$100K raised for namesake of Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving classic ‘Alice’s Restaurant’
Well-wishers have donated more than $100,000 to help Alice Brock — the artist and former cook immortalized by folk singer Arlo Guthrie in his classic Thanksgiving Day tune “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”
Nearly 2,000 people pitched in over the last two months to a GoFundMe for the 80-year-old hippie, who’s been hit by hard times since the 1967 release of Guthrie’s 18-minute talking blues ballad.
“It’s been tremendous. God, what a relief,” Brock told The Post on Thursday about the outpouring of support.
The Brooklyn-born woman’s home and former diner in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, were the setting of Guthrie’s song about how the singer’s 1965 Thanksgiving Day arrest for littering kept him out of the Army during the Vietnam War.
“You can get anything you want at Alice’s restaurant,” the ballad begins.
A comedy film based on the song, “Alice’s Restaurant,” came out in 1969, and Brock, who didn’t want to play herself on the big screen, took a part as an extra.
“People used to say, ‘oh my mother knows who you are,’ now they say, ‘my grandmother knows who you are,’” Brock quipped about her status as a folk icon.
After the flick and closing her diner, Brock opened a larger restaurant called Alice’s at Avaloch in 1976 and continued to give back to her community, Boston radio WBUR-FM reported.
“There are very few things I wouldn’t give to people. So if somebody asked me for a job, I gave them a job — and especially if they really needed a job — like the people on parole or people who didn’t have rent money,” she told the station in a recent interview.
When the eatery went under in the late 1970s, Brock moved to Provincetown, working as a prep cook at night and pursuing her art during the day.
But the cash dried up and she struggled to pay the mortgage, ultimately having to sell her house and moving in with a friend who later died, the outlet reported.
Brock found a rental about two years ago — but was then hospitalized with heart disease. She also suffers from a lung condition, emphysema and tremors in her hands, which now keep her from being able to draw.
After spending a year in the hospital and a nursing home, Brock is back in her cottage but needed help to pay her rent.
That’s when her pal Dini Lamot, a member of the 1970s and ’80s Boston new wave band Human Sexual Response, stepped in and created the online fundraiser, which had raised $105,275 of its $120,000 goal as of Thursday.
“With the money that raised I’ll be able to live decently for the next two or three years,” Brock told The Post.
The reluctant legend said she was embarrassed by her friend’s GoFundMe plan, but that she was “humbled” by the support from friends and fans.
“It’s delightful that people feel that way about me,” she said, “but some of it is over the top.”
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