Weds. Night Open Thread: The Group W Bench

Just a little something to tide you over till tomorrow when radio stations around the country will play the full 18:37 second version of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant.

Alice, by the way, is now an artist. I still have my hardcover edition of her 1969 cookbook -- easiest recipes ever, and really, really good (Especially the red chile and her mother-in-law's corn pudding.) [More...]

Back to the Group W Bench, from the lyrics:

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W's where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after
committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And they was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the bench next to me.

And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean 'n' ugly 'n' nasty 'n' horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me and said, "Kid, whad'ya get?" I said, "I didn't get nothing, I had to pay $50 and pick up the garbage." He said, "What were you arrested for, kid?" And I said, "Littering."

And they all moved away from me on the bench there, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I said, "And creating a nuisance." And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing, father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the bench.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    The 18-1/2 minute version on the record album (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:45:10 PM EST
    is nothing compared to the 40 minute version(s) Arlo used to do when I went to see him perform live in the basement of some Greenwich Village club in 1967.  I wish I could remember the name of the place ... "Club Wha?" on MacDougall Street, maybe?

    I think... (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 09:40:10 PM EST
    it was Cafe Wha? but my memory is foggy (to say the least).

    I always sensed.... (none / 0) (#4)
    by EL seattle on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 11:16:58 PM EST
    ... that there was just a touch of sincere menace in Arlo's voice during Alice's Restaurant when he says "...I'm not proud. Or tired...."

    Arlo was just in the Macy's parade. (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by EL seattle on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 12:17:57 PM EST
    He was singing his dad's "This Land" while riding on a float with a big turkey.  Arlo didn't have much time, but he managed to sneak in one of the song's more progressive/defiant verses for the viewing audience:

    "Nobody living can ever stop me,
    As I go walking that freedom highway;
    Nobody living can ever make me turn back
    This land was made for you and me."

    Then NBC cut to the giant Kermit the Frog balloon, which looked like it was going to try to eat the float that Arlo was singing from.  But it sure was great to hear some Woodie Guthrie music today.  It kinda makes you feel thankful.

    Had Woodie been Japanese he (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 01:15:23 PM EST
    would be a "National Treasure." When I read the first vol. of Bob Dylan's memoir, I was struck by Dylan's seeking out Woodie Guthrie.

    In Officer Obie's defense (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Rojas on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    "Never mind what it says in the song; there was no police brutality, no mistreatment. "I didn't put any handcuffs on them," says Chief Obanhein emphatically, "and I didn't take the toilet seats off, 'cause we don't have any seats."

    Arlo (none / 0) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Wed Nov 24, 2010 at 08:37:48 PM EST
    I believe these are internet broadcasts tomorrow for Alice's Restaurant. Hopefully the Click here to Listen Live buttons will work for both places

    WUMB Boston at Noon ET

    KFOG San Francisco at Noon and 6PM Pacific Time

    Thanks for the reminder! (none / 0) (#5)
    by oldpro on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 12:17:29 AM EST

    Well (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 06:34:40 AM EST
    I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Alice's beach stones make great gifts for (none / 0) (#7)
    by kempis on Thu Nov 25, 2010 at 08:03:51 AM EST
    us old hippies, especially. And she's a delight to correspond with. Last year I bought some gifts from her and intend to do the same this year.

    She's a good soul.

    Thanks for posting this.