He boasts a career that stretches back to Woodstock and is part of a musical lineage that has inspired the likes of Bob Dylan. It’s the stuff that legends are made of.
Arlo Guthrie burst onto the music scene in 1967 with what would prove to be his biggest hit, Alice’s Restaurant, a talking blues song that’s original version stretched for 18-and-a-half minutes, unheard of in an era of three-minute jingles.
He would go on to take the stage at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, performing the song Coming into Los Angeles from his album Running Down the Road. Guthrie is now bringing the Running Down the Road tour to the University of Victoria’s Farquhar Auditorium.
While the April 28 performance at UVic will far removed from the farmer’s field in upstate New York where more than 400,000 gathered for Woodstock, Guthrie says the essence of the show remains the same.
“I’d have to say that for me, performances haven’t changed all that much. In essence, some musicians get on a stage and play music -– nothing much changed there,” said Guthrie, who doesn’t think there will ever be another concert like Woodstock. “But maybe something even better will come along.”
Guthrie says he enjoys performing more today than he did when he started, and can’t point to a moment that stands out as a highlight of his career.
“I don’t know when the last show I ever do will happen, but I think it’ll be important (at least to me),” he said. “What makes a show great and memorable is the folks who come to see and hear it, as well as the ones onstage.”
Tickets for the April 28 show cost $55 to $75 and are available at tickets.uvic.ca, and Guthrie says he’ll do his part to make it a memorable one – before summoning a sentiment that his father would likely have shared.
“I’m just hoping there’ll be no problems at the border – coming or going. These days ya never know. When crazy people worm their way into political power, odd things happen.”