“Alan Paul is rock’s finest narrative storyteller.” – Ted Drozdowski, Premier Guita
Alan Paul is an author, journalist and musician. His last two books were New York Times Best Sellers. The oral histories Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan (St. Martin’s, 2019) and One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band (St. Martin’s, 2014) both were NY Times instant bestsellers, debuting in the Top Ten of the Non Fiction Hardcover Best Seller’s List.
His first book, Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues and Becoming a Star in Beijing was hailed by USA Today as a “big–hearted memoir with emotional depth.” It is about his experiences raising three American children in Beijing and Paul’s unlikely journey to becoming a Chinese music star, fronting the blues band Woodie Alan, Beijing’s 2008 Band of the Year. It was optioned for film development by Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Productions. That band’s debut CD Beijing Blues was an East/West fusion that earned praise from ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and the Allman Brothers Band’s Warren Haynes.
Paul is also the leader of two bands, Big in China and Friends of the Brothers. The latter is the premier tribute to the Allman Brothers Band, featuring members of the Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts and Jaimoe bands. Rolling Stone’s David Browne said, “Though they honor the music, Friends of the Brothers never feel like a ‘tribute band.’ They play the songs as if they’d written them.”
Texas Flood is the definitive biography of guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan, providing the unadulterated truth about one of the greatest and most misunderstood musicians of the last 40 years. It tells the gripping, cinematic story of the guitar legend who almost died from his addictions before cleaning up and returning with a new found focus, only to die in a senseless helicopter crash at age 35. Paul and his co-author Andy Aledort interviewed those who knew him best: his brother Jimmie, his Double Trouble bandmates Tommy Shannon, Chris Layton and Reese Wynans, and countless other close friends, family members, girlfriends, fellow musicians, managers and crew members. The book has been optioned by A-list directors for both documentary and biopic films.
Paul interviewed almost 100 people for One Way Out, including all surviving band members and many friends and associates, including Eric Clapton, the late producer Tom Dowd and four of the band’s managers. One Way Out also features almost 150 photographs including many never-before-seen images by Danny Clinch, Jim Marshall, Neal Preston and Stephen Paley. It features almost 100 images taken by ABB road managers Twiggs Lyndon and Kirk West. As a senior writer for Guitar World magazine, he has interviewed the members of the Allman Brothers Band hundreds of times. No one has written more frequently about the band. “No journalist knows the ins and outs of the Allman Brothers Band better than Alan Paul.”-Warren Haynes
Paul wrote “The Expat Life” column for WSJ.com from 2005-2009, for which The National Society of Newspaper Columnists named him 2008 Columnist of the Year. He also reported from Beijing for NBC, Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets, covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics for NBC.com, while also appearing on air for NBC and CCTV.
Paul is a longtime senior writer for Slam and Guitar World magazines and a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, for which he has profiled musicians including Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and Paul Simon. His writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Billboard, Relix, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, People, ESPN.com, Rolling Stone, and many other publications and websites. He has contributed to The Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Guide, The Insider’s Guide to Beijing, and several other books.
Alan Paul is also known as the Panda Dad, since his WSJ essay “Tiger Mom Meet Panda Dad” caused a stir that led to him being interviewed on the Today show.
Alan and his wife Rebecca Blumenstein reside in New Jersey with their three children.