Whalers Coconut Rum

SKIP HENDERSON - BILLY BONES & OTHER DITTIES

by Cdby (Miscellaneous)

Crooning mariners create ruckus at local bar every Thursday night - By Angela Hill, OAKLAND TRIBUNE, STAFF WRITER OAKLAND - MAKING TIMELY passage into a barnacled waterfront bar, westward from the Embarcadero in Oakland, 'tis there was said to play a raucous band of mostly mariners, and 'twas truth that be told. There be pirates of the croonin persuasion. Yahhr. A couple hundred years too late to be plundering the seven seas, but long before Johnny Depp conquered the deep of our seafaring souls, the men of the Starboard Watch got hooked by the lure of the sea chantey. And it has been nigh on 15 years that this small band in various incarnations has been strummin and singin salty old nautical songs every Thursday night at L.J. Quinn's Lighthouse to a bursting hold of chantey groupies. They've now taken over the Germans too, with a full-ahead pirate party the first Friday of every month at: Speisekammer restaurant in Alameda. (Guests get a free rum drink if they go in full pirate regalia. Yo ho ho and a free drink of rum.) Weathered and wily, a damn tough life of toil and strife or maybe not yet still seeking gold and glory, the men of the Watch give and get a roarin, rippin, rummin good time. 8 p.m, and all was well Thursday when they launched into their musical lore. Six ofem this time, but it can be five or eight, depending on who shows up on a given night. This time a squeezebox player, a banjo man, a bass, a fiddle, a pennywhistle and a backup singer to boot. They acquiesced to a flood of requests, crooning songs about a whaler and many a drunken sailor, or Homeward bound on the Arctic round, rollin down to Old Maui. Not sure if its singing, though, so much as growling and shouting. A raucous Rex Harrison kind of technique. Their skippers a mighty sailin' man. His mates be brave and sure. Are you Skip? a newbie swabbie queried. 'What's left of 'im,' Skip snarled and slurred, sippin a shot o whisky that may not have been the first of the night. He's Skip Henderson, a seaman from way back, singer and squeezebo
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