My short bio: Hi Reddit music fans and book lovers, this is Alan Paul, the Allman Brothers Band biographer and author of "One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band", which debuted this week on the New York Times Top 10 Best Sellers list.

My Proof:

"One Way Out" on Amazon:

Starting today, March 7, the Allman Brothers begin 14 sold-out shows at New York's Beacon Theater, where they will celebrate their 45th anniversary. It could be the beginning of the end for the band, as guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes have announced that they will no longer with the group after this year.

As for me, I am also the senior writer for Guitar World magazine and the frontman for a blues band. My first book, "Big In China", is a memoir about my years living in Beijing and fronting a Chinese blues abnd that played all over the country. Ivan Reitman is developing it for a film. So if you are curious about life in China or Chinese blues, ask me anything!

I'll be online all day, until I have to leave for the first Beacon show, answering your questions, so let's rock! I'll doubleback to anythig that comes in after I leave.

Comments: 455 • Responses: 107  • Date: 

SaturatedPhats66 karma

What's your favorite ABB song and why is it "Whipping Post"?

alanpaul56 karma

Interesting construction of this question.

Beauty of the Allman Brothers is their breadth and diversity so too hard to pick one... especially since Dickey ad Gregg are such different, distinct writers.

I will go with "Dreams" for my Gregg song.... "Blue Sky" for my Dickey... and AFE "Liz Reed" for instrumental glory.

inkabinka2329 karma

My student made this video. How does it match up story wise

alanpaul27 karma

Very, very well. I love that video and always have. Amazing job.

What kind of student? I have emt him and congratulated him... I forget where that was now... lots of shows and Allmans event blurring together.

Link is legit, people - click through and be amazed.

inkabinka239 karma

Cool NYC He was an animation student of mine.
Glad you like

alanpaul13 karma

Yeah, it's very, very well done and says a lot about the band in a concise way with no words, which I think it pretty cool...

reel_big_work22 karma

What was the craziest thing that happened to you while in the Chinese blues band?!?

alanpaul29 karma

Man, the whole thing was crazy.

One of the most fun things that happened actually was turning the guys onto the allman Brothers.

When we left Beijing on tour, hilarity consistently ensued... the craziest night was probably at a private club in Changsha, Hunan province.. we played three places in three nights.. one chain... this one was "private club for successful people." It was a Tuesday or weds night and I thought it would be slow, but the place was packed... it was a like a swiss ski chalet...all wood... people kept private bottles of wine and liquor there..

A couple of mobsters types in front were drinking bottles of cognac... and one of them loved us so much.. he came up onstage and gave me and lit a giant cuban cigar.. a Russian dancer brought me shots of vodka... the mobster's molls pulled me into their booth at the end of the night... and grabbed my legs and whispered in my ears, licking them... and all they wanted was to be introduced to my great bassist Zhang Yong.

And I have a bit of this on video and photo. You want to see?

rakelllama14 karma


alanpaul24 karma

Just saw the reply... a raggedy verison of thos song captures the mobster lighting my cigar and the Russian bringing me a shot.. watch closely.

GloverAB19 karma

I loved you in Breaking Bad.

alanpaul9 karma

Wish that it were so.

orangeshagrug13 karma

Did Gregg Allman truly sacrifice his roadie to 10 years in prison so that he could get off free on a massive coke charge?

alanpaul18 karma


Massive over simplificaiton.

He was squeezed hard by prosecutors... and Scooter ended up doing more like a year... Details are in my book...

testylawyer13 karma

Hey thanks for doing this AMA! I was hoping you could shed some light on an experience I had around the mid 2000's. While I was out on vacation with my family at the Outerbanks North Carolina A big old man living in Elizabeth City came up to my mom and aunt and introduced himself as "Odey Betts" and claimed to be Dickey Betts' cousin. He also claimed to be the band bus driver when they were on tour. He had all kinds of crazy tour stories such as picking up Billy Joel when he was hitch-hiking and hanging out with one of the Eagles walking aorund with a toilet paper roll with the original "Hotel California" lyrics written on it. Anyway he was quite the charismatic character and would come over and eat all of our food. My family has wondered all these years if he was telling the truth or if he was just some scammer trying to name drop for some free meals. Have you ever heard of this character? Thanks.

alanpaul9 karma

I believe this is true... I am fact checking as we speak.

Humboldt_Redwood10 karma

I had a sort of similar experience I've wondered about for nearly 30 years. In about 1985 or 1986 we lived near Atlanta with two little boys. I was getting into rock climbing and one weekend we headed up to Mt. Yonah about an hour and a half NE of the city. We pulled over to buy some boiled peanuts from this guy at a roadside stand ( I lurves me some boiled peanuts!) and he claimed to have played guitar in Gregg Allman's solo band. He told us he quit because, as he said, "Gregg Allman is a asshole." The particular way he spoke that phrase, "is a asshole," was actually hilarious and has remained a staple in our vernacular to this day.

