I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

OK, so today we have things to talk about called A FUN THING and plus also WHAT DAD THINKS ABOUT SOME THINGS because Dad has been MIA lately. Not because anything’s WRONG, but because I’ve been so busy we haven’t had time for a good conversation lately. I KNOW. Isn’t that sad? Also I’ve tried to call him a billion times today and the phone’s been busy which means he’s on the stupid dialup computer and I’m so going to yell at him if he ever logs off DAMMIT DAD.

(SIDE NOTE! Apparently he was online READING MY BLOG. And he had many things to say about the blog. We will go into this in another post, but for the time being, it’s enough to say: he made me laugh until I snorted.)

So, I went to see Arlo Guthrie Saturday night! It was my fourth time seeing him live. Every time I see him makes me super-happy. I would see him eighteen more times if the opportunity presented itself. Dad thinks this makes me a stalker. “That old hippie probably has you on a watch-list,” he told me. “No one sees the same person in concert FOUR TIMES IN THEIR LIFE. That’s like seeing the same movie four times. It’s just the same thing over and over.”

Aw, Arlo. LOVE.

On a related note, Dad’s never been to a concert in his life so apparently he thinks they play the same music at every one. No, I’m totally serious. He thinks they’re a waste of money when the radio is free.

So I worked all day on Saturday and it was very stressful and terrible and made me cranky-faced. But I knew I had ARLO GUTHRIE to look forward to so I was much happier thinking about that. So I toiled and toiled and toiled and people were weird and yelly about nonsense and then FINALLY IT WAS TIME TO GO YAY.

(I’ve worked a billion hours this week, plus I didn’t get enough sleep Friday night – totally my own fault, I stayed up too late discussing the state of the world with sj, LISTEN, sometimes we need to figure shit out even if it’s super-late. I mean, who else is going to figure shit out if we’re not doing it? NO, we didn’t solve anything. I KNOW. It’s totally disappointing. I think what we came up with, with hours of emailing, was that people are fucking WEIRD, yo. And sj and I have no explanations for them as much as we may try. So I was cranky all day Saturday. Again: my own fault. I told sj I was going to hate myself Saturday. AND I DID. She TRIED to get me to go to bed because she is a GOOD FRIEND. Nope. I just kept on a’talkin’. Well, a’writin’, I suppose, since, well, email.)

No idea if this is real or not but it came up with a “people are weird” search and I just laughed until I cried a little. BEST NAME EVER.

So I went to The Egg (MY FAVORITE CONCERT VENUE BECAUSE IT IS FILLED WITH WHIMSY!) and there was NO PARKING even though I was super-early. I only know one free place to park that doesn’t mean I have to walk a billion miles. So I was not pleased and then had a mini-meltdown in the car because that’s what tired people do. Then I figured out I could circle back around and look again for spots in the secret place and totally FOUND one that I didn’t see the first time so that was nice and also a waste of a meltdown. (Also, it’s kind of a good thing I went to this alone. Melting down when someone else is in the car is embarrassing, and I’ve totally done it before and the people in the car look at you like you’ve lost your mind because you kind of have. I HATE ON-STREET PARKING. It makes me nervous. Also, oh, I probably should mention I don’t know how to parallel park, so I have to find a spot I can pull into? That’s important info for you to have. I KNOW. Listen, I failed that part of the driving test years ago and then the second time I took the test he told me “eh, you live in the boonies, who cares if you know how to parallel park” so that was NICE but also ERRONEOUS because only a few months later I moved to a city.)


As I got out of my car I looked up (I don’t look up often enough) and thought “WHOA THAT IS SO EFFING PRETTY” so I took a picture of how pretty my city is for you. Ready?

Look how pretty my capitol building was that I was parked right next to in the dark! The prettiest, right? Even in this terrible cellphone photo that people looked at me weird for taking. I love my Albany. There are pretty things all around. (I told Dad how pretty this was and he was all “YOU ARE SO WEIRD. That is the building where CORRUPTION happens.” SIGH DAD. It’s also a gorgeous building, and I love my city, and it makes my chest thrill all up.)

Then I ran over to The Egg because it was getting late and I was moving slow like a sloth.

