View Poll Results: Did you listen to Alice's Restaurant today?
Yes- In 4-part harmony and full orchestration 141 43.12%
No- Sit on the Group W Bench. NOW, KID! 135 41.28%
Never heard it before- I WANNA KILL! 51 15.60%
Voters: 327. You may not vote on this poll

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  #51  
Old 11-25-2011, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
There's no point in arguing with you, but I will point out that 7 minutes just scratches the surface of the song. You didn't even get to where he goes to the induction center and gets told he's not moral enough to kill people and burn villages for being a litterbug.

The best part about this song? It's true. Stylized, perhaps, but it actually happened.
See, I went through the whole song, and I just didn't find it funny. I smiled once when the guys came back over to sit by him when he mentioned "disorderly conduct," but that's it.

But mostly it just bugged me because it was set up like a story, and we didn't find out what happened (Did he get drafted or not?), nor what it actually had to do with Alice's Restaurant, seeing as he got the garbage out of Alice's house.
  #52  
Old 11-25-2011, 01:16 AM
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I never thought of it for Thanksgiving-- too many family members would get their panties in a twist. Now-a-days those of us with a sense of humor out-number those who don't, so this is going to be a tradition!

Was it the Muppet Movie where the band lived in a church? Something about it makes me think of Alice's Restaurant.
  #53  
Old 11-25-2011, 01:57 AM
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But mostly it just bugged me because it was set up like a story, and we didn't find out what happened (Did he get drafted or not?), nor what it actually had to do with Alice's Restaurant, seeing as he got the garbage out of Alice's house.
1) He was not drafted. They pointedly told him in the song "We don't like your kind" and sat him on the Group W bench where all the criminals were.

2) The joke is that his arrest for littering, a particularly minor offense, kept him from being drafted because it was seen as a morals violation, during a war where the burning of villages and killing of civilians was commonplace. The story leading up to his reporting for the draft, when contrasted with what the Army was doing in Vietnam, was intended to be incredibly ironic.

I'm OK with the fact that you didn't like it. I enjoy it, but I have my own tastes and would not impose them upon anybody else. But if you did in fact listen to it the whole way through I cannot fathom how you didn't discern these facts for yourself.
  #54  
Old 11-25-2011, 02:45 AM
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Now, can anyone find me an Internet link to the alternate version, "The Multi-Colored Rainbow Roach"?
  #55  
Old 11-25-2011, 07:10 AM
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I watched the movie with the Arlo commentary. Does that count ?
  #56  
Old 11-25-2011, 08:05 AM
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Did you decide that one big thread is better than two little ones?
And rather than bring that one up, she decided to send this one down.
  #57  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:48 AM
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My clock radio went off this morning just as Obie was slippin' on the handcuffs.
Please leave your sex life out of this thread.
  #58  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:53 AM
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WCKG in Chicago plays this every Thanksgiving at 10:00 am (and again in the afternoon, I think), so I've been listening to it every year for the past 10 years. My wife and I also watched it on TV last winter, but kind of found it difficult to get into. It was fairly amusing, though.
  #59  
Old 11-25-2011, 10:54 AM
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And rather than bring that one up, she decided to send this one down.
We found her name on another thread at the bottom of a half a ton of other threads.
  #60  
Old 11-25-2011, 08:23 PM
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~You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant~~~~
Excepting Alice.

We don't do Thanksgiving in Australia but I love the song.
  #61  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:32 PM
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I first heard the song on the radio while doing a long overnight drive through Texas in spring of 1990. Ah, I was much younger and had more stamina then. When Arlo got to the part where he claims he'd been singing for 25 minutes, that snapped me out of my driving stupor, shocked me completely awake because I had no idea that much time had passed. (He's exaggerating, btw. The whole song is about 18½ minutes, a point he made a big deal of in the 1996 re-recording). It made me decide to stop for the night. It might have saved my life.

The very next Thanksgiving, I happened to catch a radio station playing it while I was driving around, a bit lost. From then on until the MP3 revolution, that was my Thanksgiving tradition too, even after I'd purchased my own copy of the album. Once I'd transferred my music collection to MP3 starting around 1999 or so, I stopped the Thanksgiving tradition, and now I just listen to it all the way through occasionally when one of the three live versions I have comes up on random play.

*** Ponder
  #62  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:46 PM
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One local radio station here plays it four times on Thanksgiving so that everyone who wants to listen to it will have the chance.

