Remember the Massacree!

Cidu Bill on Nov 23rd 2017

Filed in Alice's Restaurant, Arlo Guthrie, Bill Bickel, Thanksgiving | 41 responses so far

41 Responses to “Remember the Massacree!”

  1. Kilby Nov 26th 2015 at 02:28 pm 1

    Strictly speaking, it’s the 50th anniversary of the “incident”, the song was released two years later.

  2. Jon Delfin Nov 26th 2015 at 08:18 pm 2

    Check your local listings, as they say; there’s an anniversary concert running on PBS this weekend.

  3. waferthinmint Nov 26th 2015 at 10:04 pm 3

    When I was fourteen I could recite the whole darn song — and would frequently do so to the great delight of no one.

    I still tell my kids “one big pile is better than two little piles”

    my children find me a bit weird

  4. James Pollock Nov 26th 2015 at 10:23 pm 4

    … and yet no “Arlo” award for him.

  5. Chakolate Nov 27th 2015 at 12:41 am 5

    I sometimes use the phrase, ‘…I’m not proud. Or tired.” and “…implements of destruction”.

  6. heather Nov 27th 2015 at 09:39 am 6


    I often bring up the fact of the 27 8×10 colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

    Didn’t realize it was the 50th anniversary of the incident. Fantastic. Thank you for the info. :)

  7. Mitch4 Nov 27th 2015 at 10:24 am 7

    The first time i heard it was on my college radio station, when my clock-radio came on in the morning as an akarm. The track was already in progress, so I missed the dj intro, if there had been one. I thought I had time to listen to one song before getting up … Late for class that day.

  8. mitch4 Nov 27th 2015 at 02:03 pm 8

    And by the way, how can a little extra throw-cloth on the sofa cushion’s top edge and front be expected to prevent a massacre?

  9. Cidu Bill Nov 27th 2015 at 02:35 pm 9

    Me too, Heather: I refer to it enough that my kids never didn’t understand the reference.

    And Kilby, wouldn’t the “Massacree” refer to the incident rather than the release of the song?

  10. Kilby Nov 27th 2015 at 06:04 pm 10

    @ CIDU Bill (9) - I suppose you’re right, as long as one is familiar with “idioms originating in the Ozarks”, but as a kid, I always assumed that a “massacree” was some sort of musical arrangement. It wasn’t listed in any dictionary that I had available at the time.

  11. Ian Osmond Nov 27th 2015 at 07:46 pm 11

    Yesterday was the anniversary of the trash dumping, but the trial was later, and the draft board was later still.

    Which one or ones of those is the actual massacree?

  12. Mark in Boston Nov 27th 2015 at 10:42 pm 12

    And then there was the movie, which did just so-so at the box office and has probably been forgotten by most of you older people and never heard of by the youngsters.

    Arlo and Officer Obie played themselves.

  13. Daniel J. Drazen Nov 28th 2015 at 10:18 am 13

    Give thanks that we no longer live in a country where you kids are ordered to get in-jected, in-spected, dee-tected, in-fected, nee-glected and see-lected. Unless you want to.

  14. Chakolate Nov 28th 2015 at 01:30 pm 14

    “Mother rapers. Father stabbers. FATHER RAPERS!”

  15. Meryl A Dec 2nd 2015 at 03:16 am 15

    When we started making Thanksgiving dinner for the joint families we thought about running the AR video (probably Beta) while everyone was over. We did not. A few years later when we watched it again, we were glad we did not - it was much more, ummmm, risque that we remembered it and there were grandparents and children and SIL is very, again ummm, modest. We have it on DVD so it must exist on same.

    I may have mentioned this before - I had an Uncle Allan who owned - yes - a sort of restaurant. It was a very small lunch counter in the garment district (same building as Calvin Klein) - Uncle Allan is gone for some time now. But as kids we would, of course, sing “You can get anything you want at Uncle Allan’s restaurant.”

  16. Hank G. Nov 24th 2016 at 04:25 pm 16

    [13]: Give thanks that we no longer live in a country where you kids are ordered to get in-jected, in-spected, dee-tected, in-fected, nee-glected and see-lected. Unless you want to.

