68. Multi-Colored Rainbow Roach Affair

While my first rock concert was to see the band called Boston, I’d been to at least one other concert before that – I saw Arlo Guthrie at the Hemmens Auditorium in Elgin. I went with my friend Dan and some of his friends. Until that night I don’t think I’d heard of Arlo Guthrie, but it may have been what started me on my love of folk music.

We had good seats – up front and center. I don’t remember any of the songs he played except for one song that had everyone laughing. I remember that I laughed too – partly because everyone else was, and I didn’t want to seem as if I had no sense of humor, but also partly because the song had such absurd lyrics. It told the story of politicians getting “stoned” by eating chunks of colorful bugs. The bugs were also attached to missiles.

After the show Dan asked me if I understood the song about the multi-colored rainbow roach. I said that I sort of understood it – but couldn’t figure out why people wanted to eat bugs, even if they were colorful. Dan then explained to me what a roach was in this case – and it was not an insect. I’m not sure his explanation made it any more funny to me – I was quite ignorant about drugs at that time.

The lyrics are nowhere I could see on the Internet and the 20-minute song can only be found on iTunes as far as I can tell. I splurged this morning and downloaded it from iTunes (which I hate) just to hear it again. I can see why people laughed at it, it’s a lot like his song commonly referred to as “Alice’s Restaurant”

7 thoughts on “68. Multi-Colored Rainbow Roach Affair

  1. I saw Arlo once, with Pete Seeger, at Wolf Trap. Best I can come up with from the Internet was that it was right before I moved to Elgin!

  2. Thanks Helen – you are so kind to say you like my stories.

    Indigo – I saw Arlo with Pete Seger in Elgin – (Popluar Creek). Too many coincidences.

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