Thanksgiving Day 2012: Revisiting 1965

Arlo Guthrie

Another Thanksgiving has arrived for us here in the USA. One of our little known traditions, at least it is a tradition for those of us who listen to classic rock stations, is the playing of Alice’s Restaurant. This year marks Forty-seven that have passed since Arlo Guthrie had a Thanksgiving Day experience that helped change the course of his life and gave the anti-war movement one of its best know anthems. It was on that day that Arlo littered because the town dump was closed for Thanksgiving. On the follow day he was arrested for his crime. Ultimately his friend and he were charged $50 and ordered to clean-up the litter by a blind judge.

Why this incident is important is that Arlo was later drafted to serve in the Vietnam War and because of his arrest and conviction he was not ‘allowed’ to serve in the military. Arlo wrote a ballad about his experience and despite being over 18 minutes long it was a hit. In 1969 a movie was made about the experience. Together, the song and movie had an immense impact on the anti-war movement and helped change the course of history. Always amazing how a bit of story-telling can be so powerful and remember….

‘You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant’
Happy Thanksgiving!

PS…you can watch a clip of the movie on YouTube and you can also find some versions of the song there. Or you can listen to it on Buffalo’s 97 Rock on Thanksgiving Day at Noon and 6pm

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