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Alice's Restaurant

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ALICE'S RESTAURANT
LOS ANGELES (Arlo Guthrie)
MOTORCYCLE SONG
RING-AROUND-A-ROSY RAG


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Pauline L 15 Mar 06 - 07:54 PM
bobad 15 Mar 06 - 07:57 PM
Nick 15 Mar 06 - 08:36 PM
Joe Offer 15 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM
Anonny Mouse 15 Mar 06 - 09:19 PM
Pauline L 15 Mar 06 - 09:56 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 06 - 10:07 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Mar 06 - 11:12 PM
Panny 15 Mar 06 - 11:51 PM
Leadfingers 16 Mar 06 - 07:18 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 16 Mar 06 - 09:22 AM
John MacKenzie 16 Mar 06 - 09:27 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 16 Mar 06 - 10:00 AM
clueless don 16 Mar 06 - 11:44 AM
jojofolkagogo 16 Mar 06 - 12:11 PM
John MacKenzie 16 Mar 06 - 12:22 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 16 Mar 06 - 01:35 PM
Charlie Baum 16 Mar 06 - 01:49 PM
M.Ted 16 Mar 06 - 04:10 PM
Pauline L 17 Mar 06 - 03:12 AM
Willie-O 17 Mar 06 - 06:43 AM
John Hernandez 17 Mar 06 - 11:50 AM
Kaleea 17 Mar 06 - 01:18 PM
Pauline L 18 Mar 06 - 12:30 AM
katlaughing 24 Nov 09 - 12:23 PM
Amergin 24 Nov 09 - 12:46 PM
Wesley S 24 Nov 09 - 01:37 PM
PHJim 24 Nov 09 - 07:17 PM
katlaughing 24 Nov 09 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Brian Daniels 25 Nov 09 - 06:41 AM
Charlie Baum 25 Nov 09 - 10:30 AM
katlaughing 25 Nov 09 - 10:37 AM
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Subject: Alice's Restaurant
From: Pauline L
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 07:54 PM

I got an interesting card in the mail. It's an ad for "Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant Massacree 40th Anniversary Tour." It has a 60s-ish drawing of Arlo with long, gray locks; the famous church in the song; and a muse(?). Has it really been 40 years?

I did some research on the Internet and found some interesting things, including the lyrics and the original newspaper article and historical background. I also learned about the Guthrie Center, an interfaith church, community center, social welfare (soup kitchen, etc.)
organization, and, of course, music center, housed in the very church referenced in the song.. The beat goes on.

Does anyone want to share memories or personal opinions?


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: bobad
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 07:57 PM

40 years you say.

Well I'll be the first to say it here.

"What a long, strange trip it's been."


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Nick
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 08:36 PM

Anybody in the world cover this song in anything approaching it's entirety?

Every one sings along when you play the chorus but somehow drift off as you start telling the story. Now what's that about?

Saw the film - dumped the garbage - ate the meal etc


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 08:51 PM

When I was in the Berhshires a few years ago, I went to Stockbridge and visited the site of the restaurant, which is no longer there - Alice has retired to the tip of Cape Cod, and I had an acquaintance who spent a vacation at Alice's home.

I also went to the church in Housatonic, which was quite hard to find - Arlo had turned the church into a sort of shrine to his guru, an Indian woman named Ma. And I bought a T-shirt with a map of the "garbage trail."

It was a fun way to spend a day in a beautiful area.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Anonny Mouse
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 09:19 PM

There was a fella I knew-back in my yoot-on the same coffee house/folk festival circuits as me and my little ensemble. Anyway, really good guitar and banjo picker. Everyone wanted him in THEIR group because of his musicianship, but he was kinda likin' not being attached. He would sing "Alices Restaurant" from beginning to end...nailed it perfectly. Of course, everyone knew the chorus, so that was the inevitable sing-along. But he did the whole deal...played a Guild D-50 if memory serves--the NJ built Guild...back before they got bought and sold a few times. That was one sweet guitar too; probably Brazilian rosewood


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Pauline L
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 09:56 PM

I don't know what impresses me more: the garbage trail T-shirt or the Brazilian rosewood guitar.

