A Bit Like You And Me Radio

September 16, 2013

Arlo Guthrie - Coming into Los Angeles [Live] (1969)

Arlo Davy Guthrie was born July 10, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York to iconic folk legend Woody Guthrie and professional dancer Marjorie Mazia Guthrie. From birth, Arlo was raised around his father’s folk music and friends, including Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Ronnie Gilbert, and numerous others. His first public appearance as a musician was in 1961 at the age of thirteen, and his first solo album, Alice’s Restaurant, came out six years later in September 1967. After his father’s passing in October 1967, Arlo inherited one of his father’s closest friends, Pete Seeger. Arlo and Seeger performed at demonstrations together, toured together, and performed at least a dozen shows per year together over the next forty years. To put it succinctly, Arlo Guthrie is the living link between the earlier generation of folk singers from the 1930s and ‘40s (Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, etc.) to the new era of folk singers from the ‘60s (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, etc.), having been born and raised into one generation and growing into adulthood in the next.

Like all of Arlo Guthrie’s popular songs, the one heard below was never a hit. His famous “Alice’s Restaurant” from 1967 was over eighteen minutes long and therefore dodged radio airplay. The song heard below also missed airtime because of it being banned by countless radio stations for its subject matter. Luckily, the song remained popular by word of mouth between Guthrie’s fans. Written by Arlo himself, the studio version of this song can be heard on Guthrie’s 1969 album Running Down the Road. The live version heard below is from Guthrie’s hour-long appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, where it opened Guthrie’s set at 11:55 p.m., technically closing out the first day of the festival.

album art

Arlo Guthrie - Coming into Los Angeles [Live] (1969)

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Lyrics:

Coming in from London from over the Pole
Flying in a big airliner, oh
Chickens flying everywhere around the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

Guy with a ticket to Mexico
No, he couldn’t look much stranger
Walkin’ in a hall with his things and all
Smiled and said he was The Lone Ranger

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

Yes, a hip woman walking on a moving floor
Tripping on the escalator
There's a man in the line and she's blowing his mind
Thinking that he's already made her

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

Coming in from London from over the Pole
Flying in a big airliner, oh
Chickens flying everywhere around the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

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