Anyway I figured at first that he was probably full of shit but I happened to have a guitar with me an asked if he'd play us a couple tunes, which he did, impressing the hell out of us to the point where we actually believed him.

To this day I feel like an idiot for not getting his name (or failing to remember it if I did) so I will probably never have any idea if it was true or not. Do you happen to know of any of Gregg's former guitar players who may have gotten disgruntled, quit, and launched a career in roadside boiled peanut sales?

alanpaul4 karma

Ok, the first guy I now believe was a scammer... The closest I found was an ENGINEER named Ovie Sparks.. Certainly possible that DB has a cousin on the Outer banks but can;t verify and I asked a cupel fo people who would know.

the peanut guy oddly sounds more legit to me, but who knows.

skydog713 karma

One question I have that you touched on in the book (and in the earlier ebook) is how the ABB got from blues/rhythm & blues to the free-form jamming they ended up with.

It's clear that this was THE sound Duane had in his head while playing in Muscle Shoals and woodshedding on the chitlin' circuit, but it seems like such a leap in such a short period of time.

Do you have any insight into what Duane Jaimoe jammed on in the shoals? Or when BO shows up?

I'm struggling to make the connection between Duane in the shoals and the early jams of the abb. It's clear he had that sound in his head but DAMN I'd like to find out more from those who were there!

alanpaul10 karma

I asked Jaimoe about what they played and he said "blues andmore, man. Blues and more." I think they just jammed.

I understand the question but I don't find it surprising at all. His playing on the sessions was not an expression of what he wanted to do.. he was doing a job, rather spectacularly.

Duane loved the Dead...they all loved jazz... Dickey and Berry loved the Dead, Airplane, Cream, etc... it was all in the air.. so I think they took those ideas and just ran, all of it infused with blues.

I think the r&b and session grounding led to a real discipline and focus on being specific even in what seem like free form jams...

skydog78 karma

What kills me is that there are NO TAPES of Duane and Jaimoe and B.O. just letting it rip.

Got a follow-up then...I've always been intrigued by the statement that the Mountain Jam on Eat a Peach was mediocre (Butch has often called it the worst version they ever played). I find it positively transcendent.

Any sense of why they didn't cotton to that particular version?

alanpaul8 karma

Excellent question and I agree... I tried hard to get both Butch and dickey to answer that - and neither really did...

They feel like it lacks urgency and meanders... and dickey os bothered that there are some clams by both he and duane, which I have always heard but never bothered me.

I'm sure that Butch is off on it being the worst, obviously... but I do like the version on Ludlow Garage better.. and I have one that the collector Jack Weston sent me via skip Littlewood that is just incredible... I don;t even know when or where it's from... "Just labeled" Skip's peach cobbler Pick.

cbsmooth1310 karma

congratulations on the book, Alan. This book is the capstone.

Do you think that Allman Brothers would still be around today if they did not part ways with Dickey in 2000? And did you see any of that Spring 2000 run leading up to the departure?

alanpaul15 karma

Thank you.

Interesting question... Ultimately, no I don't. I htink it had reached a breaking point where Butch and Gregg were not going to play with dickey... there are some alternate scenarios.. like take a year off and try again, but they have never seemed interested in something like that.

alanpaul10 karma

I forgot to answer the last part.. I was no on the spring tour, but I was talking to people who were and knew it was bad and tense.

At the Beacon that year, dickey was not at his best.. He played ok, but clearly the dynamics of the band were all off...

psychodagnamit10 karma

What's your advice for an aspiring musician who wants to keep the 70's hard rock/blues alive?

alanpaul19 karma

Listen to Govt Mule, Free, Mountain, spirit, Hendrix.

Follow lessons from andy Aledort and Warren.

Get your tone together. Play very loud, and wear earplugs.

NJPAC10 karma

Hey Allan, loved One Way Out! Was wondering if you had any insight as to why this current line up of the Brothers has never played Ramblin' Man.

alanpaul16 karma

Oh sure, that's easy... Speaks for itself...

It's just so associated with dickey.. they didn't do any of his vocal songs for a long time and have slowsly added Blue sky, which seems fairly regular now perhaps... but Ramblin Man is just sooo dickey.. I know Butch in particular hates playing the song.

bizjackie3010 karma

Who'd of won in a 70's bar brawl: Doobie Bros or Allman Bros?

alanpaul15 karma

Come on now. No one is taking down dickey Betts.

