51 Years Ago, Arlo Guthrie Got Arrested For Littering, And Alice’s Restaurant Was Born
We at Capital 959 will be remembering this classic on Thanksgiving Day, with three servings of Alice's Restaurant at noon, three, and 5.
The story is told in a spoken monologue based on a true incident from Guthrie's life that began on Thanksgiving Day 1965 with a citation for littering, and ended with the refusal of the U.S. Army to draft him because of his conviction for that crime. The ironic punch line of the story 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 an encouragement for the listeners to sing along, to resist the draft, and to end war.
To me, it is a reminder of the turbulent 60's and the division of the country over the war in Viet Nam.
It is also a great song (all 18 minutes of it).
Alice's Restaurant was also made into a movie in 1969.
These days, Guthrie's long black hair has turned white, but the voice and the story telling abilities are still there. He is 69 and still occasionally tours.
So while sitting down to your dinner on Thanksgiving, have a listen to this classic with your family and friends as we play it in its' entirety at noon, 3PM, and 5PM.
As always, you can listen live on our website.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Capital 959.