Just Outside the Capital Region Lies a Building that Inspired Which Famous Song?
As long as I can recall and probably longer the Arlo Guthrie song "Alice's Restaurant" has been a key ingredient each Thanksgiving, but did you know the story that inspired the lyrics took place about an hour from the Capital Region?
"Alice's Restaurant", which is actually called "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", featured Alice, husband Ray and officer Obie and is based on true events that happened in Arlo Gutherhrie's life around Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
The place known as "Alice's Restaurant", located at 40 Main Street in Stockbridge, MA. was actually called The Back Room. Alice owned the establishment at that time, making it Alice's restaurant. Ironically the business closed in 1966, nearly a year before the album and title track were released. Today it is known as Main Street Cafe.
So, who is Alice? Alice May Brock was born in New York but spent her adult life in Massachusetts. An artist by choice and career restaurateur operating a few restaurants over the years. She and Ray divorced and in 1979 Ray passed away at the age of 51. The most recent address I could find for Alice was in Provincetown, MA.
The church where Alice and Ray lived is located at 4 Van Deusenville Road in Great Barrington, MA. This is where Arlo get's together with his friends on Thanksgiving day. Arlo Guthrie purchased the building and today it is known as the Guthrie Center at the Old Trinity Church which is a nondenominational interfaith meeting place and occasional Folk music venue.
If you have 18 minutes and 20 seconds this Thanksgiving revisit "Alice's Restaurant Masacree" and picture the people and places behind the song, just a short ride from the Capital Region.
Here's another stop on a Rock and Roll road trip, Big Pink in West Saugerties, New York. Check out these pictures from inside the home where Bob Dylan, The Band, Eric Clapton and George Harrison created music.