ChristinaPerryWinkle9 karma

So I've listened to Derek and the Dominos - Layla (album) a bunch of times. Duane Allman plays on this album. I don't really have a question, I just wanted you to know Bell Bottom Blues was my favorite song of all time. Anyway, take it easy.

alanpaul8 karma

Thanks. Put on headphones and try to find who's playing what.

whrfrt96779 karma


Mike here...ABB board, Sirius Town Hall, etc. - congrats on all the success.

What's your favorite line-up of the Band? Do you think the end of 2014 is truly the end of the name "The Allman Brothers Band"? Or do you think we will see a one-off show here and there using the name?

Any insight into this year's cover songs? Anything new? You hit the nail on the head last Beacon run, so I figure may have a hint or 2 for this year.

Hope to see you at the shows.

alanpaul13 karma

Hi Mike. thanks..

hard to not pick the original lineup as a favorite.

Favorite one to see is 90-94 when Warren-Woody era was peaking... So powerful and I saw so many shows... in the smoky Beacon, Jones Beach,Cchicago, Cali...

Anyone who's read my book or just followed the band knows that it would be crazy to ever assume the ABB is over.. so I don't...

Did you read my article i the WSJ yesterday? Read it closely:

No doors are shut.

alanpaul6 karma

and I'm not sure what I nailed last year.. I was able to atend more rehearsals but swore not to leak anything... I've been so busy this week I only made it to one... So not sure.. but I know they are nailing a couple of Eat a Peach tunes... I heard them worked out.

EJDevo8 karma


What has the experience been like releasing a book around the same time Duane's daughter released one about her father? What are the differences and similarities in the two books, which are both riveting?

alanpaul12 karma

It's a bit odd I guess, but also shows how much interest there is in this band.

I think that the books complement one another and are good for each other. i think everyone who really loves the band should read both and should own them in hardcover on their shelves to refer back to. I think Galadrielle's book is brave and beautiful.

similarities = portrait of Duane as an intense, beauitful, driven, complicated man and how apparent it is how much impact he had had on everyone.

differences = many... hers is, of course, more personal and is a quest... mine covers 45 years.. hers the duane era, more or less... Hers has much more family background... and makes Mama A a really vibrant character, which is great... Mine brings many others to life, I hope... all the crew, the conflicts and dramas within the band... Hers sort of gives voice to the women, which is different and cool and important...

I could keep going.. but just read them both.

biggalactus7 karma

Thanks so much for doing this great ama! I hope all the abb fans get to see it.

alanpaul5 karma

Thanks. Me, too. spread the word... vote it up, all that good stuff.

Sgoldberg0017 karma

At what point did you start to feel you had a book in all of this?

alanpaul10 karma

Complicated answer.. I've had the idea for a book for a long, long time...Was starting to contemplate in 2004 or so, then up and moved to china for almost 4 years and got on a different path.

Came back and did a Guitar world cover story in 2009 for the band's 40th anniversary thatreally got me going.. that was an oral history and was really the beginning of where I ended up. It became the foundation of the book... But still wasn't a straight line.. because as I started working to expand that, I cut left, wrote Big in china, spent a year promoting it, etc.. then landed right back where I might have been in 2006 or so had I never gone to china...

But the book wouldn't have been nearly as good.

Sean_McDevitt7 karma

Hey Alan -- Congratulations on the book. I was intrigued by a lot of it, including the passage about Clapton asking Duane Allman to leave the ABB and join the Dominos. How serious do you think this overture really was? Did Duane really consider it? And do you think it was really a matter of Clapton agreeing to take Gregg on as part of the deal? And -- last thing for now! -- did you have a chance to ask Clapton about this directly? Best wishes! - Sean

alanpaul7 karma

Thanks Sean.

I think it was completely serious and that Duane took it very seriously. that was actually news to me.

I do not believe it came down to Eric taking Gregg... I think it was a solid offer that Duane really pondered.

it kills me, but I did not ask EC about this directly.. I learned about it more after my interview... and I could not get him again.

I recommended Galadrielle Allman's book earlier... well, she has leters in the back that are amazing.. I read a lot of them at the Big House, and was wowed then,...but it includes one from Duane to donna (G's mother) discussing the clapton offer very specifically. Don't want to give it away, but fascinating.

jchap416 karma

Seems like Gregg is ready to go feeling better were you shocked warren and Derek decided to leave and what about Oteil what do you think he will do?

alanpaul5 karma

I was shocked but not surprised.

Oteil will do what oteil wants... I really don't know but imagine he wants to let things play out.. not sure what you mean about Gregg... but he is sounding really great the last couple of years. Amazing upswing since 2011.

jupiterknowsbest6 karma

How was it working with Charles Trippy?

alanpaul8 karma

Charles Trippy

Not sure why you think I did so... Alas, it's not the case.. seems like it would have been a blast.

