Minkin's Music: A new holiday tradition

Jay Minkin Mugshot

By Jay Minkin, Minkin's Music

Thanksgiving traditions. For me, it was playing in the Turkey Bowl (those days are just a memory), Mom’s cranberry jello mold, and, of course, listening to Alice’s Restaurant.

The jello mold recipe has been passed on to my wife of 34 blessed years, and side one of the Arlo Guthrie LP still plays the entire 18:34 minute version of “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”

The son of Marjorie Mazia and Woody Guthrie, the song is a story about a true event that took place in Stockbridge, MA and was recorded on his Grammy-nominated debut album two years later in 1967. An anti-establishment anthem opposing the draft and the Vietnam War, Alice’s Restaurant was later turned into a movie in 1969, receiving an Academy Award nomination for director Arthur Penn.

The first portion of the song deals with Arlo’s confrontation with Officer Obie and his improperly disposing of garbage on Thanksgiving, highlighted by the “27 eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.” Unfortunately, for officer Obie, “the judge walked in, sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down.”

The second portion deals with going to the draft board and when Arlo recounted the story of being arrested for littering and “creating a nuisance,” not only did he make friends with the other criminals receiving notices, but the armed forces rejected him and sent his fingerprints to Washington.

Arlo Guthrie will be bringing his “Alice’s Restaurant—Back By Popular Demand Tour” along with daughter/songwriter Sarah Lee Guthrie to the beautiful University of Akron EJ Thomas Hall on Thursday, November 1. When the chorus comes around, don’t forget to sing with four-part harmony and feeling. As for the famous cranberry jello mold recipe, feel free email me.

Contact Jay at Blues4Bird@aol.com or post on his Minkin’s Music Facebook page.