The Epic 2017 Project #102: 170412
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant (1967)
Arlo Guthrie’s debut album is essentially all about the song ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacre’ which dominates the whole of side 2.
“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” is a satirical, first-person account of 1960s counterculture. It was also the inspiration for the 1969 film of the same name.
The song is Guthrie’s most prominent work, based on a true incident from his 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 which is (of course) an open invitation to listeners to join together to resist the draft for the Vietnam war, goes like this …
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.