I am Carter Alan; legend in my mind and a radio presenter you may have heard of. I also punished my schedule by writing a few books in too little free time. It was during my time in the bookstore / book signing circuit that I worked alongside a man I have known for almost 30 years in the Boston area. Allan Dines is not someone who needs to be introduced to the affairs of the region; he is an extraordinary photographer who has captured stars from Tom Brady to Denis Leary to Steven Tyler in his lens. These are just three in a myriad of contact sheets dating back to the early 1990s.
At the end of 2019, Allan proposed that we both participate in a joint book signing (for me) and photo presentation (for him) at the Wayland Public Library. This would become the final event in the three-year promotional effort for my book “Decibel Diaries” because shortly after that day in January 2020, the pandemic began to shut down. It was a fantastic event with a very engaged audience as we each showcase our artistic endeavors. I was quickly fascinated and impressed by the variety and quality of Allan’s portfolio and the obvious gifts he possesses. BB King, Billy Idol, Brad Delp, Carl Perkins – the list goes on and on.
The people who were there that day could see and hear about Allan’s vast work. But beyond that, one would have had to see the various articles or advertisements that these photos accompanied to get an idea of what he accomplished. Well, no more.
Allan Dines has just published a book called “Front Row Center: How I Met Everyone”. It’s available on Amazon and not only features a wealth of photographic evidence documenting day assignments and nighttime explorations at Boston-area clubs, but also provides Dines’ insight into the stories behind those photos and her career. I must say that I also participated in his project, providing a preface to the book. And if you think my opinion of “Front Row Center” is rosy, let me tell you that writing a foreword is not something you are volunteering for! It’s hard!
Allan Dines will host a book launch event: Thursday, November 18 at 7 p.m. at the Regent Theater in Arlington. Jordan Rich will be the moderator of the conference and books will be available for signature. You have to go to the Regent Theater website to book tickets, but they’re free (they just want to count how many people will be performing). I’m going to the book launch for a walk down memory lane and a glimpse of how a brilliant photographer performs their trade!
Since I always have you, let me also let you know that another great Boston photographer and good friend, Leo Gozbekian, has a book filled with timeless photos called “All Access: Concert and Backstage Photos”. This is another great collection that you should check out.