For Thanksgiving, Sierra Wave Presents is happy to air Arlo Guthrie’s song “Alice’s Restaurant on KSRW 92.5.
This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant. That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why Arlo Guthrie called the song Alice’s Restaurant.
On Thanksgiving 1965, Arlo Guthrie visited friend Alice Brock and her husband at their home, a church in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and did them a favor by taking out their garbage. The dump was closed that day, so Guthrie and a friend dropped the garbage off a cliff where other locals had previously dropped trash. Guthrie was arrested the following day, and the mark on his record miraculously kept him out of Vietnam by making him ineligible for the draft.
Guthrie recalled the incident in hilarious detail in 1967’s “Alice’s Restaurant,” which became his most beloved song and the subject of a 1969 movie. (The Old Trinity Church, where Alice lived, is now the Guthrie Center). It’s also become a Thanksgiving tradition, played nationwide on public radio every year. “To have what happened to me actually happen and not be a work of fiction still remains amazing,” Guthrie says. “It’s an amazing set of crazy circumstances that reminds me of an old Charlie Chaplin movie. It’s slapstick.”
Sierra Wave Presents airs Monday at 11:00 am, Wednesday at 3:00 pm, Friday at 8:00 pm on KSRW 92.5.
Happy Thanksgiving from the folks at Sierra Wave Media