NJPAC6 karma

I remember Derek Trucks saying in an interview about a year or two back that he wanted the 45th anniversary run at the Beacon to a have a "Last Waltz" feeling for the brothers. How have the rehearsals been this past week compared to years past? Also what would be your dream setlist or scenario be for the allman brothers "last waltz" i.e. final show.

alanpaul6 karma

I don't think this is happening.. I think they did something more like that 5 years ago.

I mostly like the ABB wihtout guests to be honest... or complementary guests like Bill Evans, Ron Holloway, Bruce Katz, the horn section...

some special guests like Eric clapton, really raise the game, but so many others to me bring it down.

scrant0n6 karma

Why are there no more bands like ABB (or any of the 70s greats) in today's music?

alanpaul14 karma

Totally different era and a lot of reasons...

One thing is that with the recording industry as knew it dead, there isn't financial support to keep bands out working.. clubs have dried up, subsisides have dried up.. Remember that Phil Walden put up over $150,000 to keep the band out there when they weren't making nay money for 2.5 years and that allowed them to get so good... that doesn't happen anymore.

Just one part of the equation.

And there is still great music being made.

rosendito9 karma

Have you heard Royal Southern Brotherhood? Carrying on the tradition.

alanpaul5 karma

Yes - good call.

Have not seen them live yet.. really need to do so.

jchap416 karma

Tell us a crazy Woody story

alanpaul6 karma

Rushing to not be late to a show at the Riviera theatre in chicago.. had no time to eat.. insisted to my friend Art that we get somethig but didn't want to be late.. ran into a burrito joint across from the stage door, feeling rushed and who comes walking in but Woody? slaps me on the back, shakes my hand and orders a burrito. I told Art we could relax.

hsilverm113756 karma

Alan, Loved the book. I was at the Saratoga show where Dickey got arrested. He was so hammered he didn't play a lick all night just kept adjusting his amp. We knew he was lit when he threw his hat into the crowd. You could tell the band couldn't wait for that show to end. Thoughts?

alanpaul7 karma

Ugh... I saw a few shows like that... That's what people have to understand about what happened in 2000.. there was a pattern and they felt it was happening again.

Sisters_of_Mercy5 karma

Can you speak to the type of, and or extent of, any relationship between Frank Zappa and the Allman Brothers Band? Not sure I believe any of the rumors, innuendos, and speculation out there.

Both the Allman Brothers and Zappa certainly had a profound impact. I have always been curious if it was simply professional respect, Zappa's cover of Whipping Post, or if there was more to any relationship?

alanpaul3 karma

I'm sorry but I don't know of any.

Always heard that his whipping post cae about because people would yell it out and he decided next time that happened, he was going to play it and nail it.

Kudamaman5 karma

What is the most amazing song you've seen played by Derek Trucks, in your opinion, and is there a video?

alanpaul3 karma

Wow. I don't know.

So many songs with DTB... and the aBB... For me, it might be some versions of Dreams... it's always been a favorite and he has taken it to incredible heights.. and literally made me cry.

kmeadows19715 karma

Hi Alan! Love One Way Out! I'm curious to know: during the interviews with ABB family, which experience touched you the most? Thanks for the great read!!!!

alanpaul6 karma

Well, final interviews for this book... Linda Oakley and Thom Doucette touched me the most.. I did not know either before this book writing... and both blew me away for their sensitivity, insights, emotions...

Speaking with Kim Payne was very emotional... We spoke a lot and I had to doubleback to some things. Talking to him about BO remains very, very raw.... and about Twiggs.. He was there when Twiggs killed the man and when BO died.

And speaking of twiggs, an afternoon spent interviewing his brothers at the Big House was very very memorable.

alanpaul7 karma

Over the long course of my history with these guys, a few others stand out: late night bus ride with Dickey talking about Duane and the chemistry of the original 6... and an interview with Gregg that started after midnight in his Chicago hotel room, after a solo gig... and went to 2 or 3 am... His wife asleep in bed, the two of us sitting in chairs in the alcove looking out a giant window over the city... his little dog on his lap...

And ended with him playing come and go blues and singing the whole thing... to an audience of one: me. Unreal. My favorite song of his probably.. I'd like to amend the answer above.

the whole thing in the book about his love of folk music came from that.

inthesandtrap5 karma

Hi! Dickey and Duane were huge influences for me. The 'Blue Sky' solo style is my go-to style when I'm in doubt about what to play.

I was drunk in Wyoming in a bar on Christmas when 'Jessica' came on the jukebox. I was 25 and had never heard it before. I literally stood in front of the jukebox staring at it for the entire song. Ever since, they have been one of my favorite bands.

I once drove 12 hours - each way - just to see Duane's grave in Macon. After the visit, I had lunch at the cafe they loved, went to the Big House and then drove 12 hours back. A picture of 'Little Martha' has sat on my amp since that visit 20 years ago.

I've read One Way Out - twice!