Song makes me feel kinda old, I was in highschool when it came out. That was the glory era of alternative radio too, so I heard it a lot then. Now it's just when I happen to hear it. Like on Thanksgiving.
  #63  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:48 PM
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I didn't actually listen to it on Thanksgiving day, but I got around to it today...thanks to the prompting of this thread.
  #64  
Old 11-26-2011, 09:40 AM
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Sorry, I would have posted sooner, but I was waiting for this thread to come back around again

While I haven't heard it every one of my 34 Thanksgivings, I have over half of them, including this one. Which is why I was utterly shocked just a few years back when my best friend (who was 28 or 29 at the time) asked me while black Friday shopping if I'd ever heard that "strange song" she'd only heard for the first time the day before. I thought everyone, especially people who grew up in New England, were familar with the tradition, but I was wrong.
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  #65  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:02 AM
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No, but I read it in it's entirety. The benign dictator of my Burning Man camp posts it to the group every year as a tradition.
  #66  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:18 AM
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must be an American thing - I've never heard f the song or the tradition.
  #67  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:47 AM
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Our local Classic Rock station always plays it twice. I think it is noon and 6pm. A tradition they actually adopted from the WNEW that goes back decades. If I miss it though I have it on an Arlo CD and will play it. I use to own the movie but that was on VHS and is now dead and gone.
  #68  
Old 11-26-2011, 11:21 AM
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Aside from the fact that I'm sitting next to you while you're listening to it, it's FIVE-part harmony. Just thought you'd want to know.
Just watched/listened to the linked MS-Word illustrated version. There are three references to the harmony. The first one is five-part, the next two are four-part. Maybe the baritone got drafted?
  #69  
Old 11-26-2011, 11:15 PM
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I've been reading this thread for 25 minutes and I could read it for another 25. I'm not proud.
  #70  
Old 11-26-2011, 11:20 PM
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My tradition is to listen to "The First Thanksgiving" from "Stan Freberg Presents The United States Of America (Vol. I)" which includes the song "Take An Indian To Lunch". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ESaZSB3h2k
  #71  
Old 11-27-2011, 07:14 AM
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Please leave your sex life out of this thread.
I said 'Obie, I don't think I can reach around with these handcuff on.' He said 'shut up, kid.'

Last edited by outlierrn; 11-27-2011 at 07:15 AM.
  #72  
Old 11-28-2011, 03:35 AM
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I've been reading this thread for 25 minutes and I could read it for another 25. I'm not proud.
... or tired.
  #73  
Old 11-28-2011, 04:50 AM
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Never heard of it.
  #74  
Old 11-28-2011, 06:26 AM
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must be an American thing - I've never heard f the song or the tradition.
I'm American and I've never heard of this before. I didn't vote because I don't really feel like killing anybody.

I've never felt so clueless in a thread. What the hell is this all about?
  #75  
Old 11-29-2011, 01:46 AM
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ARGH! I forgot! and I have two copies on CD!
  #76  
Old 11-29-2011, 09:43 AM
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I'm American and I've never heard of this before. I didn't vote because I don't really feel like killing anybody.

I've never felt so clueless in a thread. What the hell is this all about?
Google "Alice's Restaurant."
  #77  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:11 AM
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I loaded up my shovels, rakes, and implements of destruction, I even had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat, but I didn't get around to more than humming a few bars.

My dad introduced me to Arlo Guthrie via cassette after many days of singing:
I don't want a pickle,
I just wanna ride on my motor-cicle.
I don't waaaaaaanna die,
I just wanna ride on my motor-cy....cull.


Alice's Restaurant must've taken up damn near a whole side of a cassette all on it's own.
  #78  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:38 AM
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Alice's Restaurant must've taken up damn near a whole side of a cassette all on it's own.
Well...it took up most of an LP side, that's fersure. Cassettes came later.
  #79  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:43 AM
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So two people did it?

You know what we're thinking.
Doesn't work any more; they'd still take both of them.

Last edited by Tom Scud; 11-29-2011 at 10:43 AM.
  #80  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:46 AM
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Well...it took up most of an LP side, that's fersure. Cassettes came later.
Not most but all of one side. It's a rather short album...the six songs on side two put together aren't as long as the "Massacree."
  #81  
Old 11-29-2011, 10:50 AM
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Truth be told, I'd never heard of anyone listening to this song as a Thanksgiving tradition until I saw this thread and I can't really think of any reason it would be one. Sure part of the song's narrative takes place on Thanksgiving, but it doesn't really seem to emphasize the theme of Thanksgiving at all.
  #82  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:33 AM
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I've never heard the song on Thanksgiving or any other day.
  #83  
Old 11-29-2011, 11:59 AM
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The whole song is about 18½ minutes, a point he made a big deal of in the 1996 re-recording).
And in numerous live performances for years before that.

