Meet the Author
This book represents my life’s passion and the accumulation of 40 years of my experiences with The Allman Brothers.
I hope you find something in it’s pages that reflect the experiences you had, in your journey with the band.
Kirk West is first and foremost a music lover. He has never been able to get enough of the people, places, and things that comprise the life of a touring artist. In search of the richness that musicians and their music bring the world, his travels and life have taken him from his Iowa birthplace to far flung reaches of the globe, camera in hand.
In the fall of 1968, West moved to Chicago to shoot the blues. He made his mark at the legendary joints found on the North and South Sides of the city, from Theresa’s Lounge to the Checkerboard, from Pepper’s to Blues on Halsted, Biddy Mulligan’s and Rosa’s, where he befriended and photographed singular artists including Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Willie Dixon, and many others. West honed his visceral, in-the-moment style, night after night, down in the pit, shooting away. He also made his way to every rock club and concert venue in the Midwest, putting his highly personal touch on thousands of images covering an enormous variety of music styles, personalities, and venues.
Beginning in 1989, Kirk served as Tour Manager for the Allman Brothers Band for over 20 years. During his tenure, Kirk shot 10 Allman Brothers Band LP, CD or DVD covers, as well as over 15 picture sleeves for the group’s records. A renowned archivist, West also directed the critically-acclaimed Please Call Home documentary, which covered the early years of the Allman Brothers Band while living at the Big House in Macon, Georgia
While lovers of music photography may have seen other images Kirk has captured over the years, his photographs have until now never been seen by anyone other than his close circle of friends. Without exception, these photographs have back stories as rich as the images themselves and are a must for any serious collector.
Kirk West’s Photographic Journey with the Brothers
While researching a project for the Allman Brothers Band in 2013, Kirk basically went through all the photographs that he has ever taken of them. Once the project was completed, he decided to publish a book of the best of those pictures. He had over 100,000 photographs taken over a span of 40 years. Starting in 1973 with the first photographs he took in San Francisco at Winterland Ballroom and ending with the last concert they ever played in 2014 in New York City at the Beacon Theatre, Kirk had to go through them all and pick the best 900 that were representative of the band’s amazing career.
To raise money for the project Kirk created a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $60,000. In the 2-months that the Kickstarter page was up the fans were offered a variety of incentives to participate in the project. At the end of that time over $90,000 was raised and the project attracted the attention of half a dozen publishers. Kirk selected Insight Editions as the publisher and by December 2014 the book was completed, printed, and sent to all the contributors.
In 2016, Kirk was honored to be nominated as Georgia author of the year by the Georgia Literary Society. Although he did not win, he was a finalist in the Specialty Book category that was won by the governor’s wife.
Les Brers is a hard cover 300-page coffee table book with 900 photographs that is presented chronologically and covers not only the Allman Brothers Band but all the side projects: Great Southern, Dickey Betts Band, Gregg Allman Band, Sea Leavel, the birth of Gov’t Mule and Tedeschi/Trucks Band. The photographs capture all these bands and players on stage and off; in their homes, in the studios, on the bus as well as the more formal shots for album covers and CD and DVD packages. This book is a must for any fan of the ABB and their music. You can buy this wonderful book here…
ORDER LES BRERS TODAY!
Kirk West's critically acclaimed and highly personal journey with The Allman Brothers is available everywhere fine books are sold.
It’s not beyond possible belief that another book of this scope and depth could be assembled.
Assembled being the key word in that thought.
It is possible that by piecing together pictures from the collections of the individual band members, crew members, venue employees, fans and industry people someone could possible put together a book of this density.
However there is no single source that could provide a solitary viewing point, from which to see The Allman Brothers go down that road toward forever, as complete as the one presented here. To share the unique vision and point of view of one man through the turbulence of 4 decades of pure and true rock-n-roll lifestyles is the gift this book delivers.
Copyright © 2020 Kirk West Photography