Anyways! Did the ABB have any dud performances in those early days?

Are there any recordings of them rehearsing or writing songs? Maybe playing for a bit, exchanging ideas, talking, playing a bit....?

What are some other types of music you listen to? Stuff that people wouldn't guess.

alanpaul6 karma

Full answer in a minute. I need to take a phone call... but I wanted to note that this is just a tremendous post. Love it.

alanpaul6 karma

The ABB must have had some dud performances... right? I haven't really heard any... Fall 71 when drug problem was bad there some funky shows... that era is discussed pretty heavily in the book, which you must know.

yes on the rehearsing - the Gatlinburg Tapes.. totally worth tracking down... and probably on line now... they are running through blue sky for the first times and Dickey shows duane a new song - "Ramblin Country Man" - chorus only, more or less.

they also play "My Favorite Things"

heyhermano235 karma

say my name IRL was melissa... any interesting tidbits about that song you might have dug up during your research? the name was super popular in the 80s so they were ahead of the game... always made me curious.

alanpaul7 karma

Yep.. I have a whole story in th ebook about the origin of the song... it's a good story.. Gregg wrote it in 67.. first keep er he says, and sat on it until after duane died... you need to read the whole tale.

bowtiefridays5 karma

What is the most similar thing about China and America? Also what is one thing you can't adjust to?

alanpaul3 karma

Most similar is probably the sense of the populationt hat they are the centerof the world... i adjusted to most everything.. the pollution is the big drawback... and hard to get used to people hocking and spitting all over.

alanpaul5 karma

By the way, if you want to know much about this, I reccomend Unsavory Elements, a great collection to which I contributed... 28 stories of foreigners living in China which covers it all...

I don't know the etiquette of posting buy links, but you should check it out:

jchap415 karma

Your Fav Govt Mule Album and Song

alanpaul5 karma

album is dose... not sure about song.. really depends on my mood...

thorazine shuffle is a storng contendor.

PandoraBlackBox5 karma

Favorite musicians? Any favorite kind of music?

Desceibe urself in three words mister Alan Paul ...

alanpaul7 karma

Allman Brothers, albert King, John coltrane, Miles Davis, Wynton Kelly, Bobby Bland, Otis Spann, Muddy Waters, Fela, Ali Farka Toure, Woodie Wu... too many .. lots of jazz and blues.

Can't describe myself in three words but Ijust try to keep moving forward. and to always remember that however it feels, you can do more.

BreakingForABad4 karma

Do you like rap music?

alanpaul3 karma

I like old school hip hop... Went to see Kurtis Blow, Gandmaster Flash and others in concert at the Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh in HS.... Can still rap out GMaster Flash's The Message and Rappers Delight

My boys listen to a lot of current stuff and I like some of it.

nonameDanK4 karma

Just how much pot did they smoke?

alanpaul5 karma

More than you can imagine. ... or more than I can imagine anyhow.

jchap414 karma

I read the wsj article and warren said he up to something he coulnt announce yet u want to speculate

alanpaul5 karma

No. I'm really not sure and if I was I wouldn't betray his confidence by making something public he doesn't want public... that's how I ended up with these guys trusting me enough to do this.

NJPAC4 karma

It may be a project with the dead next year for the grateful dead's 50th

alanpaul7 karma

Well, that's an interesting idea.

I really liked Warren in the Dead... I know not all Deadheads agreed...

SecondhandUsername4 karma

One of my favorites!
Saw them at the Fillmore East in the early 70s.


alanpaul5 karma

Lucky you!

You're welcome.

bowtiefridays4 karma

Living in China, is the smog actually affecting you in any way?

alanpaul8 karma

I don't live there any more... But yes, it is difficult and getting worse.

It inspired my best composition, Beijing Blues:

duckduckgeeses3 karma

Thank for doing this AMA, excited to read your book. So pumped for this beacon run !! If you had to bet - guest appearance tonight or not ?

alanpaul4 karma


Probably yes but I kind of hope no.. Let them get into a groove first!

Vic-Rattle-Head3 karma

Few guitar questions.

1 What do you think of the current state of Fender from being bought by CBS then bought by SONY do you think the quality and worksmanship has lost face ?

2 What guitars/bass do you prefer for overall tone and functionality

3 what is your current amp setup effects included.

alanpaul5 karma

Despite my long association with Guitar World and my experience as a gigging musician, I am not much of a gearhead...

  1. I just don't feel qualified to answer that... Sorry but i have not kept up... do not work inthe GW offices any more and have been so immersed in this book for the past few years..

