Alan's early interest in writing reasserted itself as a way of dealing with the frustrations and disillusionment he had experienced in his career. He'd begun to question whether the compromises demanded were justified by the rewards. He decided that they were not.
The first mention of his plans to write his autobiography appeared in a 1957 newspaper column. By 1962 it was completed --- but there was a hitch (wasn't there always?): Prospective publishers insisted that he change the names to protect the guilty. And, of course, there were the inevitable "tone it down" or, "spice it up" demands. At one point it looked as if Citadel had bought it, as
witness this item in Walter Winchell's column:
WALTER WINCHELL February 4, 1964
Singer Alan Dale's new book, "The Spider and the Marionettes" (Citadel) will add at least a dozen Don't-Invites to his list. He took
off the gloves when he wrote it.
EARL WILSON August 10, 1965
Singer Alan Dale has produced a powerful autobiography in The Spider and the Marionettes. He says he's hammered nails
into the coffin of his career by refusing to be a marionette for powerful men in Show Business.
BOB LARDINE "Alan Dale certainly wasn't out to win many friends when he wrote his recently published autobiography, The Spider and the Marionettes. The singer blasts many celebrities, producers and theatrical agents in it."
Once he'd begun, Alan continued writing. These were not commercial works, but instead took the form of philosophical commentaries. He was more than happy to speak to young audiences because he believed that only the young could change the corruption in modern society and the little compromises that lead to the selling out of one's ideals.
Some believe that Alan's "quixotic odyssey" (if you will), as much as his periodic health problems, took too much of his attention away from performing. It seems that he had finally found that sense of purpose and peace of mind that he had been seeking. Alan had always preferred the quiet life, and now his youthful dream of being a crusading journalist had, in a manner of speaking, come to pass: He was on an idealistic crusade to Change the World ---- or at least inspire the next generation to do so.
BOOKS BY ALAN DALE
THE SPIDER AND THE MARIONETTES (1965)
ANATOMY OF A REBELLION (1967)
MY AMERICA! (1969)
ALAN'S NEW PASSION
THE MEANING OF THE BOOK'S TITLE MAY HAVE PUZZLED SOME PEOPLE,
BUT POLITICAL CARTOONIST REG MANNING GOT THE POINT, AS SHOWN
IN THIS CARTOON WHICH APPEARED SEPTEMBER 25, 1965 ON EDITORIAL
PAGES THROUGHOUT THE NATION.
LARDINE EXAGGERATED ALAN'S TREATMENT OF HIS
SHOW BUSINESS ASSOCIATES. ACTUALLY HE WAS AS
KIND AS HE WAS CRITICAL, AND HIS HARSHEST
JUDGEMENTS WERE LEVELED AT HIMSELF.
But, as before, the publisher seems to have backed out, and Alan would
have to wait another eighteen months before his book would be in the stores (published by Lyle Stuart).
ALAN DALE PRINCE OF CROONERS
the Spider and the Marionettes
and other writings by Alan Dale