Wednesday, 29 November 2017

29th November - Of Littering and Massacrees

Thought for the day:"Wrinkles mean you laughed, Grey Hair means you cared and scars mean you lived..."

Feeling old???

52 years ago (Nov. 29, 1965) the Berkshire Eagle printed a little article about two young men being fined 25 bucks for dumping trash. Little did we know at the time that the incident, which ran on page 25, would become the basis for Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant. Here's our original story from 1965:

I've been singing this song for 52 years - I'm not proud....

Me?? I've been singing it since 1969. I learned it "on the Dilly" at Picadilly Circus sitting under Eros listening to an american who knew it. I didn't get it all down the first time - but managed to learn the guitar riff - or at least my version of it. The full text took the next year and the purchase of the LP.

But my highest point I think was on a trip across to Holland in about 1970, when I had practised and rehearsed my american accent until I was sure that it was almost exactly like the record. I was on a ferry heading across to Holland, and we were sitting in one of the corridors as a group - with a few guitars and a couple of singers for America. It came to my time, and I decided to take the bull by the horns, and so I did the Alice's Restaurant Massacree. I was quite proud to the rendition. Proud of my intonation. Proud of the guitar riff and remembering the whole song... 

At the end, I was given a good applause and congratulations - until one of the girls said "Gee that was great !!!  Never heard it with and English Accent before!!"  I suppose my lilting tones of Haberdashers' Aske's School must have permeated my voice coaching...

I decided there and then to not worry to much about the accents, but like Sean Connery, decided to stick with my own dulcet tones. I no longer became a tribute act - but decided to form my own renditions of all songs. "That's not how the original went" became a compliment rather than a challenge. And so it continues until today...
Happy Anniversary Arlo ..

(A final glass of Chateau 41)

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