Arlo Guthrie: The Motorcycle Song

July 20, 2006

Arlo.jpgIt has been interesting, and somewhat unfair, to see what pop musicians from the 60s have withstood the test of time, or at least forty years worth. Many were one hit wonders, but many were in there in the charts, respected and loved by many, but faded once the 70s began. [Speaking of which, for me, “the sixties” as a cultural decade, lasted from 1963 (JFK’s assassination to 1974 (Nixon’s resignation).] I think of artists like the Dave Clark Five, or The Lovin’ Spoonful — specifically John Sebastian, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Arlo Guthrie. Arlo didn’t ever disappear, he gravitated toward the folk music world of the post-1970s. In the sixties, Arlo’s most famous record, which was a HUGE hit, was Alice’s Restaurant (‘You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant — ‘ceptin’ Alice…”) and you NEVER hear it today. Too bad, it was a great folk song/story. The video here is called “The Motorcycle Song” and is a good example of Arlo’s folk song/story.

I don’t want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I don’t want a tickle
‘Cause I’d rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don’t want to die
Just want to ride on my motorcy…cle

Arlo is of course the son of Woody but is really his own man who has his own voice and style. You’ll hear on this performance, he is an excellent musician, technically better than his father.

I wonder whether you folks under 35 find will find this song “quaint” or dated or “oh Dad, don’t play this, it’s so corny” not unlike the way I felt about my parents childhood songs like “Mares eat oat and does eat oats.” I think it’s still pretty funny. But maybe you had to be there. For more, visit ArloNet.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

citrus July 20, 2006 at 8:08 am

“Mares eat oats…” not in our family you didn’t! My God.

Dad

pucks_soul July 20, 2006 at 8:30 am

sings, …and little lambs eat ivy, a kid’ll eat ivy too, wouldn’t you? oh lawd how I wish you had not put that into my brain…sings if the words sould queer a little funny to your ear…oh shit now you’ve done it Roger, I will try to return the favor with my mom’s fave…When I grow too old to dream your love will live in my heart….Arlo was always a little too off beat for my tastes while growing up but now I can appreciate his talent.
Jules 🙂

Roger Bourland July 20, 2006 at 9:20 am

OK, Dad, it was your parents’ generation. How would I know, I wasn’t there!

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