"Alice's Restaurant" is 50 years old. It's also seven years old. November 23, 2017 7:05 AM   Subscribe

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Arlo Guthrie's seminal Thanksgiving/petty crime/anti-war song, "Alice's Restaurant," so I'm taking this opportunity to call out Miko. Confused? Just click the "more inside...."

I thought (and gnfti agreed) that the 50th anniversary would be an appropriate time to remind people of, and celebrate, Miko's brilliant Annotated Alice's Restaurant Massacree post from seven Thanksgivings ago.

So I'm calling out Miko for (IMHO) the Best MetaFilter Post Ever. I'm thankful to Miko for spending two years(!) crafting the post, and I'm thankful for MetaFilter for being a place where you can find that kind of post, and I'm thankful to the MeFite community for being the kind of people who appreciate that kind of post.

I don't know if my local radio station that usually plays "Alice's Restaurant" at noon on Thanksgiving is going to do so this year, but I've got it all cued up on the iTunes, and I'm just waiting for it to come around again on the guitar....

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
posted by tzikeh to MetaFilter-Related at 7:05 AM (26 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

Wait, I thought this was the script we were supposed to use when breaking up with our SO.

No wonder that went so badly.
posted by dfan at 7:13 AM on November 23 [34 favorites]


Wait, I thought this was the script we were supposed to use when breaking up with our SO.

🎶
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant
You deserve real feeling and enthusiasm
And for whatever reason I can’t deliver it right now
You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant (except this relationship)
🎶
posted by deludingmyself at 7:53 AM on November 23 [44 favorites]


Thank you for this valuable service to "newbies" who've only been here 6.5 years.
posted by Jesse the K at 8:10 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Jesse the K, "newbies" who have only been here 6.5 years are definitely one of the main demographics I was aiming for. :)
posted by tzikeh at 8:13 AM on November 23


Wait. There are lots of links to follow. And links to links. But... Guthrie is a Republican now? A Ron Paul Republican? And he's not too worried about Trump? Has he gone back and set the dump on fire?
posted by pracowity at 9:13 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


pracowity: Guthrie is a Republican now? A Ron Paul Republican? And he's not too worried about Trump? Has he gone back and set the dump on fire?

LA LA LA ONLY PLEASANT THOUGHTS TODAY

(placeholder for fingers-in-ears emoji that doesn't yet exist unless you want to be the "hear no evil" monkey)
posted by tzikeh at 9:26 AM on November 23 [10 favorites]


Hey happy Danksgiving y'all
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:50 AM on November 23


I came here to make a "Thanks Mike!" joke hoping someone would get the reference, but it looks like I made one almost ten years ago and oh God what have I become?
posted by ODiV at 9:52 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


Oh, and yay Miko!
posted by ODiV at 9:52 AM on November 23


Well this saves me from submitting a new post, but I want to know if anyone can update the ditty known as Mathowie's Community Blog. Its been 11 years. and I think it's due for a revised version, for next Thanksgiving. Can we get going on that?
posted by wheelieman at 9:59 AM on November 23

Wait. There are lots of links to follow. And links to links. But... Guthrie is a Republican now? A Ron Paul Republican? And he's not too worried about Trump? Has he gone back and set the dump on fire?
I saw him joke on stage some years back about how he thought Nixon was an okay guy even though he didn't happen to agree with him. . . and felt unjustifiably self-righteous about never having much liked his music.

But, sometimes embarrassingly silly people produce fascinating things that are worth celebrating. Miko's post is fantastic. I'd not seen it before and I'm very glad to see it called out here. Thanks!