    I think this is a mixed blessing. A lot of young people are channeled into the military because they see no other opportunities. That’s how I got in there, shortly after the draft ended. It worked out for me, because there were no shooting wars at the time, and I got out and used the GI Bill to go to graduate school.

    Because so many are from the lower socioeconomic classes we can have things like wars that go on indefinitely. The draft made many more young people subject to military service, and an endless war became of interest to the whole country. A lot of people don’t even know anyone in the military anymore. I only know two, from my family, both officers and unlikely to be put directly in harm’s way.

  17. mitch4 Nov 25th 2016 at 01:39 am 17

    I was going to tell about how I first heard it, unprepared, and was late for class as a result of sticking with it. But i see I already did that, a year ago, at #7. Well, it still brings back some odd times …

  18. Boise Ed Nov 25th 2016 at 03:55 am 18

    Jon [2]: An Alice’s Restaurant anniversary concert this weekend? Do you have a time or specific title? I’ve searched the listings for Arlo, Guthrie, Alice’s, and Massacre with no useful results. Said listings include both KQED and KCET.

  19. Arthur Nov 25th 2016 at 04:04 am 19

    BE: Did you notice that everything before #16 was from 2015?

  20. Kilby Nov 25th 2016 at 04:13 am 20

    @ MiB (12) - I think I saw that movie years ago on German TV, I might have even recorded it (alas, on VHS, a format that I would have to dig deep in the attic to resurrect now).

    P.S. I always thought of the name as “Officer Opie”, but a miniscule amount of research showed that “Obie” is indeed correct.

  21. Boise Ed Nov 25th 2016 at 04:19 am 21

    Arthur [19]: No, I didn’t. Rats. But thanks for telling me.

    Kilby [20]: You were probably a fan of The Andy Griffith Show as a kid.

  22. Mona Nov 25th 2016 at 01:08 pm 22

    If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can listen to Alice’s Restaurant for free anytime.
    There was an Officer Obie in the hometown of our youth. His real name was O’Brien but the young folks all referred to him as Officer Obie.

  23. Proginoskes Nov 25th 2016 at 08:35 pm 23

    I read this blog for 45 minutes, and I didn’t understand a word any of you said.

  24. Mark in Boston Nov 25th 2016 at 08:53 pm 24

    My sister and her husband were around and listening to music, as I was, back when the song came out. I went to their place for Thanksgiving and on the way listened to this song on the radio.

    Once there I told them that there is only ONE Thanksgiving song. What song is that, they asked.

    I told them I turned on the car radio and this is what I heard: “and there, there on the other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on the other side …” and continued with “I mean, I mean, I MEAN, I’m sitting here on the Group W bench ’cause you want to know if I’m moral enough to join the Army, burn women, kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.” They didn’t know what I was talking about until “We’re just waiting for it to come around on the guit-tar …. You can get anything you want…”

    Has my own generation forgotten already?

    If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.

  25. Boise Ed Nov 25th 2016 at 09:02 pm 25

    Proginoskes [23]: “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” is a musical tale by singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, the title track to his 1967 debut album Alice’s Restaurant. You can hear the whole 18 minutes of it at youtube, item m57gzA2JCcM . If you’re not familiar with it, and you’re aware of the distant of the time at the Vietnam War, then you should enjoy it all.

  26. Boise Ed Nov 25th 2016 at 09:03 pm 26

    Grrrr. Make that “… aware of the discontent …”

  27. ja Nov 25th 2016 at 10:15 pm 27

    Boise Ed…

    Not only is Proginoskes familiar with “Alice’s Restaurant,” he was quoting it.

  28. Mona Nov 25th 2016 at 11:45 pm 28

    Prog. @23, BE @25 & ja+27 - LOL!

  29. ja Nov 26th 2016 at 12:40 am 29

    (Or perhaps I should have said he was “quotating” it.)

