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Arlo Says Alice's Restaurant Was Real

When Eye Lipson and I were doing Radio shows for the Blind folks, we produced a few specials for Holidays. They were entertainment and allowed volunteers at the Radio Station to have the Holiday off. We produced a two-hour Christmas Special that was syndicated around the country, and some others including an International Best Program Award winner for a show we did on (the U.S.) Labor Day holiday. We'd sit around and brainstorm what other holidays we could do, and a Thanksgiving Special would often get kicked around. But there really was only one great Thanksgiving song that we remembered, called, ALICE'S RESTAURANT, by ARLO GUTHRIE, son of the famous Folk singer WOODY.

 

For those who are too young to remember or maybe weren't alive yet, in 1965 at the height of the Vietnam War, a bunch of HippieArl's up in New England had a Thanksgiving feast in a Church where a lady named Alice lived and served food. After the wonderful meal and a lot of 'celebrating,' some of them piled into a pickup to take the garbage to the dump but alas, the dump was closed for the holiday; so they went out and dumped it in a non-sanctioned garbage location. Arlo was caught and arrested, and that arrest on his record kept him from getting drafted into the Army and being sent to Vietnam...he was a happy boy.

 

Arlo claimed the story was all true and he made the incident into a 16-minute humrous song to lead off his album of the same name, "Alice's Restaurant," that was released in October of 1967. A lot of radio stations decided to play it on that Thanksgiving, and many still do every year. It was so popular that a movie was made about the incident which he called, "A little goofy."

 

So here we are almost 50 years later, again celebrating an iconic dinner with the Pilgrims and Native Americans. This is a clip from the movie, so we can see and listen once again to Arlo Gutherie's story of avoiding the Draft and possible injury or even death in an unnecessary and political war. @therealdonrocks

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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