There were a lot of old people at the concert. That’s the risk you run if you’re going to see an old hippie. (SIDE NOTE: Dad was all, “That guy’s old enough to be your grandfather. I bet you think he’s cute. Is this like how you think that terrible Bill *vomiting noise* Clinton is hot even though he had sex with an intern and lied about it to the public and he’s old? ARLO GUTHRIE IS TOO OLD FOR YOU AMY.” So I did some research and Arlo Guthrie is NOT old enough to be my grandfather; as a matter of fact, he’s only two years older than Dad. So, DAD, he’s like your PEER, how do you like THAT. I can’t wait to tell him that the next time I talk to him. He’s going to be so mad. And for the record: no. I do not want to have sex with Arlo Guthrie. I want to have sex with a young Arlo Guthrie from the Alice’s Restaurant movie, like if I could time-travel, but not old Arlo Guthrie. But I want to hang out with him, because I think he would have the best stories.)

HELL YES I’m in love with ol’ Bill. He’s WONDERFUL.

The old people looked at me like I was suspect because I’m too young to appreciate Arlo. WELL, I will have you know I own MULTIPLE Arlo albums and also his father’s albums and also I’ve watched Alice’s Restaurant SO MANY TIMES that I KNOW SOME OF THE WORDS IN IT and when I was a teenager instead of having posters of whatever teenybopper stars were popular at the time I had an Arlo Guthrie poster on my wall. SUCK ON THAT OLD HIPPIES. (Also I had one of Janis Joplin and also multiple posters of John Lennon because I was a weird, weird child that was living in the wrong decade.)

Seriously, waking up to this was better than waking up to Kirk Cameron or whatever the hell, right? Right.

I thought I was in the sixth row but I was in the sixth row in the second section up, not in the pit sixth row because I forgot that my ticket would have had to say “FF” to be in the pit section. Oh, well. Still very good seats. Right in the middle. I still won The Egg.

Also, I had to pee and the line for the ladies’ restroom was a mile and a half long but the men were all in and out like jackrabbits and that made me envious. Damn you men with your quick peeing. I hope you at least washed your paws.

The people on my left looked like dustbowl farmers and the people on my right looked like old hippies but they were all very nice so I have no complaints about that. Well, until LATER. LATER I had complaints.

There were (I totally people-watched) maybe 10 people my age or younger in the audience and the rest were all my parents’ age or older and were talking about things like “I just bought an iPhone and it autocorrected my chicken parm to chicken porn HA HA” and that made me a little sad for life but I’ll get over it.

Then Arlo Guthrie came out and I was the happiest lady who ever happied and this concert was in honor of what would have been his dad’s centennial so he was playing a lot of his father’s music and talking a lot about his dad, which made me sad. (You know that Arlo Guthrie’s dad is Woody Guthrie who sang “This Land is Your Land,” right? Well, if you didn’t, now you do.) He played most of my favorite Woody Guthrie songs – “Pretty Boy Floyd” which makes me cry, “Do Re Mi” which makes me bop around and also laugh and think about my life, “This Land is Your Land” (of course), “Deportees” which I adore and also makes me cry, “1913 Massacre” which is heartbreaking, and a lot of others I didn’t know but loved so much.  I was hoping he’d sing “I’m Changing my Name to Chrysler,” which isn’t one of his Dad’s songs so I’m kind of being off-topic here but I love it anyway so so much but he didn’t. I still love him, though. He also played some of his own songs – “City of New Orleans,” which I adore, “Coming into Los Angeles,” “When a Soldier Makes it Home,” and one of my absolute favorites which totally made me cry with happiness, “The Motorcycle Song.”

Here, you can listen to Arlo talk a little and sing “Do Re Mi” last month. This is really a good video.

And he talked and talked and talked, which is one of my favorite things about an Arlo concert. I could listen to Arlo Guthrie talk for a year and never get tired of him. He has a billion stories and he has the best storytelling voice you’ve ever heard. He talked about his wife (they were married for 43 years until she died very recently; when I read that news I cried, because the love story of Jackie and Arlo Guthrie was really an inspirational one) and of course THAT made me cry. I’m a huge sap. I was pretty teary throughout the concert.

Not BAD teary, just happy and overwhelmed teary. Young-Amy never thought she’d get to do things like see Arlo Guthrie live, so when grown-up Amy does, young-Amy gets all emotional in her heart-area where she still lives.

Oh, I was ANNOYED at the dustbowl farmers to my left because the man, who SEEMED normal, decided to sing along to the top of his lungs to certain songs. Listen, sir, I didn’t pay $40 to listen to YOU sing, I paid $40 to listen to Arlo GUTHRIE sing. That’s rude. Did I mouth the words along with certain songs? Sure I did. BUT I DID NOT SING ALONG AUDIBLY AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU RUDE MCRUDEFACE.

