Arlo Guthrie was born with a guitar in one hand and a harmonica in the other, in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York in 1947. He is the eldest son of America's most beloved singer/writer/philosopher Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company and founder of The Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease.
For more than a decade, Arlo has toured worldwide with different shows: An America Scrapbook, beginning 1998 (with symphony orchestras), The Guthrie Family Legacy Tour, beginning 2006 (with various family members), Boys Night Out Tour, beginning 2008 (with his son, Abe Guthrie and Grandson, Krishna), The Lost World Tour, beginning 2008 (with a big band and The Burns Sisters), The Guthrie Family Rides Again Tour beginning in 2009 (with the entire family), The Journey On Tour beginning 2010 (Big band & The Burns sisters), The Guthrie Family Reunion Tour beginning 2012 (The whole family), Here Comes The Kid - The Woody Guthrie Centennial Tour beginning 2012), Here Come The Kid(s) beginning in 2013 (continuing the Woody Centennial). The Centennial celebration tour ends May 2014.
Interspersed between all the tours was the recurring "Arlo Guthrie Solo Reunion Tour - Together At Last," which was certainly the best named tour. The currant version of the solo tour runs from June 2014 - November 2014. After the solo tour Arlo will put "Alice's Restaurant" back on the setlist menu for "The Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour", with will run from January 2015 through May 2016. If he survives the "Alice 50 Tour" he will go fishing.
He grew up surrounded by dancers and musicians: Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays (The Weavers), Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, all of whom were significant influences on Arlo's musical career. Guthrie gave his first public performance in 1961 at age 13 and quickly became involved in the music that was shaping the world. Over the next few years, Arlo inherited his father's friend Pete Seeger and the two toured together, between demonstrations, beginning in the late 60's. They continued doing over a dozen shows together almost every year for the next 40 years creating a legendary collaboration that continues to this day. The last Pete & Arlo show was in November 2012 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Arlo practically lived in the most famous venues of the "Folk Boom" era. In New York City he hung out at Gerdes Folk City, The Gaslight and The Bitter End. In Boston's Club 47, and in Philadelphia he made places like The 2nd Fret and The Main Point his home. He witnessed the transition from an earlier generation of ballad singers like Richard Dyer-Bennet and blues-men like Mississippi John Hurt, to a new era of singer-song writers such as Bob Dylan, Jim Croce, Joan Baez, and Phil Ochs. He grooved with the beat poets like Allen Ginsburg and Lord Buckley, and picked with players like Bill Monroe and Doc Watson. He learned something from everyone and developed his own style, becoming a distinctive, expressive voice in a crowded community of singer-songwriters and political-social commentators.
Arlo Guthrie's career exploded in 1967 with the release of "Alice's Restaurant", whose title song premiered at the Newport Folk Festival helped foster a new commitment among the '60s generation to social consciousness and activism. Arlo went on to star in the 1969 Hollywood film version of "Alice's Restaurant", directed by Arthur Penn. With songs like "Alice's Restaurant", too long for radio airplay; "Coming into Los Angeles", banned from many radio stations (but a favorite at the 1969 Woodstock Festival); and the definitive rendition of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans", Guthrie was no One-Hit-Wonder. An artist of international stature, he has never had a 'hit' in the usual sense. He has usually preferred to walk to his own beat rather than march in step to the drum of popular culture. Over the last five decades Guthrie has toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia winning a wide, popular following. In addition to his accomplishments as a musician, playing the piano, six and twelve-string guitar, harmonica and a dozen other instruments, Arlo is a natural-born storyteller, whose tales and anecdotes figure prominently in his performances.
In 1991 Arlo purchased the old Trinity Church. It was Thanksgiving 1965 that events took place at the church which inspired Arlo to write the song "Alice's Restaurant". Named for his parents, The Guthrie Center is a not-for-profit interfaith church foundation dedicated to providing a wide range of local and international services. Its outreach programs include everything from providing HIV/AIDS services to baking cookies with a local service organization; an HD walk-a-thon to raise awareness and money for a cure for Huntington's Disease, and offering a place simply to meditate. The Guthrie Foundation is a separate not-for-profit educational organization that addresses issues such as the environment, health care, cultural preservation and educational exchange. Arlo Guthrie, Rising Son Records and The Guthrie Center & Foundation are on the World Wide Web at http://www.risingsonrecords.com/