IIRC how he used to tell the story, he claimed to be at one of the inaugural parties for Jimmy Carter's inauguration, when Chip Carter sidled up to him and asked something like "how many things are 18½ minutes long?" with the answers being Alice's Restaurant, and the infamous gap on one of the Nixon Watergate tapes. So the joke was that Nixon had to erase the evidence that he and H.R. Haldeman were in the Oval Office, listening to Alice's Restaurant together.
  #84  
Old 11-29-2011, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rowrrbazzle View Post
My tradition is to listen to "The First Thanksgiving" from "Stan Freberg Presents The United States Of America (Vol. I)" which includes the song "Take An Indian To Lunch". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ESaZSB3h2k
I love that album. My dad introduced both it and Alice's Restaurant (and Firesign Theater) to me when I was a teenager.

"Show him we don't draw the line... this week!"

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 11-29-2011 at 02:45 PM.
  #85  
Old 11-29-2011, 03:04 PM
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I completely forgot about Firesign Theater! Must google now.
  #86  
Old 11-30-2011, 03:09 PM
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I listened to both this and Stan Freberg's "Take an Indian to Lunch" this November through Youtube. I even facebooked them to all my friends. A lot of people made note that both of these songs are kind of mean spirited, with the Freberg one even thought of to be a little racist. Some people don't understand irony anymore. Anyway, I have always been a fan of Alice's Restaraunt, especially the anniversary edition released in 1991, where Arlo Gurthrie says that the knowledge of Richard Nixon owning a copy of the record makes him especially suspicious of the 18 1/2 minute gap in the Watergate tapes....
  #87  
Old 12-01-2011, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
And in numerous live performances for years before that.

IIRC how he used to tell the story, he claimed to be at one of the inaugural parties for Jimmy Carter's inauguration, when Chip Carter sidled up to him and asked something like "how many things are 18½ minutes long?" with the answers being Alice's Restaurant, and the infamous gap on one of the Nixon Watergate tapes. So the joke was that Nixon had to erase the evidence that he and H.R. Haldeman were in the Oval Office, listening to Alice's Restaurant together.
When I saw him in the 80's, the story was that they'd found a copy in the WH, and Arlo'd asked if it was open, and when Chip said yes, Arlo tells the audience 'so don't tell me you can't change the world with a song.' Good times.
  #88  
Old 12-01-2011, 09:18 PM
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Some days I feel like such a foreigner. I never even heard of this song or this tradition. Ever.
  #89  
Old 12-02-2011, 04:45 PM
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I love the song. Wife hates it for all the reasons I think it's fantastic--droning voice, repetetive back music, the composition seems intentionally aggravating. It IS smartass music.
  #90  
Old 12-02-2011, 05:03 PM
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Not only is it a tradition with me, but I get good and drunk the night before so I look and feel my best.
  #91  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:22 AM
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You're our boy!

And I intend to bump this thread every future Thanksgiving, much like the Xmas Rudolph Thread.
  #92  
Old 11-21-2012, 08:21 PM
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Oh, let me. I'm not proud.....

Or tired.
  #93  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:02 PM
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Yep, we're just waitin' for it to come around again, on the gee-tar...
  #94  
Old 11-22-2012, 09:54 AM
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But that's not what I came here to tell you about...
  #95  
Old 11-22-2012, 11:17 AM
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45 minutes from now...
  #96  
Old 11-22-2012, 12:50 PM
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2 hours, ten minutes from now.
  #97  
Old 11-22-2012, 01:21 PM
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My dad used to play it on the guitar, and thanks for the reminder: he no longer can play due to decades of dealing with bursitis, but I can still call him up and play it for him from Youtube
  #98  
Old 11-22-2012, 01:39 PM
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Anyone remember that 18 1/2 minute gap in the White House recordings from the Watergate investigation? Well, the original recording of this song is just over 18 1/2 minutes long, so once Arlo jokingly suggested in a concert that the song was what was on that 18 1/2 minute gap in the tape. (Nixon apparently owned a copy of the record.)
  #99  
Old 11-22-2012, 03:32 PM
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Well, the original recording of this song is just over 18 1/2 minutes long
My local classic rock station played this song at noon, and they claimed it's 18 minutes, 11 seconds. But you're right; I timed the song off my watch and it is barely over 18 1/2 minutes.
  #100  
Old 11-22-2012, 04:05 PM
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I usually go with the original album recording, but today listened to the 2005 live version. I liked the subtle updates and I know it's 7 years old now, but I think Arlo aged pretty well.
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