Legendary folk music icon Arlo Guthrie is celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Alice’s Restaurant” and the 1965 Thanksgiving event that inspired the seminal (and hilarious) song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” with a U.S. tour that includes a Nov. 8 stop at Chicago’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
Guthrie will perform the 18-minute song (which has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition on public radio in many markets) in its entirety as part of his nightly set list on the 60-city tour, which kicked off last month in Tennessee and runs through May 2016. He will be joined by his daughter Sarah Lee Guthrie on select dates (including Chicago), and a band that features Terry Hall (drums), Bobby Sweet (guitar, vocals), Darren Todd (bass), and his Guthrie’s son, Abe Guthrie (keyboards).
Of the iconic song, which also became a movie in 1969, Guthrie told Rolling Stone:
“To have what happened to me actually happen and not be a work of fiction still remains amazing. It’s an amazing set of crazy circumstances that reminds me of an old Charlie Chaplin movie. It’s slapstick. I mean, who gets arrested for littering? And who goes to court and finds themselves before a blind judge with pictures as evidence? I mean, that’s crazy! And then to be rejected from the military because I had a littering record? I mean, those events were real and not only that, those people played themselves in the movie! The cop in the movie is the real Officer Obie and the judge in the movie, the blind judge is the real Judge Hannon. And these are real people! And they consented to play themselves because they think they, like me, observed the absurdity of the circumstance.”
For tickets, visit harristheaterchicago.org