Arlo Guthrie Biography
On Thanksgiving Day 1965, Arlo Guthrie began writing his epic saga "The Alice's Restaurant Massacree." Based on actual events that took place in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the saga became a song. The song became a record. The record became a major motion picture. And Arlo became a cultural hero, inspiring a whole generation to social consciousness and activism.
Although he stopped performing "Alice" years ago, Arlo has continued to entertain audiences all over the world keeping alive the rich traditions and social values that have become synonymous with the '60s, as he says "Freedom, Peace, Justice - the usual stuff."
Now, Arlo, along with son Abe on keyboards and Gordon Titcomb on steel, mandolin, and banjo, will sing “Alice” again, reminding you that 40 years later the song has morphed to become part of American culture. It is the story of the triumph of the little guy … survival not through wisdom but through … littering. Plus, continuing the historical relationship between the Guthrie and the Seeger clans, The Mammals will open the show.
Arlo, a natural-born storyteller, in addition to playing the piano, six- and twelve-string guitars, harmonica and more, ties his shows together with witty anecdotes and thought-provoking ideas. Included on the 40th Anniversary program will be Arlo’s favorites such as “City of New Orleans,” “The Motorcycle Song,” ‘Coming Into Los Angeles,’ and traditional songs he feels everyone knows, songs which identify us as part of a continuing movement.
“Some people think a folksinger is someone who just sings their own songs. That's a shame. It's like being of the tradition, rather than in it. I've taught myself to make any song I like, my own. This is the secret of all great spiritual teachings: claim nothing as yours and everything belongs to you. If it doesn't make sense, it's probably true." - Arlo Guthrie
Opening the show and at times accompanying Arlowill be The Mammals. Their music is an infectious mix of social commentary and fiddle-banjo-guitar artistry. They are “acoustic traditionalists, to be sure, but the subversive sort," says The Washington Post. Writing original takes on current politics and playing driving traditional standard’s like “John Henry,” a song Tao Rodriguez-Seeger could have indeed learned at his grandpappy, Pete Seeger’s knee, the Mammals redraw the boundaries of old-time music. www.themammals.net.
Arlo purchased the Trinity Church in 1991. The Guthrie Center, named for Arlo’s parents, now offers the church as a place to meditate. The center is a not-for-profit interfaith foundation. Its outreach programs include everything from baking cookies with a local organization to an international Huntington's Disease Walk-a-thon and Arlo’s benefit concertsOctober 7 - 9, 2005.
All you’ve got to do is join the tour, and sing with him as he comes around again and brings with him the thought that “you can get anything you want...” www.risingson.com
For more information on Gordon Titcomb please visit www.gordontitcomb.com
Like his father Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie has carved out a career as a folksinger and songwriter with a social conscience who leavens political messages with humor. Though Woody Guthrie was hospitalized for much of Arlo's youth, the youngster nevertheless grew up in a musical community that included Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, and Cisco Houston. He learned to play the guitar at age six and was performing in coffeehouses by his late teens. Guthrie's early fame was based on his anti-Establishment shaggy-dog story in song, "Alice's Restaurant," actually a comic monolog about the singer's troubles with the police and the draft board that was extremely timely when it appeared on record in 1967. The Alice's Restaurant album became Guthrie's only gold record, but he made a series of folk-rock records through the '70s, filling them with his own songs and those of his contemporaries, notably Steve Goodman's "The City of New Orleans," which became Guthrie's sole hit single in 1972. Guthrie's commercial fortunes, like those of most folkies, declined by the end of the '70s, and he made his last album for Warner Bros. in 1981. Since then, he has launched his own label, Rising Son, which has reissued his Warner albums and released his new recordings. He continues to tour extensively and to work for such causes as environmentalism, issuing Mystic Journey in 1998. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide