Like a one-man-band, 14-year Maplewood author and musician Alan Paul has written, edited, published, marketed and publicized his new book detailing his interviews with the Allman Brothers, all while working as a journalist with Guitar World magazine.
The book, "One Way Out: An Oral History of the Allman Brothers Band," includes hours of interviews, from discussions of the guitar styles of Dickey Betts and Duane Allman to previously unpublished interviews with the band. Paul published the book on Amazon, and it was released at the end of May.
The book follows the band's career from their 1969 formation through their 40th anniversary star-studded Beacon run, right on up to today.
"The advantage of doing this completely myself is I could do whatever I wanted," Paul said. "It was a bit of an experiment though."
Paul hunted through hundreds of hours of his digital notes, old hand-written notes and even cassettes to search for something different about the band.
The writer said the book has the most detailed account of the parting founding member and guitarist, Betts, ever written.
Additionally, there are interviews with other associated artists including Eric Clapton, Tom Dowd, Phil Walden, Billy Gibbons, Dr. John, Scott Boyer and others. It also contains behind-the-scenes information on the recording of At Fillmore East, Layla, Eat A Peach and other classic albums.
"Once I got into it I spent a lot more time than I expected," he said about the four months it took him to write the book.
For over 20 years, Paul has worked for Guitar World magazine where he started as magazine editor in 1991. During the '90s, he spent extensive time interviewing and covering the band, while being a lifelong fan.
"I knew that Greg Allman's memoir was coming out, called My Cross to Bear, so I thought it was a good time to come out with other Allman related book," he said. "I think its a nice accompaniment."
Paul went from managing editor with Guitar World, to the online editor after 1996 to currently being a full-time freelance writer with the magazine.
Paul also wrote a memoir, Big in China, detailing his three-and-a-half years in Bejing where he was the frontman of Woodie Alan, a blues band with three Chinese musicians. The band toured all over country and voted Beijing Band of the Year all while raising three children.
The band also recorded an album, which he said has earned praise from the Allman Brothers’ Warren Haynes, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and other musical luminaries.
Paul still plays with a band, Big in China, in the states.