ARLO GUTHRIE Biography - Musicians


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Name: Arlo Guthrie                                                                   
Born: 10 July 1947 Coney Island, New York, U.S.                                       
Arlo Davy Guthrie (born July 10, 1947) is an American folk singer. Like his           
father, Woody Guthrie, Arlo often sings songs of protest against social               
injustice. Arlo Guthrie's most famous work is "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", a       
talking blues song that lasts for 18 minutes.                                         
Guthrie was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of folk singer and composer           
Woody Guthrie and his wife Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, who was a one-time                 
professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of the Committee       
to Combat Huntington's Disease. He graduated from the Stockbridge School of           
Massachusetts in 1965, and briefly attended Rocky Mountain College.                   
His most famous work is "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", a talking blues song         
that lasts 18 minutes and 34 seconds (in its original recorded version; Guthrie       
has been known to spin the story out to forty-five minutes in concert). Guthrie       
has pointed out that this was also the exact length of one of the famous gaps in     
Richard Nixon's Watergate tapes. The Alice in the song is Alice Brock, who now       
runs an art gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts.                                   
The song, a bitingly satirical protest against the Vietnam War draft, is based       
on a true incident. In the song, Guthrie is called up for a draft examination,       
and rejected as unfit for military service as a result of a criminal record           
consisting in its entirety of a single arrest, court appearance, fine and clean-up   
order for littering and creating a public nuisance. On the DVD commentary for         
the film, Guthrie states that the events as presented in the song are true to         
real-life occurrences.                                                               
For a short period of time after its release in 1967, "Alice's Restaurant" was       
in frequent rotation on nearly every college and counter-culture radio station       
in the country quite an accomplishment for an 18-minute song (albeit in an era       
not averse to extended jams). Indeed, it became a symbol of the late '60s and         
for many it defined an attitude and lifestyle that were lived out across the         
country in the ensuing years. Furthermore, many stations across the States have       
made playing "Alice's Restaurant" on Thanksgiving Day a tradition.                   
A 1969 film, directed and co-written by Arthur Penn, was based on the story. In       
addition to acting in this film, also called Alice's Restaurant, Guthrie has had     
minor roles in several movies and television series. Guthrie's memorable             
appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival was documented in the Michael Wadleigh     
film Woodstock.