oral history simply confirms what one who has paid attention to the music and has seen many shows over the years has deduced. It's interesting that personal conflicts and massive substance abuse comes straight through to the music. It's entirely fitting that the band will go out at the end of this year playing the best musi ...more
Jim Lane
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I love ABB and the oral history format so of course this was a fun read, but it fell short of what I hoped it would be. I'm not sure if the participants were reluctant to elaborate on certain topics, but many sections felt thin. More input from Gregg would've been nice as well, but since he put his own bio out recently I'm sure his participation was calculated to be minimal. It's worth a read for big fans. (Note: I got an advance copy of the full book)
Feb 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted this to be a great book since I am a huge fan of the band, but it really seemed like a rehash of stuff I already knew from other books, articles, interviews, etc. I think the author did a fine job in compiling the material and organizing it into a good chronological flow, but I came away from this book with very little new information.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the best "band history" books I've read.
Ted Hunt
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a must read for any fan of the Allman Brothers. It presents the history of the band beginning with the childhoods of brothers Duane and Gregg and ends with their final show in 2014. And while the book focuses disproportionately (but appropriately) on the "vintage" history, i.e., before the deaths of Duane and Berry Oakley, it is pretty thorough in the way that it presents the subsequent trials and tribulations, including the impact of those deaths, the search for new musicians, the ...more
John Amado
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a musician I really found this book to be enjoyable, informative and insightful. Mr. Paul has delivered a valuable contribution in memorializing what is arguably the best American rock band ever. There is no question among musicians that the Allman Brothers contained every important element of a great band: extraordinary musical prowess, a compelling story, dramatic infighting, horrific substance abuse, humor, redemption, acrimony and, again, redemption. Their unique blend of blues, jazz, cou ...more
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whatever music you listen to, the Allman Brothers are the real deal and not just a hippie jam band. They incorporated elements of blues, rock, and jazz among other influences to create an enduring legacy of amazing music. They lost many unbelievably talented musicians throughout their years together, like Duane Allman, one of the most phenomenal guitarists of all time (I absolutely love slide guitar) and who still exists as a guardian angel for the band, but they endured. I have probably listene ...more
Toby Kemp
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My dad loved The Allman Brothers Band. My interest in the band comes from him, and I’m thankful for that.

So many bands have ended along with the death of a member — Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Kurt Cobain come to mind — so it is amazing to read the story of a band that survived, and how they did, after the death of two founding members, Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.

It can be easy to miss the details, while enjoying the sound of a jam band. I enjoyed hearing the perspectives of all t
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books
For serious Allman Brothers fans, this book is a must! It definitely was for me in the wake of visiting the Macon "Big House" museum & other Brothers' sites recently, and most especially after Gregg's death. Like so many creative artists, many of the the individuals in this band were personally & seriously flawed, and they experienced more than their share of tragedy, especially the motorcycle deaths of founders Duane Allman & Berry Oakley. But when they came together and were "on" (and let's fa ...more
David Ward
One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band by Alan Paul (St. Martin's Press 2014) (782.42) (3450).

I am a long time fan of the Allman Brothers Band. Of all the music I have ever owned, the Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore recording is my all-time favorite. Over the years I have worn out two copies of the vinyl record album, three CD's of the original recording, and one CD of the expanded reissue version.