  2. I mostly play acoustic in my band now. I bought myself a Collings as a present when I signed this book deal.. what else wold I blow my earnings on? And I have a 1970 335 that is my main electric.. those two do it for me.

i also have a Tele Deluxe I really like but just don't play much anymore... I love the way Strats play, but I like humbuckers.. i actually bought the Deluxe a decade ago when I was shopping for humbuckers toput in my Strat...I have a great tobacco sunburst american standard Strat that hasn;t been out of the case in a long time.

  1. Like I said, mostly acoustic... collings through Fishman Chorus pedal, mostly used for Leslie rotary sound, into a Fishman Loudbox amp.

Big amp is Fender Hot rod Deluxe...small amp is a 1960 Fender Princeton, with a great tremolo... I use very little else in the signal.. my 335 through these amps with pickup switching does most of what I want.. I have a Tech 21 rotovibe I like a lot.

Vic-Rattle-Head3 karma

Nice thank you for being honest and answering my question.

alanpaul4 karma

Welcome. I forgot one pedal I love: ZVex Box of Rock...

brockybalboa3 karma

How is the Ivan Reitman "Big In China" movie coming along? Has he told you anything new going on with it?

alanpaul3 karma

paramount asked for some changes in the script. they hired a second screenwriter who is reworking it. Ivan is finishing anotherm ovie and I'm told will turn his attention back to it afterwards..

I have no control so I quit asking questions.. it's healthier that way but they re-upped the option and I'm told it's moving forward.

kmeadows19713 karma

Hi Alan! During your interviews for One Way Out, which experiences touched you the most? Thanks!

alanpaul3 karma

Oops.. I mised this first time.. see answer above...

maxgroover3 karma

After publishing your book, you're just touring around with the band? Sounds like a great gig!

alanpaul6 karma

It's a great gig, but not exactly accurate.

I'm home working hard.. promoting a book is great because you're proud and pushing something you love and believe in, but there can be a little edge of desperation to it that I don't like.

Did not want to go out on the road and do book events etc this month.. just seemed loony to leave New York as the Beacon gets underway.

maxgroover3 karma


Good luck on your book promoting and have fun tonight!

alanpaul4 karma

thank you

jchap413 karma

Will Warren and Derek do any work together again or maybe just co headline w each others bands maybe?

alanpaul3 karma

I really don't know but I really hope so. I've been thinkig about this quite a bit.

Logisitcis and economics likely make it tough... but festivals will provide some opportnities I'm sure.

EricOtterStratton3 karma

Any new up and coming or little known artists you think we should know about?

Congrats on all the success and thanks for doing this. Think I'm going to play a little Jessica when I pick my buddies up for our Spring Break trip.

alanpaul3 karma

Nice and thanks...

I really like Dawes... not ABB like, really, but rootsy, great songs... I just like them.

I love Tinariwin... african berber rock... and Vieux Farke Toure... I like African music a lot, though I am not an expert... He is the son of Ali Farka Toure, one of my favorites...

I know there are others but my head is foggy.

Sir-Toast3 karma


alanpaul3 karma

which came first? jesus is just alright or revival?

brony66663 karma

how does having a 16 billion dollar net worth affect your life?

alanpaul19 karma

You'd have to ask someone who does... I am Alan Paul, not Paul Allen.

Start removing zeroes.

Eyiolf_the_Foul3 karma

Was Albert King an asshole? Saw him ripping up the sound guy at a show, and berated him on mic the whole show.

alanpaul3 karma

Well, he sure was difficult... one of my favorites and one of the first big interviews i did for Guitar world.. scared the pants off me... I saw him fire an alto player at the Lone Star in NYC.

th3m1ke3 karma

Curious if you have any stories regarding Paul Reed Smith and Warren/Derek!

alanpaul3 karma

Not really. I'm sorry... they love his amps, I know that..

JustHach3 karma

Hi Alan. Duane Allman has had more impact on my playing and outlook on guitar then anyone else. Can you tell me a little bit about him? What was he like? Did he have any quirks or personality traits that were distinctively "Duane"?

alanpaul3 karma

Man, so much.

It's really hard for me to answer that quickly.

There's probably over 100 pages in my book about this more or less...

the thing that stands out is how alive and vibrant he remains to those who knew him... An incredible perosnality.

fifty2imeanfifty43 karma

There are so many autobiographies and biographies about the ABB and its members. So far, Chuck's is my favorite for its insight into the actual music. What makes your biography unique?

alanpaul3 karma

I really enjoyed chuck's book as I really enjoyed several extensive interviews with Chuck.

What makes mine unique is: it covers the entire span, i spoke to almost everyone who was there, I let them tell the story themselves...

And a lot of other things, but I don't want to do a hard sell, actually, but there's nothing else quite like it.. Honestly I feel like the reviews on Amazon have done a good job.. better and more objectively than I can myself, so peruse them.

astarkey123 karma

Alan, thanks so much for writing this book. Anything to recount the legacy of The Allman Brothers Band is worthwhile.

