… he said goodnight and walked off without singing, “Alice’s Restaurant.”
I mean, come on, how can Arlo Guthrie not sing his most famous song?
He did start the concert by saying he’d been touring for 40 years and now only did the songs he liked. But the did everything else he was known for. And it’s not like this concert business is about him. I thought he was there to entertain us.
Yet and all it was still enjoyable, just not nearly as enjoyable as it might have been.
On one hand, I agree, I think singers should still perform their classic hits, even though we know they’re sick to death of playing them. But on the other hand, Alice’s Restaurant has the additional burden of being like a half hour long. I can understand him not wanting to play it.
That reminds me of Don McLean. For years he refused to play “American Pie” in concert. One time I read an interview where was asked why he started playing it again. He said something to the effect of “I can sell out any club in the world and play any song I want as long as I remember to include ‘American Pie’ in my set. And I’m willing to do that one song because it gives me that freedom.”
Yeah, we stayed. When they ran off the stage the crowd was cheering and carrying on in a manner consistant with a bunch of 50-70 year old ex-hippies. It maybe wasn’t a mosh pit moment but it didn’t bring back memories of Lawrence Welk either.
Nobody left, we knew Alice was coming. Sure enough they came back out did a couple more tunes. A bunch of people started with, “Alice, Alice.” He thanked them for the suggestion did one more and Arlo yelled, “Good night,” and they left. We all hung around a bit until the curtain started coming down.
I understand the disappointment and this is kind of a controversial issue, but he’s not obligated to play everything the audience wants to hear every night, or at all. And since you did pay to see him, I’m not sure you can really say ‘this concert business isn’t about him.’ It is. You wanted to see him do Alice’s Restaurant, but you bought the ticket and it wasn’t conditional on him playing the song. He’s definitely played the song in recent years, so I don’t think this is one of those cases where the artist hates his big hit and disowns it. Maybe he didn’t feel like playing it last night or isn’t doing it this tour.
I’m sure he has a love/hate relationship with that song. I can’t fault him for not playing it on tour these days. He played it when I saw him 20+ years ago, but you could tell his heart wasn’t in it even back then.
Absolutely. I know quite a few hippies who are also Republicans (including my dad - although he’d have a stroke if he heard me call him a hippie, but if you saw the lovely skirt and long hair and beard he wore to my wedding, you’d know the truth )
'Sides, his political writings are pretty clearly libertarian today. He even came out in favor of the unions in Wisconsin. He registered Republican because, as he once said, “We had enough good Democrats. We needed a few more good Republicans. We needed a loyal opposition.”
(But I don’t really think he doesn’t know the lyrics to “Alice’s Restaurant”, since they’re rather…uh…fluid, anyhow.)
First time I saw Bob Dylan in concert was during his stupid “religious phase”. Opening act was a gospel group. After the first song they did there were scattered boos. Each song they did after that, more people joined in booing.
When the opening act finished, Dylan came out. They were his backing band. He only did religious tunes. It sucked. I’ve seen him many times since, but if I got to meet him face to face I’d bring up that time.