From 1994 to 2003 Pirate Jenny forged a new kind of rock sound in Portland that some have called Pirate Core. Mixing acoustic and electric guitar rock with splashes of xylophone and the accordionish sounding melodica, the band continued where Kevin Hendrickson and Matt Giger left off with Hucklescary Finn, and with the addition of singer/ songwriter James Allen, bassist Eric Furlong, drummer John Morgan, and later guitarist/keyboardist Paul Iannotti the band fine tuned its live act while releasing several recordings including two CDs, an EP, and a rare vinyl 45 single entitled Men of the Sea. Ron Lee replaced Furlong on bass in 1999 until his departure for San Francisco two years later.
After James Allen’s departure in 1995, songwriting duties were split between Hendrickson and Iannotti with each handling vocals on their own. Many of Hendrickson’s songs came from a collection of EP recordings made with Matt Giger under their alias Hucklescary Finn.
John Morgan’s multi-instrumental contributions besides drums included flute, vocals, and acoustic and electric guitars on several of the band’s recordings as well as during live performances at some of the band’s favorite venues like the 1201 club, Satyricon, Berbatis Pan, and EJ’s. Morgan also co-wrote the lyrics to Island of Harm on the band’s first CD Never-Sea Land.
1995-1997 lineup: Above from left, Eric Furlong, Paul Iannotti, John Morgan, Kevin Hendrickson. (Photo by Brian Hendrickson taken in Oregonian photo studio off hours.) Both of these photos are from the same shoot, and were styled by Kevin. We rented the costumes for this shoot from Helen’s Pacific. We never looked quite this realistic on stage.
Oct 31st, 1994: J.B. Allen – John Morgan – Kevin Hendrickson – Frank McDonnell – Eric Furlong. James and Kevin collaborated on several of the band’s early hits including Salomagundi, and Granny Knot. As lead singer, James added a lot of strength and character to the band. His voice can be heard on the first EP, Scabby The Seaman. Frank McDonnell was a senior at Reed at the time (Kevin & J.B. were both Reed grads) and friends with Lucas Haley, another Reedie who later would play an essential role as Mister Filibuster, the bassist for Captain Bogg & Salty. This photo was taken at a Halloween party in Ladd’s Addition. The band was paid with a case of Henry’s Weinhardt.
Band Member Bios (From Original Pirate Jenny Website)
Born: Portland, Oregon
Age: Born Oct. 2, 1966
Height: 6 ‘ 2”
Hobbies: snowboarding, matchbook collecting, poetry, making photo coffee mugs
Main instruments: Guitar, vocals, keyboards
Kevin Hendrickson (alias: Thin Ice) has guided the pirate concept through
several years and several bands, Pirate Jenny being the most thorough
manifestation. Although the seed of his obsession cannot be dug or charted,
his first song representative of the genre is Scabby The Seaman, which was
recorded in 1991 by Hucklescary Finn, the prolific pirate music project of
Kevin Hendrickson and Matt Giger. Pirate Jenny still performs this novelty
tune on occasion.
John Morgan: Drums, occasional Voices
Born: Ridgewood, NJ
Favorite Hobby: Tai Chi, Documenting the irony of the absolute
Main instruments: Drum Set, Guitar, Bass, Flute, Paste
In the vast world of rock, John is truly an “Immigrant Son”. John’s father as a child traversed the Cherokee “Trail of Tears” , and at it’s bitter end met John’s soon to be mother, a French/Irish trapper’s daughter from the Saskatuan tundra. John’s early childhood would shock most so-called “civilized” people: When he wasn’t learning ceremonial tomahawk techniques from the tribal chieftains he was tanning goat stomachs for mother’s pioneer cheese making business. His teenage years he spent training to be a professional Toli (Native American Stick ball) player, only to see his dreams crash before him when US legislation took away Toli Scholarships from state schools. John left the reservation the day he walked into town and spent $1.35 to see “Billy Jack”. Ironically, it was all the money he had. John now pursues the dream of one day reclaiming that $1.35 fortune through beating the skins of his ancestry within the diverse cultural setting of Pirate Jenny.
Paul Keel-Haul Iannotti
“I guess by now you can take a hunch, and find that Paul is the baby of the
bunch but that’s ok ‘cus he keeps in stride, and all he’s here to do is just
a wiggle your behind. ”
Born: Long Island, N.Y.
Favorite hobby: speaking in tongues
Main instruments: Xylophone, guitar, keyboards, vocals
History: Paul washed ashore on the Oregon coast two years ago, the ink still
fresh on his two-year associates carnival science diploma. Thinking he might
find a peaceful and fulfilling career at a dilapidated amusement park in
Seaside, Oregon, he was rejected for not satisfying the fundamental
employment requirement: having served time in a federal prison. Seeking new
thrills and job potentials in the big city, Paul came to Portland and was
robbed and beaten by members of an earlier version of Pirate Jenny known as
The Death Robbers. The Death Robbers, let by a frontman known only as
“Deathbed,” were known for their violent stage shows which included beatings
and whippings with a cat-o-nine-tails. They did not play music, nor were any
of them capable. Paul soon succomed to their powers and became the first
pirate musician of their band. Later, when the other members of The Death
Robbers were killed by a scurvy outbreak, and their leader was abducted while
shopping the Columbus Day sales at a N.E. Portland mall, Paul was joined by
the members who currently comprise Pirate Jenny.
Eric Furlong: Bass Strings
The son of a U.S. Senator and creator of the Designer Air-Sickness Bag, Eric draws upon his multifarious talents to inspire him and tempers his keen musical sensibilities with real time sensitivity. As Vice-Chairman of the United Way, he indeed has a long history of generosity and devotion to humanity. His ethical will power also fuels a rock solid rhythm section. Eric’s father has sponsored legislation that will enable Pirate Jenny to rise above the din of rock malevolence, and achieve with diplomatic immunity what has eluded so many artists of this troubled idiom. Look to Washington for word of this fateful vanguard. Eric’s bass has moved many. Soon this extatic and primal bottom will be the law! And a fine law it will be!
“I’ll carve me name on the inside of yer skull and ye’ll thank me!”
Born: Los Gatos, CA
Ron Lee: Bass 1998-
Favorite hobby: Doing the undone and undoing the done.
Recently pulled from the depths of a Franciscan Dorquarium by
circumstances beyond his control, Ron landed in the land of Portland with a
heavy heart and a hearty heave-ho. Though he remains forever haunted by
inexplicable visions of Vegasian Clowns, Ron dreams of the day when all
the world will loop infinitly within the funeral of clowns once captured by
a very rich friend. Until then, he finds all meaning in the search for the
perfect pirate thump, which he knows beyond all doubt can be found only by
playing bass in Pirate Jenny.