Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido

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more stuff on the Arlo concert that I forgot to post last night....

By way of introduction to "The Motorcycle Song," Arlo was talking about his own motorcycle, which he hasn't taken out in ages. He's on the road most of the time, and when he has been around, the weather's sucked. Then last summer he had some time off, and finally took the thing out, only to have his kids point out that the license plates had expired.

His wife, though, let him keep the motorcycle in the living room -- which is the sign of a keeper wife right there, he said -- and that led him to the story of another man who kept his bike in the living room, constantly working on it, tweaking it, trying to make it perfect. When he was done, he started it up right there in the living room, but the clutch wasn't open (or something -- I don't remember exactly, and I don't know shit from motorcycles) and the bike went out of control, with him holding the handlebars, zooming around the house, tearing it up, and crashing through the living room wall and out into the street. His wife called the paramedics, who took him to the hospital, and the wife, while waiting, cleaned up the house, including cleaning up all the oil-stained stuff in the living room, and dumped it in the toilet. The guy got home, arms in casts, tired and frustrated, and he went to the bathroom and lit a cigarette....

The same paramedics came to get him the second time, since now his ass was on fire in addition to everything else, and apparently the paramedics were laughing so hard they dropped him and broke something else.

"This song is for that guy," Arlo said, and then went into "The Motorcycle Song."

On a much more poignant note, after doing "Alice," he talked about last summer. They were doing a free folk festival that's held in his father's home town every year, and their next gig was several days later in Peoria, Illinois. Since they had time, they drove up from Oklahoma and picked a hotel at random to stay in.

It turns out there was a Vietnam Veterans reunion in the same hotel, and they found out Arlo was staying there, and asked if he'd say a few words. Arlo then quoted Marilyn Monroe: "Nobody ever went wrong saying, 'What the hell.'" So he said, "Sure, what the hell."

There turned out to be some old friends there that he grew up with in Brooklyn, whom he hadn't seen for 50 years, and he did "Alice" for them and had a wonderful time. He was worried at first, but then he remembered that he sold more copies of Alice's Restaurant at PXs than at record stores.

Afterwards, he headed back to his room, and something was niggling at the back of his head, and he looked it up on the web: turns out that it was the 40th anniversary of the day he first performed "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" at the Newport Folk Festival in the summer of 1967. That, he said, was the best possible way to celebrate that particular anniversary.

After "Coming Into Los Angeles," he talked about taking a flight he was taking, and there were two Secret Service agents in the same waiting area for the same flight. Arlo was getting nervous, especially when one of them started to walk over. "Are you Arlo Guthrie?" the agent asked, and Arlo nervously answered in the affirmative. The agent then asked, "Are you bringing in a couple of ki's?"

Turns out the agent was a fan, and they got all kinds of Secret Service pins and other cool stuff. "I guess times really have changed...."

Great great show....

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