Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Song #109: "Alice's Restaurant Massacre"--Arlo Guthrie (1967)

I am so honored that today's song was released in the same year that, er, ah, well, I was released. :)

Thanks to my brother for my first exposure to this song close to ten years after its release, never dreaming that, one day, I'd live just north of the "scene of the crime", Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and that I would actually drive past Alice's Restaurant.

If you've never listened to this 18 minute, 34 second masterpiece, I implore you to do so. There are a couple of language/adult theme issues, and, yes, it has a certain political bent to it, but, now, almost 50 years after its debut, Arlo Guthrie takes us back to a time where so many things were different, yet so many issues are the same.

Take garbage, a "friendly gestue", a closed dump, a cranky police officer, "shovels, rakes and implements of destruction", a "closed" sign, some blind justice, the Vietnam War, the draft office, and a simple tune played over, and over, and over, and you have the ingredients of an absolute classic that must be a part of every Thanksgiving, or any other day for that matter.

And, yes, this is the longest song in The Rob Witham 500.  :)

By the way, does anyone know what happened to the 27 8 X 10" color glossy photographs with circles and arrows on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence?

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