Then there was curtain call (wait, that’s not what they call it at concerts. What do they call it at concerts? When they leave the stage and come back like a fakeout? Encore, right? The internet tells me it is an encore, not a curtain call. Please ignore the theater geek) and the minute he sat down, he started playing “Alice’s Restaurant” and my heart jumped right into my whole mouth, because he NEVER plays “Alice’s Restaurant” anymore. He saves it for the anniversary shows, and the next anniversary show will be in 2015. So I was all “NO EFFING WAY” and then I started crying again. (I wasn’t like WEEPING all LOUD, I was just leaking. Shh, I’m emotional this week, leave me alone.) But he just played the first verse and then said, “Nope, that’s all I’m playing, come see me in 2015, I’ll try to remember all the words by then” and I wasn’t even mad because if one of the tours comes through my area in 2015, will I be there? YES I WILL. (In 2005, I saw him on his 40th anniversary “Alice’s Restaurant” tour and wept and sang throughout the song because I WAS SEEING ARLO SING “ALICE’S RESTAURANT” LIVE AND WHAT THE HELL HOW WAS I SO LUCKY. I wasn’t the only one crying. There were a lot of old hippies crying. And the lady to my left patted my shoulder and said, “I know, honey, I know,” and she was crying, too.) Then he sang a couple more songs and we all stood up and cheered and he left and it was wonderful even though I was totally the most exhausted.

One of the first albums I not only owned, but bought with my own money. TRUE STORY.

YAY FOR ARLO! He’s totally sixty-five years old now. The Arlo in my head looks like this and always will.

Also, I just found this and it made my whole heart grow three sizes that day.


And also this:

SIGH. Look how handsome these two are.

So that was a wonderful concert and totally worth both my time and exhaustion. On the way out, one of the people said, “You know, he’s a great storyteller. I wasn’t expecting him to be such a great storyteller.” That won the Stupid Comment of the Night award, because have you HEARD “Alice’s Restaurant?” It’s a lot less SONG and a lot more STORY, you dummy, and it’s endured almost fifty freakin’ YEARS and it’s one of my favorite things in the world. Amy’s Brother even loves “Alice’s Restaurant” and listens to it every Thanksgiving and he hates EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. Especially things that are whimsical.

Dear Arlo Guthrie: thank you for being the most awesome and for making me happy every single time I listen to anything you do or any time I see you. You are one of my favorite people in all the land. Even if Amy’s Dad does think you’re a crazy hippie and “has that guy gotten a damn HAIRCUT yet? UGH REALLY? He STILL hasn’t? COME ON THE SIXTIES ARE OVER YA HIPPIE!” Love, Amy.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

20 responses to “I’ll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

  • sj

    Okay, so – this was before we knew each other, but I totally posted Alice’s Restaurant on my blog last Thanksgiving and I think that’s probably my lowest viewed post ever.

    So, I have a lot of memories of my youth tied up with Arlo Guthrie.

    Also, I know you don’t know this, but Coming Into Los Angeles is one of my FAVOURITE SONGS EVAR. I’m so jealous that not only did you get to see him do that song this time, but that you’ve seen him so many times.

    I have a lot of bands that I’ve seen over and over, but it was mostly because they were local and cheap. I’ve never seen my favourites.



    • lucysfootball

      We were MEANT TO BE FRIENDS. Look at that!

      I’ve only seen a few people more than once – Arlo, Hamell on Trial (local-ish, and I love him – you would to, I think!), Aimee Mann, Company of Thieves. Most groups I’ve only seen once because a lot of bands don’t come through here, or if they do I’m too poor and/or too busy to see them when they’re here.

      I love where I live. I’ve never lived somewhere that gets this many plays and concerts. It’s an amazing area, arts-wise. For sure.

      SOMEDAY WE’LL SEE HIM TOGETHER. This is a promise.


  • debbieslater

    We’re English but we still listen to Alice’s Restaurant every Thanksgiving. Although it has been a while since we held one of our Semi-Annual Chinese-Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinners (which couldn’t be beat) — our Merkan chums have been passing through at different times of the year of late …


    • lucysfootball

      Me too! Every Thanksgiving! I haven’t celebrated Thanksgiving in…oh, probably 5 years or more? But that’s the one tradition I still hold to every year. That’s my turkey and stuffing. Listening to Arlo talk about the mother-rapers and father-stabbers.