I'm more of a Joe Frank's Pilgrim and William S. Burrough's Thanksgiving Prayer kind of Thanksgiving media consumer myself. But, I wish the best to all who are able to celebrate the holiday with sincerity.
posted by eotvos at 10:20 AM on November 23


I've listened to it once already today and I know it will come around again....
posted by rtha at 11:16 AM on November 23 [1 favorite]


Well this saves me from submitting a new post

Why? A post on the Blue about the 50th anniversary of the song would be awesome! Besides, waaaaaaaaaaay more MeFites check the Blue than over here. Mods, something like that wouldn't be considered a double, would it?
posted by tzikeh at 12:05 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]


I meant another meta talk concerning remaking the metafilter version
posted by wheelieman at 12:58 PM on November 23


Ahhhh. Gotcha.
posted by tzikeh at 1:28 PM on November 23


So I am driving to relatives in NJ from our home in Westchester NY and the clock strikes 12. My three kids are in the car. One is sleeping, one is staring at their phone and the other screams out, "It's noon Dad!" "Thanks for that information." "No, its noon on Thanksgiving. What is that song you make us listen to every year? I actually like it. Some hippy sings it." "Alice's Restaurant. Arlo Guthrie, Woody's son," I reply. Quickly I tune my radio to WNEW, 102.7, which is what I listened to it when I was younger, did not have it. But, 107.1, The Peak did. 23 minutes later or so, when the music came around, we all sang along to Alice's Restaurant. Even my son in the military. Thank you Arlo. Love that song. Love the Thanksgiving Day tradition. Love my kids for actually listening to me and the radio all those years and remembering.

Lots to give thanks for this year. I add thank you Miko for the post and thank you tzikeh and goodnewsfortheinsane for this post.

Peace to all.
posted by AugustWest at 8:42 PM on November 23 [17 favorites]


This song is always a great reminder that the United States as an institution has almost always been an embarrassing authoritarian nightmare, but that there have also always been folks fighting against it. But I'm not sure that absurdity can be weaponized anymore now, since it kind of requires a sense of shame that this administration definitely doesn't have. Hasn't Trump basically tweeted out kill, kill KILL KILL KILL!!??
posted by rikschell at 7:07 AM on November 24 [4 favorites]


Arthur Penn's film version of Alice's Restaurant is worth a look if nothing else for Emmett Walsh's first speaking role as the Group W sergeant and Officer Obie as himself.
posted by octothorpe at 12:18 PM on November 24


Seven years? And I’m still waiting to hear about the significance of the pickle!
posted by TedW at 12:40 PM on November 24


Kid, thanks for this.
posted by Splunge at 1:50 PM on November 24


I've had a beer with miko and the thespian, they are AWESOME. come visit miko!
posted by vrakatar at 4:02 PM on November 24 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this, tzikeh! This was a fun post to make, and fun to revisit. I really appreciate your remembering and re-sharing it. After 13(!) years of membership, there are still wonderful things that are made possible here that keep me coming back, and I'm happy that this has been one of those for you.

We had a great Thanksgiving with a motley bunch of friends, in-laws, parents and spouses. It's been beautiful to focus on gratitude in this time of insanity. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving, all.

Oh and yeah, Arlo's been politically odd for a long time. He's one of those hippies that seemed to gravitate more to libertarian directions. Sorry to hear it's gone that far, though.
posted by Miko at 6:36 PM on November 24 [3 favorites]


ORDER UP!
posted by clavdivs at 9:16 AM on November 25


Yesterday I saw a very nice talk about the Rado graph. Its characteristic property -- more or less, you can get any subgraphs you want -- is called the "Alice's Restaurant property".

This led me to learn another AR property, which is that the song takes even a crap guitarist less time to learn to play than it does to listen to the whole thing. (I'm not proud, or tired.)

Anyway, happy belated Thanksgiving, everyone, and extra-belated congratulations to Miko on that amazing post!
posted by busted_crayons at 9:17 AM on November 25


>Guthrie is a Republican now?


Ehhhh... he's a *Massachusetts Republican*... kind of a different animal.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:17 PM on November 25


The Berkshire Eagle posted the original column about Arlo and Richard each having to pay $25 and pick up the garbage (which included a divan [???], among other things) on their Facebook page on Thanksgiving Day. If you don’t want to go to Facebook/don’t have Facebook, I put the picture on my tumblr.
posted by tzikeh at 5:17 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


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