I saw the current iteration of the band perform three times last year. In my opinion, there's no one else I'd rather trust with the task of carrying on the TABB legacy than Derek and Warren. I don't think there's any other duo alive that holds a candle to what those two can do. Do you believe they give the original lineup with Duane and Dickey a serious run for their money? I've seen them 4 times total with another couple shows coming up at Wanee next month, and I honestly believe Derek and Warren are almost as good as Duane and Dickey. At first, that was a blasphemous thought, but it's true. What is your opinion on the comparisons that people make between the two lineups? What do you think Duane would say if he saw how on-fire Derek and Warren always seem to be?

Thanks for an awesome AMA!

alanpaul4 karma

Thank you.

I agree with what you're saying, but it's just not fair to compare.. Dickey, Duane and Berry were creating this stuff out of nothing...

Dickey is one of the most unique guitar players ever... I've heard people say his licks aren;t that hard, blah blah blah... He's a stylist.. and he's a fucking genius in my opinion.. Just listen to Blue sky.. a few chords, one primary relatively simple scale and he created magic. Utter magic.

So I just can't agree...

Duane and Dickey created the template.. and that's a different order of magnitude.

astarkey124 karma

Very true, and I agree with all your points. Derek and Warren wouldn't be in the position they're in without Duane and Dickey's creations. Anyone who says Dickey isn't talented probably has no idea what he's talking about. Blue Sky is sheer genius. When he and Duane sync up after the first solo for a couple of bars... Truly incredible stuff.

I'm not old enough or lucky enough to have caught TABB when Duane was alive, but I'm fortunate to have seen the current iteration. I think they're doing right by the music, and I wish Derek and Warren success in everything they do after the end of this year. Thanks for responding!

alanpaul4 karma

Agreed 100 percent.

southernshred3 karma

First, let me thank you for writing the book. As a guitarist growing up in Georgia, there is no band I revere more than the Brothers. They influenced me greatly and I backed into jazz, western swing, etc through them.

Second, I'm still reading the book and not there, but how do you view the role of Jack Pearson and the even briefer role of Jimmy Herring? Jack and Jimmy are mind blowing musicians in their own right. I loved Jack's interactions with Dickey and Jimmy with Derek (which continues to this day).

Finally, who, if anyone, could have stepped in for Warren and Derek after this year and kept the run going?

Thanks Alan

alanpaul3 karma

jack and Jimmy are tremendous.

jack did a great great job and it was amore difficult than most people realize...

They could step in, but Jimmy has a great gig with WSP and Jack has serious tiinnitus issues, won't fly or play big volume...

There are other guys who could step in but I don't want to speculate... DT and WH have something really special going.

petersp833 karma

Read the book, nice job. Big fan, read all the previous books and seen @ 200 shows. I'm curious why you didn't interview Mama A. I would've enjoyed hearing more about her thoughts on various things. Also, don't take this as criticism, but I thought from reading your book I'd get more insights into the management aspects of the band, and thought there would be more insights from Bert Holman. (I know you covered Johnny Podell extensively and others...) I also thought you'd cover some more info @ music company royalty battles they had and recently prevailed on. These aren't complaints, just observations. I know the book was focused on the band, but I'm also surprised that with you being such an avid participant on the ABB forum, not one word about that, or the characters on that, in the book? I definitely learned several things from reading your book though and just gave a few friends copies as gifts. I'm going to the show 3/8 and 3/15 and will look for you. - Peter

alanpaul3 karma

A lot there.

I did not try to interview Mama A. I thought it was appropriate to leave that for Galadrielle. Her book is a family book.

I interviewed every manager they had except Steve massarsky who passed away. a lot more insight than elsewhere... I need to be careful about how I phrase this, but managers need to be careful with what they say.

Ultimately, I decided that the royalty battles are not at the core of the band's arc and drama.. so many things i could have done, but the book is 464 pages long as it is.

wyobourbonbandit3 karma

Is this the end of "The Allman Brothers Band" for good? With the departure of Trucks and Haynes, can they really recover again? They have been notorious for finding great guitar players, but at this stage in Greg's life is it still possible? I see him continuing to tour as the Greg Allman band, but only in that capacity. Please tell me I am wrong.

alanpaul3 karma

Never write the allman Brothers off...

Did you read my WSJ story yesterday?

Interesting takes on this in there I think...

It's definitely possible. gregg sounds great so I wouldn't make any assumption about stages of life.. he's had an amazing recovery last two years.

hurlcarl3 karma

Did you see this skit on SNL about 'I'm no angel'?