  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I was much better at parallel parking when I lived in the Isle of Man. Then I used to park and re-park the car every two hours, and parallel parking was the only available option. I could reverse into an empty space without having to turn my head around, only using the rearview mirrors.

    Nowadays I’d struggle though.


    • lucysfootball

      I just can’t do it. I can’t even get in the spot. I have spatial-relations issues. I need lessons, I think. Or a place to live where there’s NO PARALLEL PARKING EVER. Like, it’s been outlawed, or something.


  • A Pope

    The timing of this post is a little eerie–yesterday I sang “the Motorcycle Song” to my 14 year old–scared her a little (not sure why) and made it up to her by singing “Alice’s Restaurant”–have loved that one forever. My elementary school’s official song is sung to that tune (the song was from the mid ’70’s). Just finished a book of compiled papers of Pete Seeger’s, so of course many mentions of Woodie Guthrie (and Arlo), so they were in the forefront of my mind (daughter wouldn’t let me sing “this Land is Your Land” as she said it made her cry).


    • lucysfootball

      Aw! Well, “The Motorcycle Song” is pretty goofy, so she probably didn’t want to admit she liked it. :) “Alice’s Restaurant” is one of my favorite songs in the universe.

      “This Land is Your Land” is sad. I don’t know WHY it’s so sad, but it is!

      Ooh, I bet the Pete Seeger book was good. He’s fascinating. He’s almost 100 years old, I can’t even imagine that!


  • blogginglily

    Handsome must have meant something different in the olden days…


    • lucysfootball

      They are TOTALLY handsome, Jim! You’re no judge of handsome. As The Nephew would say: “YOU ARE A BOY!”

      (I’m very attracted to odd-looking men. I’ll admit my handsome-meter is not the same as most people’s. For example, the fact that Channing Tatum is the Sexiest Man Alive right now makes me laugh so hard. WHO VOTED ON THAT. His NECK is HUGE and also he looks like he’s not bright. There’s nothing handsome about fat necks and stupidity.)


    • sj

      Seriously, he was WAY good looking (and still is for his age). He has such a fantastic nose, I can’t even…

      Shut it, Jim. You don’t know.

      [jazz hands]


  • jbrown3079

    I may have told this story here before or on my blog. I am playing my “old people get to retell stories whenever we want” card.
    So I was watching a Behind The Music special about Jim Croce in which Arlo talked about their younger days hanging out together, singing songs and telling stories. Arlo described it as, “We were DANCING through life.”
    I loved that description. I hope everyone has a chance in their time to experience a stretch of life like that.
    And SJ is right about Coming Into Los Angeles.
    Long live Arlo!


    • lucysfootball

      I don’t remember that story, so I’m glad you told it, even if it is again. It’s new to me.

      I think I had my “dancing through life” phase a while ago. Now I’m…um…walking methodically through life. And breaking out into interpretive dance every once and a while so I don’t forget how.

      I hope he lives (and performs) forever. No one that makes me that happy should ever stop.


  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    I love the fact that you had ‘hippie’ posters on your wall in your room growing up! I had a Woodstock poster and a “War is not healthy for children and other living things” poster in my room. Young Kris would have been great friends with young Amy! :-)

    (of course, in all honesty, I am actually old enough that I remember Woodstock happening, though I was too young to attend. And I also marched in anti-vietnam war protests! I was young, but I had principles!!)


    • lucysfootball

      I was a child out of my time. It is true. All I wanted was to have been the right age to have attended Woodstock. It was my fondest dream. (Still kind of is, except now I think, “MAN would that have been muddy” and get a little squicked out.)


  • Rachael Shevlin Rejiester

    You should tell your father that someone who lives a little north of you just saw Barenaked Ladies for her FOURTEENTH TIME. And she is even a grown-up type person with a CHILD and she LEFT HER CHILD for the weekend to go see the band. And she cried too. :)


    • lucysfootball

      Aw, fourteen times! That is awesome! And you’re just a little north of me, I love that! Local readers make me so happy!

      I like Barenaked Ladies very much – one of my all-time happiest songs ever is “If I Had A Million Dollars.” No matter what mood I’m in, no matter how crappy I’m feeling, “Not a real green dress, that’s cruel” or “Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?” always make me grin like a lunatic and bop all around!


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