Arlo Guthrie sees one positive in the current political climate.
“It’s a good time to be a folk singer,” he says.
The Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter is gearing up for his Saturday show at Carnegie Hall, where he’ll be joined on stage by members of his family including his kids Abe and Sarah Lee, who are currently traveling with their dad as part of his “Re:Generation Tour.”
This year marks the 50th anniversary since the “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre” crooner first appeared at Carnegie Hall.
“We know everybody (at Carnegie Hall) by name,” Guthrie laughs. “And we catch up on their kids and grandkids at this point and what’s going on in their lives. The same thing is true for the audience. A lot of them have been coming every year.”
Guthrie, 70, who’s the son of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie, says his dad would have loved being alive during these tumultuous times.
“I think he would have enjoyed himself immensely,” says the performer, who played Woodstock. “That doesn’t mean he would enjoy what’s going on so much but he would have been able to comment on it and I feel the same way. This is a crazy time…It will get better but we have to get through it.”
It may surprise some to hear that at one point Guthrie was a registered Republican.
“It seemed to me there were not the same kind of voices being heard in the Republican party I had grown up,” he told Confidential. “I was a Democrat all my life but I had many very decent and wonderful Republican friends.”
“Those guys have disappeared,” Guthrie continued. “If there are a handful left I’d be surprised and I really wanted to help those guys because I thought they needed to be heard and have a voice and the only way to help those guys is in the primaries. You can’t have a say in a lot of primaries unless you’re a member of that party so I switched parties to have that kind of voice.”
Guthrie, who now considers himself an Independent, says we’re “in a dark time and it’s not just who the President is, it’s the ways we deal with each other…we’ve lost the common sense of good will.”
But he looks forward to the day when he can go out with friends “across the aisle” and laugh.
With Nicki Gostin