I just bought the e-book “One Way Out: An Oral History Of The Allman Brothers Band” by Alan Paul. You may not believe it, but it is available on amazon for $2.99 which is insane.
I’m not sure why Alan Paul is giving his work away for such little money, because I can only imagine how much time it must have taken him to gather all the stories, interviews, anecdotes etc. and compile them into One Way Out: An Oral History Of The Allman Brothers Band. Now, there is a reason why he titled it an “oral history” – the book contains primarily snippets of interviews and statement made by the various band members. In the intro, Alan explains that it was his goal to leave the talking to the band members. Which at times gets a little funny as the musicians obviously have different recollections of things that happened decades ago and they sometimes simply contradict each other. This, however, only adds to the entertainment of the reader. And actually, I feel that they sometimes try to say the same thing, they just describe in their own different way.
The book starts off with a brief intro and then basically follows the band chronologically throughout their long lasting and still ongoing career. I re-wrote the first paragraph:
It was in the spring of 1969 when the Allman Brothers Band started. While working on sessions in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, guitarist Duane Allman met drummer Johanny Johnson, better known to fans as Jaimoe. Allman had been recording with stars such as Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, but then decided it was time to move own and start his own thing. Initially, he and his manager thought of just forming another power trio, given the success of acts such as The Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. So Allman hooked up with bass player Berry Oakley to jam around. However, Duane Allman soon changed his mind, acknowledging that this is not what he had envisioned and he reportedly stated: “I ain’t on no ego trip”. Allman became friends with guitarist Dickey Betts who back then played in a band called Second Coming and was able to recruit him for his new endeavor. To complete the first lineup, Butch Trucks also agreed to join the folks and start something which later on became one of the finest blues bands the world has ever seen.
What follows is hundreds of interview snippets and statements by band members, managers, friends and fellow musicians, including Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Gregg Allman, Phil Walden, Scott Boyer, Warren Haynes, Garry Rossington, Tom Dowd, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Chuck Leavell, Allen Woody, Oteil Burbridge, Jack Pearson, Derek Trucks, Jimmy Herring, Billy Gibbons and Buddy Guy.
After that, Alan Paul shares with us his own and very personal opinion on the Allman Brothers Band discography. And while this is admittedly rather subjective, it is definitely worth the read. I am obviously not as familiar with the band and their albums, however, in general and as far as I can comment, I would agree with Alan’s assessments of the various Allman Brother Albums and solo projects.
Again, One Way Out: An Oral History Of The Allman Brothers Band is available for an unbelievable $2.99 via amazon – you don’t need a Kindle if you don’t have one, you can read it on your PC. I can only highly recommend it.