Pirate band, movie, pack Sellwood Park

We tracked Capt’n Bogg & Salty’s Pirate Band across uncharted waters, and beyond World’s End – and discovered them playing to an audience of thousands at this SE Portland Park. Read about it – learn about the upcoming Pirate Festival – right here …

Sunny Jim, First Mate McGraw, and Captain Angus Bogg of Captain Bogg & Salty’s Pirate Band rock the crowd at their annual show in Sellwood Park.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After a year’s worth of adventures on the seven seas (actually, a tour that took them to New York and Seattle), the crew of the pirate ship Pollywogg docked in Portland once again – as Captain Bogg & Salty’s Pirate Band again played in Sellwood Park on August 26.

We started following this band years ago, when they played one of their first “library shows” at Midland Library in outer East Portland, and captivated their small but enthusiastic audience. Looking over the crowd, estimated by Portland Parks & Recreation at 2,200 kids and scallywags, we amazed to see how their fan club has grown as everyone was rocking out as the band played crowd favorites, including Pieces of 8ight, Pegleg Tango, and Nellie the Elephant.

The crowd sings along with Captain Bogg as he croons Pegleg Tango.

Captain Bogg’s lively antics entertain the crowd as much as the band’s music.

Lead singer Captain Angus Bogg (Loren Hoskins) charmed the crowd with his engaging manner and expressive performance, backed up by singer and lead guitarist First Mate McGraw (Kevin Hendrickson), keyboard player Sunny Jim (Paul Iannotti), bass guitarist Mr. Filibuster (Lucas Haley), and drummer Ramshackle (Dave Owen).

Pirates ‘have a blast’
After the set, the band’s spokes-pirate First Mate McGraw said, “It’s a blast; we had fun as usual. There’s a lot more going on than usual. It’s great to be brought back, sponsored by Sellwood Community Center and Portland Arts & Recreation.”

In addition to enjoying the outdoor venue, McGraw added, “We have great fans here in Sellwood; they always come out for our shows. It’s great to see so many people here.”

Kim Calame, Director of the Sellwood Community Center, and Jeff Milkes, Southern Zone Manager for Portland Parks & Recreation, guide guests through the evening’s entertainment program.

Promotes summer reading program
Kim Calame, Sellwood Community Center’s Director, returned the compliment, saying, “Captain Bogg & Salty’s Pirate Band are a favorite here in our community. When we first started to partner with the Sellwood Branch Library’s summer reading program, we held this concert in the community center – but it quickly outgrew our space!”

Events like these have helped the library’s reading program grow. “784 young readers participated at the Sellwood Branch Library,” noted Brianne Williams. “And that number doesn’t count those who signed up at Llewellyn Elementary and Sellwood Middle Schools.”

Philip Pelletier, author and composer, shows off his new book, One Night in Frogtown – before the movie version is shown on the big screen at the park.

Expanded event includes author and movies
As the sun set, Philip Pelletier, author of the book and short film “One Night in Frogtown”, was introduced to the crowd.

Before his movie was projected on Portland Parks & Recreation’s giant outdoor screen, Pelletier talked with us about his project.

“It’s a musical storybook that brings some of Portland’s best music artists,” Pelletier said. “It tells a story about the value of cultural diversity. The book has beautiful illustrations by Portland artist Verne Lindner, and the movie has a soulful narration by Curtis Salgado – together we bring a pond of instrument-playing frogs to life.”

The idea for the project, which has garnered two major publishing awards so far, came from looking in a puddle, Pelletier recalled. “I imagined a little frog in there, playing his saxophone. I think the origins of the story about diversity came from when I lived through the Los Angeles riots. From that very disturbing time, came the idea of trying to teach people to get along with one another.”

You can learn more about his project by CLICKING HERE.

Many of the families, with blankets and lawn chairs spread out on the lawn, then sat back and watched yet another film in the park – the 1968 live-action fantasy comedy Walt Disney film Blackbeard’s Ghost, starring Peter Ustinov, Dean Jones, and Suzanne Pleshette.

Captain Bogg & Salty’s Pirate Band will be featured at the 2009 Portland Pirate Festival.

Pirate Festival sails into town
Many folks from our part of town travel overland to St. Johns to enjoy the Annual Pirate Festival – featuring costumed entertainment on two stages, 14 Musical acts, 18 entertainment acts, plus wandering musicians and entertainers of every variety.

First Mate McGraw reminded us it’s on September 19th (10am – 10pm) and 20th (10am – 6pm), at Cathedral Park in North Portland. Entrance fee at the gate is $15 for adults and $8 bucks for kids (under 2 years, free).

They list discount programs – and tell of their effort to make Pirate History, by besting the Guinness World Record™ for “The Most Pirates Gathered in one Place”, on Sunday – at their website: CLICK HERE to open it in a new window!

Estimates are that 2,200 adults and tadpoles made their way to Sellwood Park for the late summer show.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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