Steve Shay
Vocalist and showman Rob "Capt." Morgan of Ballard is seen here performing with The Squirrels at the Ballard Seafood Fest in 2007. The band celebrates its 25-year anniversary at the Tractor Tavern Saturday, June 13. CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDE SHOW TO SEE: Rob Capt. Morgan with longtime Squirrels guitar player Joey Kline outside the Java Bean in Ballard.

Rob "Capt." Morgan fans still nuts over Squirrels

"SQ/25," code for "The Squirrels' 25th Anniversary Party" will be held at the Tractor Tavern Saturday, June 13, 9:30 p.m. with special guests The Moonspinners. The Squirrels will play many of their popular oldies, some unheard for over two decades. They will also hand out their new, studio-produced, four-song CD at the door.

The Squirrels were founded in Seattle in 1984 by ex-Pudz vocalist Rob "Capt." Morgan, a Ballard resident.

"We have just three shows left, all in beautiful Ballard," said Morgan, who prefers to keep his real age under his captain's hat, but claimed he was three years old in 1984 when the band started. "Most of our fondest memories are our shows in Ballard," he said. "The Backstage, Tractor, Seafood Fest a few zillion times.

"This is not a reunion," continued Morgan. "We never stopped existing."

The Squirrels will perform at the Seafood Fest July 25, and their last gig will be at the Tractor, Dec. 12. After that their existence will stop.

In 1984 he persuaded the Young Fresh Fellows (YFF) to back him under the name Ernest Anyway and the Mighty, Mighty Squirrels, seen as the first Squirrels lineup.

"They played out of town as both the Fellows and the Squirrels," Morgan recalled.

"They'd wear wigs while playing in one group then take them off. So they'd open for themselves and people didn't know the difference."

Morgan recruited new players, changed the name to New Age Urban Squirrels and kept going. He said that the Fellows were only involved for about six months.

Morgan estimates that there have been at least 30 people in and out of the band including members of The Posies, Prudence Dredge, The Fastbacks, Bitter End, The Radio Nationals, The Frazz and The Chicken Noodle Soups.

According bio information on the band's Web site, "The Squirrels can best be described as a surrealistic bubble gum musical/comedy workshop."

"We're master welders," said Morgan. "We were doing 'mashups' years before anyone else. We called them 'mudleys,' like medleys. That's kind of our niche, welding completely unrelated songs together and grafting entirely new pieces out of them. For instance, playing the 'Oscar Meyer Wiener' song and Meat Loaf's 'Two Out of Three Ain't Bad, a.k.a. the Meatloaf Baloney song."

Morgan's buddy, Joey Kline, Squirrels guitarist and vocalist since the beginning, said he has been Morgan's "instigator and foil" since the band started. He lives in Beacon Hill and one of his jobs is hosting karaoke Tuesday nights at the Crescent Lounge on Capitol Hill.

"I hear 'Love Shack' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' over and over," complained Kline. "And anything written by Jim Steinman that lasts eight to 12 minutes, like 'Total Eclipse of the Heart,' and ' Making Love Out of Nothing At All.' I put it on, set it up, and flee outside."

Morgan praised Kline. "He can make his guitar sound like a chicken better than any other Seattle guitar player."

And life after the Squirrels?

"I'm going to back to concentrating on visual arts," said Morgan. "I might resurrect Pop Lust magazine."

Its artistic style is between Disney and Dali," said Kline of Morgan's former alternative magazine.

Morgan agreed. "It's very 'comic bookie,'" he said. "And very surrealistic at the same time, kind of like the Squirrels."

The Tractor Tavern is located at 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W. The show is for anyone 21 and over. Tickets are $12 at the door (available in advance at Sonic Boom or here.

CLICK ON PHOTO FOR SLIDE SHOW TO SEE: Rob Capt. Morgan with longtime Squirrels guitar player Joey Kline outside the Java Bean in Ballard.

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Comments

SQUIRRELS ARE THE BEST BAND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!

HELLO? HELLO?
Is this thing on? (I AM typing into it! Oh, yeah??? Well, same to you! C'mere if you think you can do better!)
HELLO? HELLO?

OPERATOR!

SQUIRRELS ARE THE BEST BAND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD

HELLO? HELLO?
(I am typing into it! Wuddyamean? Well come over here and do it yourself then!)
HELLO? HELLO?

OPERATOR!

RE: SQUIRRELS ARE THE BEST BAND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD

We heard you twice the first time!

The Squirrels are an EXPERIENCE

And have you ever been experienced? Well, I HAVE.

RE: SQUIRRELS ARE THE BEST BAND IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD

Ressurrect POP LUST !!! Please. I collect that stuff!

Oh yeah? Well I knew him when he had long hair!

What do you mean it was a wig??

Play the bunny song!!!