If so, thoughts?

alanpaul3 karma

Yes.. it's hilarious if somewhat random and kinda mean.

thegreatwallofyall3 karma

i currently live in china. qingdao to be exact.

where is the good jazz at? i had no idea that china had a jazz culture. is it familiar to modern, classic, enter a genre jazz?

i know that blues originates from negro spirituals, old gospel and such. i would like to know more about the origins or chinese blues.

alanpaul3 karma

Played a really fun club in qingdao inside the stadium.. not sure if it's still there.. they cooked us a great seafood meal in the parking lot afterwards at 2 am.. so cool.

not sure about jazz in qingdao but good clubs in Beijing and Shanghai... mostly chinese musicians playing in an American idiom.. great piano player whose name escapes me was friends with my bass player.. was n Hangzhou same time as us and jammed at the JZ Club... I wish I had video of that.. but here is clip from that gig:

Not my favorite vocal performance honestly... but its cool.. and check out Woodie's slide playing

Tuxeedo3 karma

Sanlitun or Woudakou?

alanpaul3 karma

Woudakou I guess.

though I stayed at the Opposite House last March and did enjoy that... and Sanlitun is well located.. just don't dig the mall thing that much.

RicsFlair2 karma

Is there an extended cut of "Little Martha" that you know of? I absolutely love that instrumental, but every version I find is incredibly too short!! Thanks for doing this AMA. Love the Allman Brothers!

alanpaul2 karma

nope.. I really don't think that exists.

i saw Leo Kottke one time play it and introduce it by saying, "this is the song I wish I had written."

And you're welcome!

JNS_KIP2 karma

where did the name Almond Brothers Band originate?

alanpaul1 karma

Well, it's Gregg and Duane's name - allman.

Discussed in the book.. everyone has slightly different memories where the name came from... dickey Betts came to resent it...

PandoraBlackBox2 karma

Hello Paul,such a pleasure to have u here!

What r ur best memories on stage? What inspire u to compose? Which countries do u like to visit? Why did u enjoy china so much? What do u do in ur freetime(if u have any lol) As a writer, what r ur favorite autors?or novels? How long to write ur book? What was the hardest part of ur work?


alanpaul4 karma

Thank you.

That's a lot of questions, man.

My best memories on stage are probably from some tours of china changsha mentioned above.. Xiamen Beach Festival, which we headlined in front of about 6,000 people and I write about in intro of Big in china.. and some recent jams with my man Andy Aledort...

I like to visit anywhere really.. went to Brazil and Argentina a long time ago and loved them... love Asia... China was just an awakening for me in so many ways.

The people there are ready for a lot more.. they are fun loving, curious, not how people in the US stereotype them at all.

Some fave novelists include Wallace Stagner, Ken Kesey, elmore Leonard, Philip Roth...

No free time. My work is my play and my play is my work. I have three kids... wife has a big job an I'm on frontline of parenting, which has been great.. when I get busy like this, they are raised bywolves and better for it.

Hardest part of the book was trying to make sure everything was completely accurate.

PandoraBlackBox2 karma

Thanks a lot!for replying all my questions!

U seem to be a very involved/passionate ,busy and wise man! That s how i describe u in three words ;-)

My last question will be: who gave u the best advice of ur life?and what it is?

Ps: i m not a man XD

Take care mister legend ;-)

Break a leg for tonight's show and all what s coming next ;-)

alanpaul1 karma

Ah, thanks, woman!

I don't know about advice... I really try to learn from everyone and from experience.

My grandparents were very wise.. I took from them that you should take the long view.. life is long... MLearned a lot just watching my dad deal with cancer two times and be strong and brave and come out the otherside both times...

From my wife, who just keeps pushing forward and is always kind ad compassionate.

and I've learned so much talking to Jaimoe throughout this project and beyond.

jsbowes2 karma

Hi Alan. Loved the book.

Is there anything you wish you had included in the book but had to leave out? What kind of factors influenced what was put in and what was left out?

alanpaul6 karma

Not really. I'm sure there's something that is not hitting me now...

I had to make constant editorial decisions.. it's a long book that could be twice as long.. The tricky part was balancing enough deep diving for hardcorest of fans with not getting lost in the weeds.. if that makes sense.

Anything really inflammatory I did not use without confirmation from at least one other source... That was the other line to walk - how much drugs, dysfunction, fighting to go into... I feel like I struck the right balance. I included stories that directly impacted the band or the music.

that was my guiding principle.

lightlysaltednuts1 karma

Having gone through the rigors of the music business and seeing the rise and fall of many genres and bands, what do you think has the most staying power in terms of bands or genres today?

PS: being a musician, i have to do the obligatory band plug. [Humongous 3-piece rock from NJ](

alanpaul1 karma

The blues always come back.

Links to the roots getting fewer and fewer so who knows... it's not really about genres to me.. it's about being really good.

I will check out Humongous.

Brad_Wesley1 karma

How many chicks did you bang in China?

alanpaul5 karma

One. My wife. and she's not a chick.