Thursday, 12 June 2014

arlo and the narcs

If Alro Guthrie ever had anyone to thank for his success, apart from the fans who bought his music, it would have to be the "narcs". He's spent a whole career telling funny stories and singing songs about his dealings with them, but as he says here "I'm good now" so obviously no further problems with the Officer's.
If anyone represented the freewheelin' hippy of the 60's it had to be Arlo. His classic song/narration of "Alice's Restaurent" was born out of a shared belief with a million kids held in the grip of the all too real possibility that at any time they could be sent to fight in Vietnam.
And if anyone views the American 60's heady idealism with a snear of ridicule and cynicism they should imagine themselves in a similar position.. the very real possibilty of army conscription. So when a million teenagers take their views and respond in all the visible and imagined ways for freedom from the establishment then the 60's hippy is not just born out of a trend, rather more, it could just have been your last party, and for many it was.

Quite how Arlo made it through the years to be still singing his songs and telling his stories completely unscathed by it all is no small miracle in itself. Maybe he was just one of the lucky ones. Whatever it was, the decades have passed and he's never sort out the spotlight or often appeared in the press. He's what you might call a tradtional troubadour.
And happiest in front if his audience. They still pack out to see him.
This is one of his funny rambling stories in which he thanks the narc's and then leads the band into "Coming into Los Angeles". A timeless tune and some sharp lead playing by his band. One such, is his son Abe playing the keytar (you'll get it when you see it) who plays it just like it has 6 strings. The film is probably taken around the late 80's.