I heard Arlo perform the song about 15 years ago. He said that it was 18 minutes long, the same length as the deleted portion of Richard Nixon's secret tape. He dared to suggest a connection.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 10:07 PM

The INCIDENT that inspired the song happened 40 Thanksgivings ago. The story-song was not released until 1967.   

Arlo began the 40th anniversary tour last spring and he is wrapping it up now.   He has also recently released a wonderfullive CD recorded on tour in Sydney, Australia.   This CD honors Alices Restaraunt with a version ABOUT the song - Arlo sings how he once forgot the words and turned to his kids and they didn't know it. He scolded them for not knowing the words - "I know MY father's songs".    Really good.   

Also, Arlo appeared at the Kerrville Folk Festival last June and the set is available on CD from the Kerrville folk fest, with the complete version of Alices that he is performing on the 40th anniversary tour.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 11:12 PM

Ahhh, through the sweet balmy bliss of northern bud, Arlo retreated into sanctity of the hand-ball-courts to get focused; it was the closest to a "green-room" our dirt-floored "field-house" offered.

He was not anywhere close to the "Gritty Nitty Bert Dan" that had proceeded him the year before.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Having been identified, vericated, indoctrinated four years before - as a member of "Young Republicans for Berry Goldwater" I was one of the few to slip through the hedge of hemp on the right, for this performance.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Panny
Date: 15 Mar 06 - 11:51 PM

I saw him in Battery Park City (New York) this past summer. It was advertised as him performing the entire album; he performed the entire song but not the entire album. But it was a lovely concert, people sitting on the grass while Arlo Guthrie told his stories. And everyone sang along to the encore "Goodnight Irene."

Tao Seeger's band opened for him.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 07:18 AM

I keep wanting to 'do' this as a floor spot in one of my local clubs , but as the average spot is two songs / ten minutes , it might NOT be too well received by the organiser / MC , no matter HOW well the audience join in the chorus .


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 09:22 AM

Panny, I remember the Battery Park show last year, but I do not recall it being advertised that way. That show was actually the kickoff for the tour.   It might have been that someone in the park commission misinterpreted the show that they were presenting in a press release.   

As far as I am aware, Arlo never had any intention of performing the entire album since the anniversary was for the incident which took place in 1965. The album came out in 1967.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 09:27 AM

My copy of the LP has a nasty big scratch but it still plays thank goodness.
Some song, some guy!
Giok


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 10:00 AM

The albums is available on CD - without scratches! :)

That also reminded me of something - a few years ago, Arlo re-recorded the entire CD and released it as "Alice's Restaurant - The Massacree Revisited". Perhaps that is where the confusion started that Panny mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: clueless don
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 11:44 AM

I never memorized the entire narrative, but certain tag lines have a tendency to pop up in my conversation:

off the side of the side road

remember Alice?...this is a song about Alice

I'm sittin' here on the bench, I'm sittin' here on the Group W bench...

shrink...I wanta' kill


But the line of Arlo's that I quote most often is from his narrative based on "The Motorcycle Song":

I knew it wasn't the *best* song I ever wrote...

Don


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 12:11 PM

Hello to you all !!!

ClueLess - the line that I remember and OFTEN quote is

" a set of 8 x 10 colour glossy photographs " !!!

and   " and they ALL moved away from him !!!"


GREAT FAB TERRIFIC

wot more can I say?

from Jo-Jo
jojofolkagogo@yahoo.com


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 12:22 PM

Father rapers!! father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me!!
That's the line that always makes me laugh loudest.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 01:35 PM

Any chance of a 'guest spot' from Officer Obie???

Aah bet (like aall yankee cops) he's purron a few poonds what with aall the doughnuts like!

Hey but!! 40 Years!! Wad ye credit it - Aah divvent want a Picle mind!!

Gerrup there Man!