    (in parentheses)

    (away from everything else)

    On a different note…
    I have no trouble playing the little ragtime riff that is the guitar part for “Alice’s Restaurant.” I have no trouble singing while I play the guitar. But playing guitar while talking… I just can’t seem to get my brain to do that…

  30. Mona Nov 26th 2016 at 12:51 am 30

    BE @25 & 26, “and you’re aware of the distant of the time at the Vietnam War” rather than “discontent” I assumed you meant “dissonance”.
    And ja @29, again, good one!

  31. Kilby Nov 26th 2016 at 02:23 am 31

    @ Boise Ed (21) - I wasn’t a big fan, but I watched enough episodes that the “Dreamworks Animation” logo always reminds me of the opening sequence with Ron Howard and his fishing pole.

  32. Boise Ed Nov 26th 2016 at 03:10 am 32

    Mona [30]: We’ll, “dissonance” would be the more impartial term, but I was using “discontent” as a more polite term for what many of us really felt.

    Kilby [31]: I hadn’t thought of that, but now I suspect that I always will. I wonder if it was actually inspired by that opening sequence.

  33. Meryl A Nov 29th 2016 at 03:35 am 33

    I think I posted this last year - also too late for anyone interested - but there is a Thanksgiving dinner at the church that Alice and her husband lived in. Arlo, children, and grandchildren are there - contributions for certain charities are accepted at the dinner.

    Arlo is on FB and husband is a “friend”. Arlo seems as nice as he was back then. We had gone to a concert he had at a small local venue and afterwards he was sitting and talking with us - we were always impressed by that. He does concerts around the country with his family. I am sure where and when he will be anywhere is listed on the Internet.

  34. Mona Nov 29th 2016 at 03:47 am 34

    On Cyber-Monday, the Mount Baker Theater (small, local, although a bit far from us, venue) offered half-price tickets. We could have gotten tickets to see Arlo Gurthrie in April for @ $45 for the two of us. Only 27 rows back, on the aisle. I thought it would be fun, and then stay in a B&B, but Hubby said too far to drive, didn’t want to. Oh, well. Someone I would like to see before it’s too late, but must keep Hubby happy. (Wait a minute. Isn’t it “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy? I guess not in our house.) Oops, did I say that out loud? Sorry, bad day.

  35. Kilby Dec 5th 2016 at 06:53 am 35

    @ Boise Ed (32) - I wouldn’t think that the reference @31 was delibrate, because Ron Howard was never part of Dreamworks, but it’s possible that it was an unconscious inspiration.

  36. Lord Jubjub Nov 23rd 2017 at 01:45 pm 36

    Yeah, adding to an old thread. . .I’m wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn reference. . .

  37. Kilby Nov 24th 2017 at 04:47 am 37

    The difference is that this year, I picked up a copy of “Alice’s Restaurant” on CD, so I no longer have to sit in front of a computer to listen to it.

  38. Ignatz Nov 24th 2017 at 09:35 am 38

    I’m seeing Arlo Saturday. Looking forward to it.

  39. Mitch4 Nov 24th 2017 at 11:30 am 39

    There are two or three stories I like to impose on people about how what NPR has taught me to call “driveway moments” actually made me late for a class or appointment. Two that actually involved the radio (though neither was NPR as it happens) had to do with Mahler’s Fifth and Arlo’s “Alice”.

    The Mahler incident did involve parking a car and waiting to listen a little longer, albeit not in a driveway. The Arlo was not in a car at all but in my dorm bunk bed in the fall of… must have been 1967? My clock-radio had come on and I thought I could take another minute or two before getting up, to listen to the rest of this peculiar story/song the college station was playing. Fifteen minutes later I was still rapt, and just skipped class that morning.

  40. Mark in Boston Nov 24th 2017 at 10:00 pm 40

    I was living near Stockbridge when the incident took place. Now someone on Facebook has posted a photo of the original article from The Berkshire Eagle, November 29, 1965. I didn’t pay any attention to the story back then. I should have gone to the trial just to see what happened to the eight by ten glossy photographs with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, not to mention the aerial photography, but I didn’t.

  41. Meryl A Nov 29th 2017 at 01:32 am 41

    Local PBS is running the 50th anniversary show again this year. So far we have seen it about 3 times this past week. It has been on channel 13 - maybe channel 21 will get it next week as they always seem to get stuff after channel 13.

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