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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Arlo Guthrie 1967 Alice's Restaurant





Genre: Folk
Rate: 160 kbps CBR / 44100
Time: 00:34:41
Size: 39,66 MB

United States


"Alice's Restaurant Massacree" (commonly referred to simply as "Alice's Restaurant") is one of singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie's most prominent works, a musical monologue based on a true story that began on Thanksgiving Day 1965, and which inspired a 1969 movie of the same name. In an interview for All Things Considered, Guthrie said the song points out that any American citizen who was convicted of a crime, no matter how minor (in his case, it was littering), could avoid being conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War.

The song lasts 18 minutes and 34 seconds, occupying the entire A-side of Guthrie's 1967 debut record album, also titled Alice's Restaurant. It is notable as a satirical, first-person account of 1960s counterculture, in addition to being a hit song in its own right. The final part of the song is an encouragement for the listeners to sing along, to resist the U.S. draft, and to end war.

Though the song's official title, as printed on the album, is "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" (pronounced mass-a-cree, not massacre), Guthrie states in the opening line of the song that "This song's called 'Alice's Restaurant'" and that "'Alice's Restaurant'... is just the name of the song;" as such, the shortened title is the one most commonly used for the song today.

Apart from the chorus which begins and ends it, the "song" is in fact a spoken monologue, with a repetitive but catchy ragtime guitar backing. It recounts a true but comically exaggerated Thanksgiving Day adventure as a satirical, deadpan protest against the Vietnam War draft.

The Alice in the song was restaurant-owner Alice M. Brock, who in 1964 used $2,000 supplied by her mother to purchase a deconsecrated church in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where Alice and her husband Ray would live. It was here rather than at the restaurant — which came later — where the song's Thanksgiving dinners were actually held.

On that Thanksgiving, November 25, 1965, the 18-year-old Guthrie and his friend Richard Robbins, 19, were arrested by Stockbridge police officer William "Obie" Obanhein for illegally dumping some of Alice's garbage after discovering that the town dump was closed for the holiday. Two days later, they pled guilty in court before a blind judge, James E. Hannon. The song describes to ironic effect the arresting officer's frustration at this "typical case of American blind justice," in which the officer was prepared to present "27 8×10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us," only to have the judge enter the courtroom accompanied by a seeing-eye dog. In the end, Guthrie and Robbins were fined $50 and told to pick up their garbage.

The song goes on to describe Guthrie's being called up for the draft, and the surreal bureaucracy at the New York City induction center at 39 Whitehall Street. Because of Guthrie's criminal record for littering, he is first sent to the Group W Bench, where those draftees wait who cannot be inducted except under a "moral waiver", then outright rejected as unfit for military service. The ironic punch line of the story's denouement is that, in the words of Guthrie, "I'm sittin' here on the Group W bench 'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough to join the army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug."

The final part of the song is where Arlo tells the audience that should they find themselves facing the draft they should walk into the military psychiatrist's office and sing, "Shrink, you can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant," and walk out. Thus is born, "the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement, and all you got to do to join is to sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice%27s_Restaurant)



Tracklist:

01 - Alice's Restaurant Massacree 18:31

02 - Chilling Of The Evening 03:00

03 - Ring-Around-A-Rosy Rag 02:11

04 - Now & Then 02:18

05 - I'm Going Home 03:14

06 - The Motorcycle Song 02:46

07 - Highway In The Wind 02:41





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