Thursday, 10:24 AM
Arlo Guthrie is charged again with creating a 'public nuisance,' just like in the song
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
Almost 42 years after his infamous littering arrest in Massachusetts, Arlo Guthrie has once again been charged with creating a "nuisance." This time the alleged crime took place a long way from Stockbridge, and Officer Obie was nowhere to be found.
Guthrie, 59, has been summoned to appear today before the code enforcement board in Indian River County on the east coast of Florida. Guthrie and his wife, Jackie, own a home in Sebastian, just south of Cape Canaveral. They are accused of using recreational vehicles illegally and creating a "public nuisance" by having an unsafe building and not getting a permit to fix it.
The Guthries also own a home in Washington, a rural town in the central Berkshires about 20 minutes from Stockbridge -- the setting for the folksinger's 18-minute antiwar anthem, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree." The song chronicles Guthrie's arrest for littering and creating a nuisance as an 18-year-old, just after Thanksgiving in 1965.
In the song, Officer Obie documented the littering with "27 eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one." Guthrie used the yarn about his arrest to highlight what he saw as the flawed logic behind the draft for the Vietnam War.
The Guthries could not be reached today for comment about the nuisance charges in Florida. It was not clear whether another song would follow.
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