This is the third book I have read about the Allman Brothers Band; this i

May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book brought back memories. The Allman Brothers were a great band and Duane was a cool guy, one of a kind. I saw him live at the Fillmore East in 1970 or 1971 can't remember the exact date but it was the day they recorded the Live at the Fillmore East album. Me and my friends had 10th row seats pretty much sitting directly in front of Duane. Watching Duane play slide and trading off leads with Dickey Betts as they played right in front of me was mesmerizing. It was incredible considering ho ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a long time fan (saw them for the first time in 76 and for the last time in 06) this book was both a walk back in time and a revelation. It is nicely laid out, with everyone being able to tell it as they saw it. And like any relationship that lasts over 40 years, there are several points of view about who did what to whom. The drugs, alcohol and lack of money isn't a surprise. The legal wranglings are. You tend to forget that bands are a corporation. I liked that this took the band from its e ...more
Jeff Wong
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating book to read. I was only a casual listener of the Allman Brother's Band music and this history brought a lot more depth to my understanding. It's written in an easily accessible style -- essentially short comments from multiple persons that were involved with and associated with the band throughout their history. There is a nice mix of the music and the personalities (and of course the drugs) that fed and plagued this wonderful group of musicians. I didn't give it 5 stars ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-music
One of my favorite band biographies, even though I'm not huge fan of the Allmans. Author Alan Paul had the good sense to step out of the way, and let the band do the talking. Paul's role is that of a compiler, splicing together dozens of interviews carried out over many years to tell a chronological tale from the sometimes conflicting viewpoints of the bands shifting membership. As a musician, I felt the book gave me the most insight into the chemistry that some bands just seem to have, and the ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Got this book on a whim with some left over book store credit. It is a decent read. The format is kind of strange... mostly edited collections of band members thoughts on certain subjects interspersed with small sections of explanatory prose from the author. The first half of the book about the early days of the band is really interesting. However as the book goes on and the drugs and infighting drag the boys down, so to goes the book. I found it worth reading, but my view may be a bit biased as ...more
Dennis Myers
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling story that both benefits and suffers from the oral history format: you often get both sides of certain conflicts -- but occasionally, the overall narrative gets lost by the staccato recollections. I'd prefer a Mark Lewisohn-type deep dive on the Allmans (the Duane years pass quickly) but the balance of the book does give a decent amount of time to the whole picture, ending shortly before the band called it quits in 2014 -- so it's certainly the best resource for those who want the f ...more
Todd McQueen
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I had high expectations from ratings. Typically I really enjoy biographies. Wasn't expecting the interview format. I'm sure for a long time and or deep fan of the band it would have been great. I didn't come in with a depth of knowledge about the band beyond the brothers. So was more difficult for me to connect and follow the revolving door of players throughout the years. Still interesting book.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Covers much of the Allman Brothers history from the perspective of the members of the band, roadies, managers, etc. Differing viewpoints are presented which makes for some interesting reading. Lots of drugs, woman, and occasionally music too. Never knew Dickie Betts was such a diva; knew Gregg (RIP) was a mess with drugs & alcohol but not to the extent presented here. Good for any fan of the band or music in general. ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book reminded me why I don't like to read these band histories. Everything starts off great,with interesting early facts but then devolves into the negative. The different points of view that the book is told through was cool at first. But after a while it was tiresome. Once conflicts became more common the comments became less interesting.
Mark Westmoreland
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read both Gregg Allman’s memoir and Galadrielle Allman’s biography of her dad. This is a great companion to those books. You get a broader view of the band and get the perspective of Jaimoe, Butch, Dicky, and other members and friends from the bands history. Be ready to take a deep dive into ABB’s music when you’re done. It’ll give you a whole new appreciation for it.
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Alan Paul is a senior writer for Guitar World magazine and has interviewed the members of the Allman Brothers Band hundreds of times. No one has written more frequently about the band.

He is the author of Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing (Harper), which is currently being developed as a film by Ivan Reitman's Montecito Pictures

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20 likes · 16 comments
“I’ll give it a year. I’ll go out and play these clubs and then I’ll go on to college.’ But after a year, I was so far in debt from trying to buy amps and guitars and everything else, that I had to do another year.” 0 likes
“Late in 1967, still struggling to write a keeper song, Allman found himself sitting in a room in Pensacola’s Evergreen Motel, holding Duane’s guitar, which was tuned to open E. “I picked up the guitar and didn’t know it was natural-tuned,” Allman recalls. “I just started strumming it and hit these beautiful chords. It was just open strings, then an E shape first fret, then moved to the second fret. This is a great example of the way different tunings can open up different roads to you as a songwriter.” 0 likes
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