Thursday, November 27, 2008
It just ain't Thanksgiving without a little Arlo
And have a listen to a fascinating early draft of the song, performed live in Gerdes Folk City in 1966. There's the chorus, but none of the Thanksgiving or anti-war story - it's just Arlo talking about how the song was going to spread all over the world. He sounds much more like Woody as a 19-year-old.
DOWNLOAD: Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant (live 1966)
The ultimate goal of the song at that point was to teach everybody in the world Alice's Restaurant, issue everyone alarm clocks and then have everyone in the world singing Alice's Restaurant (in the same key). And if you don't know the words, everybody in the world will be against you, and come over and step on you.
And Arlo kinda got his wish, in a roundabout way that I'm sure gives him a chuckle everytime he launches into this 18-minute ridiculous epic, and once again as an auditorium of spellbound people sing the damn thing back to him, still, 41 years later.
Bless him, and I have the treat of a lifetime to see Arlo with Pete Seeger in two days, live at Carnegie Hall.