Pirate Pied-Pipers provide for Llewellyn, playing East Portland crowd

We became fans of Captain Bogg & Salty when we reported their first East Portland library show years ago. See Bogg and his merry band of musical scallywags play a benefit to help local education …

Captain Bogg works the crowd, crying out, “Give me the first group-‘Yarrrr’ ever heard in the Moreland Theater!”

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Some walking in the door are dressed like pirates; others are wearing pirate bandanas, eye patches, or tri-cornered hats. Still others are carrying skull and crossbones flags, as they file into the Moreland Theater.

Surprisingly, most of these colorfully-dressed characters aren’t children going to see a high-seas adventure matinee. Instead, they’re the adult parents of Llewellyn School students coming to see Captain Bogg & Salty and their merry pirate band of musical scallywags on January 20.

Taking tickets at the door, Julie Wright and Robin Johnson, co-presidents of the Llewellyn Foundation, say the event was nearly a sell-out.

While taking tickets from a stream of patrons coming to see the early-afternoon show, Llewellyn Foundation co-president Robin Johnson tells us, “We love our 75-year old neighborhood school. The funds we raise from this benefit concert will help us hire an extra teacher. The result will be smaller class sizes.”

Amber Buford and her family were a few of the patrons without costumes, but they said they were excited to see Portland’s world-famous pirate band.

As the band is getting ready to appear, we ask Captain Bogg how the idea for this benefit concert got started. As usual, he grumbles, grunts, and pulls his First Mate up front, to answer our query.

“Julie Wright, the parent of a Llewellyn student first approached us,” says the effable First Mate McGraw. “She had this idea that Captain Bogg & Salty could play a benefit concert at Moreland Theatre. The band agreed, and here we are!”

Captain Bogg (far left) and his musical buccaneers strike a pose for ye scribe, just before rocking out the Moreland Theater.

Typically, a sunny Saturday afternoon is prime box-office time for the Moreland Theater. We ask Jim Hunt, who runs the theater with his wife, Lynn, why they donated the space for the event, instead of selling tickets to a Hollywood movie.

“We’re glad to be helping raise funds to help out at Llewellyn School,” says Jim as he popped another batch of fresh popcorn. “Our theater is supported by the community. We’re deeply thankful for the people here in inner East Portland who support our movie house.”

The Moreland Theater is nearly sold out. This crowd knows they’re about to enjoy a rollicking good show put on the Portland’s most famous pirates.

The show starts off with Captain Bogg and the boys doing their famous “Peg-leg Pirate Tango” and “Pieces of 8ight”. From the first number onward, everyone is clapping along; some are dancing in the aisles.

On the way out Johnson stops us to say the foundation sold more than 400 tickets to the event, raising more than $2,500. “Please let everyone know how much we appreciate their support of this event on behalf of the Llewellyn Foundation.”

Johnson continues, “For helping with advance ticket sales, we thank Wallace Books, New Seasons Market, Music Millennium, and the Llewellyn School office. Also, thanks to Molly Lee and Jennifer Maxwell-Muir for the posters and tickets, and Moreland Presbyterian Church for equipment. And finally, thank you so much to the many volunteers who helped in so many ways.”

Other photos from the show we enjoyed…

The Captain sings for the appreciative crowd.

This wacky band plays for an adoring – and wacky – crowd!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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