STOCKBRIDGE, MASS. -- "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."
And to make matters worse, Arlo Guthrie -- celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Alice's Restaurant" -- said Wednesday he won't perform the ballad of his famous Thanksgiving Day arrest for at least another decade -- after one more chorus this week.
Guthrie, now 40 and gray-haired, released "Alice's Restaurant" in 1967. The song is a ballad that stems from his Thanksgiving Day littering arrest one year earlier in the quaint Berkshire town of Stockbridge.
The arrest made by Officer William Obanhein, whom Arlo nicknamed "Officer Obie" in the tune, landed Guthrie a "criminal record" and ultimately kept him from being drafted to serve in the Vietnam war, as the ballad tells.
Alice's Restaurant -- the eatery -- closed shortly after the 1969 release of the film version of the song, which starred Guthrie and Obanhein.
One good thing that came out of the episode was Guthrie's relationship with the police officer. "We'd become friends," Guthrie said. "I live not too far to be neighbors or something, and when we did the movie together, he turned out to be a real nice guy."
Guthrie, son of American folk king Woodie Guthrie, said he will perform "Alice's Restaurant" Saturday night at Carnegie Hall. "I won't do it again for about 10 years, mostly 'cause it eats up too much time during the concert," he said.
But Guthrie, who performed the ballad during his nine months of touring this year -- including a show attended by the Alice of the song -- admitted there is still something special about the tune.
"Over the years people would ask to hear it because we hadn't done it for so long, so they just kept asking for it," Guthrie said. "But other than this tour, I did it when Jimmy Carter reinstituted draft registration and I did it a couple of years ago at the Newport Folk Festival."
Alice -- Alice Brock, who has lived in Provincetown for about nine years since leaving Stockbridge -- said she is no longer interested in the restaurant business.
"No, thank you," Brock said Wednesday while making cranberry sauce for her Thanksgiving dinner. "I don't want my own restaurant -- too much aggravation. Nobody thinks it's a good profession so it's hard to get good help."
These days Brock paints stones she finds on Cape Cod beaches and sells them by mail order. "Why not? I'm not interested in big business," she said. "I just need enough to get by. Besides, I'm going to become a rock star."
Brock returned to Stockbridge a few years ago for "Officer Obie's" retirement party.
"But I'm not interested in Stockbridge," she admitted. "I had some disappointing experiences with the town government. I'm sure the way we were portrayed in the movie didn't help my daily life in that little uptight New England town. They really thought it was Alice and Arlo's fault that everybody grew long hair."
Guthrie, who lives near Stockbridge on his 250-acre spread known as "the Farm," said he still likes Stockbridge and has no quarrel with the way the town has treated him.
"I think Stockbridge is the same as it was 100 years ago," he said.
One difference is that in a short while the establishment once known as Alice's Restaurant will reopen as "Chez Vous.