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 01:49 PM

William Obanheim (Officer Obie) passed away on Sept. 11, 1994 at age 69.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Mar 06 - 04:10 PM

Arlo wasn't the only artist who used him as a subject. He was also a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover-boy. Tribute to Officer Obie


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Pauline L
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 03:12 AM

I especially like

And I started jumpin' up and down, yellin' "KILL! KILL!" and he started jumpin' up and down with me, and we was both jumpin' up and down, yellin', "KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!"

Alice's Restaurant was actually made into a film with Arlo and Officer Obie playing themselves.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Willie-O
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 06:43 AM

My daughter is probably the only 19-year-old on the planet who can recite the entire Alice's Restaurant Massacree. First she got obsessed with the movie, then she learned the whole thing and uses chunks of it as a theatre-audition piece. All she needs me for is to play the guitar part!

She sure got excited last week when I told her about the 40th ann. tour, which is coming to Kingston Ontario in May.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: John Hernandez
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 11:50 AM

In addition to the Woody Guthrie Center in Stockbridge, MA, there is the Woody Guthrie Folk Music Museum in Pampa, TX, the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Music Festival (Woodyfest) in Okemah, OK, and the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives in New York City.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Kaleea
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 01:18 PM

I still don't want a pickle!


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Pauline L
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 12:30 AM

Willie-O, I'm glad your daughter has good taste in music. I know a lot of people about her age who don't even know who Arlo is. Sad but true. Arlo says that he has chastised his kids for not knowing his songs. After all, he learned his father's songs.

The Guthrie Center (not Woodie Guthrie Center) is active in helping those who need help both nationally and locally. It is not centered on Woodie's music.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 12:23 PM

Anyone have a tradition of listening to this song specifically on Thanksgiving Day (USA)? The radio station in WY got us started as they played it each year. It's a fun thing to do.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Amergin
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 12:46 PM

Odd i was just thinking about it....there is a video of Arlo playing it at a show in 2005....


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 01:37 PM

I'm pretty sure the NPR station in Dallas still does that Kat.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: PHJim
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:17 PM

We were just having a discussion about the songs which share the Alice's Restaurant chord progression at a rehearsal the other night. A couple of friends have unknowingly used it to compose songs. Robert Johnson used it for They're Red Hot. Washboard Hank uses it for You Can't Tame Wild Women. John Hartford used it for Hey Babe, You Wanna Boogie?. Pink Anderson used it to sing Bring It On Home. I just found a song on Youtube called All I Want For Christmas Is Another Ukulele that uses the same progression. It's even used, with a different bridge, for Jada.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 07:40 PM

What a fun song, PHJim, thanks for mentioning it!

All I want for Christmas is another ukulele


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: GUEST,Brian Daniels
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 06:41 AM

The Albany NY public radio network (WAMC Northeast Public Radio) also plays this each Thanksgiving. They play a live version where he adds some verses about the 20 missing minutes of missing Nixon tapes and having been invited to the white house by President Carter discovers that Nixon had left a copy of his the Alices Resturaunt record behind. It's much funnier that it sounds in this web post.


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 10:30 AM

It was a couple of years ago on Thanksgiving, and Lisa and I were driving up to Maine to visit with her son, and on Thursday, the traffic was very heavy on I-84 starting around Danbury, Connecticut, so we thought we'd take US 7 north to the Mass Pike. We had the radio on listening to public radio, and about the time we were leaving Great Barrington, Mass., they started to play "Alice's Restaurant" on the Albany, NY public radio station. In a few minutes, we were driving into Stockbridge, and we crossed the railroad tracks and followed US 7 another half-mile, and there, on the right, is the site of Alice's Restaurant. We parked in front of Alice's Restaurant and listened to the rest of the song. It's the only time I've listened to "Alice's Restaurant" on Thanksgiving Day parked in front of Alice's Restaurant. When it ended, I asked Lisa if she wanted to continue the tour and go visit the town dump, but we figured it was probably closed on Thanksgiving.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Alice's Restaurant
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 10:37 AM

How fun, Charlie!

Brian, that's the version I have on CD, the live one with the extra "verses"...it is great!


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