‘A great reminder of just how effective a bit of absurdity can be when it comes to combating serious issues.’ Rolling Stone
American folk singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice and storytelling through song.
In 1965, a teenage Guthrie performed a ‘friendly gesture’ that proved to be fateful. Arrested for littering, Arlo was deemed ‘not moral enough to join the army’ and recounted these events on the album Alice’s Restaurant in 1967. The ‘Alice’s Restaurant Massacree’, a partially sung comic monologue opposing the war and the backward reasoning of authority has become a quintessential anti-establishment anthem.
Folk songs enduring many decades of change only become classics when story-lines remain just as relevant today as they were when originally composed. Alice’s Restaurant is of this ilk. Lampooning the Vietnam War draft, it was weaved into the fabric of the 60s counter-culture, a tradition of US radio airplay during Thanksgiving and applicable even against the current political climate, with a touch of humour. Since the first time he performed in public in 1961 at the age of 13, and after almost sixty years of shows, Arlo Guthrie, now in his 70s, has become an American folk elder-a keeper of the flame.
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre in arrangement with Bluesfest Touring
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Tuesday 23 April 2019 7.30pm
Duration: 2 hours (incl. interval)
A reserve $104
B reserve $94
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