Thursday, November 25, 2010

You Can Get Anything You Want...

"At Alice's Restaurant
(Excepting Alice)"
-- Arlo Guthrie "Alice's Restaurant"

This song, made my Arlo Guthrie as a protest against the Vietnam War, has been a part of my Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. Quite possibly even at six months old, on my first thanksgiving, I lay in my crib and listened to Arlo Guthrie telling the draftees sitting on the Group W bench that he was a litterbug, and therefore was not moral enough to join the army.

As soon as conscious thought was possible this song became the official beginning to the holiday season. As soon as Arlo strummed the first few bars on his guitar it was truly Thanksgiving. Until that point the holidays were only a distant mirage.

In fact, as the years went on, Arlo Guthrie became a mythical figure in my mind, and came to reside on the same plane as Santa or the Easter bunny. I imagined them all living somewhere together, possibly on the moon. On November 25th Arlo would stand up and put on his fringe jacket and sling his guitar over his shoulder and say to Santa.
"Alright old man, I'll go open it up" and he would come down from the sky to play, thus officially beginning the season.

Anyway, every year at 12:25 pm EST the Philadelphia Oldies station plays Alice's Restaurant, the same recording that they have played every year since it was released. I am not in Philadelphia, and there for Oldies 98.9 is a little out of my broadcast range. But I planned ahead folks! Alice's Restaurant is on my iPod, and is right now playing through my speakers. Let the holidays begin!

Alice's Restaurant Massacree


  1. Now see what happens when you are not home? We completely missed Alice's Restaurant and there was no "enforced march".
    WE NEED YOU! We are floundering without you!

  2. Suss. Do you think Arlo and Santa would get along? I feel like they might have fundamentally different world views. Like the way you sort of smooth your life over when you're talking to your Grandma.