Aquarius Records

POP-O-PIES, Pop-O-Anthology: 1984-1993 CD

"Hardcore is a place where upper-middle-class white kids take all the good pan handling spots away from the bums who really need them".  So said the irreverent punk rock sage that is Joe Pop-O-Pie in his classic "The Words of Jamal -- The Rainbow Bridge Version".

Along with the Butthole Surfers, the Pop-O-Pies were the perfect antidote for punks who were tiring of a stale, formulaic genre and a scene that took itself way too seriously.  Started in 1981, the Pop-O-Pies were the brain child of New Jersey raised, 'Frisco' transplant Joe Callahan (A.K.A. Joe Pop-O-Pie).

And for those who weren't there for the legendary first two years of its existence, the rumor is true, the Pop-O-Pies really did play only one song: "Truckin'".  According to Joe the reason was because the band's lineup changed so often, there really wasn't much time to learn anything more.

The end result however, was a band tailor made to piss off punks and hippies (or pseudo-radical youth culture) alike.  Joe eventually found a competent, and consistent backing band in the form of none other than Faith No More and recorded the now out of print (and master tapes lost forever, sigh) "White EP" on 415 Records.  But that, due to its nonexistent nature, is not the subject of this anthology.

The bulk of the material here are the complete Joe's Second (also featuring Faith No More) and Joe's Third Records released in 1984 and 1986 on Subterranean Records -- at the height of punk rock's uber-hip, uber-tough, uber-serious "hardcore" era.

If there's one thing that self righteous punks needed at that time, it was a good satirical slap in the face and Joe Pop-O-Pie was there to administer it.  And administer he did, replete with well played, overindulgent Hendrix-esque guitar parts market tested to irritate the minimalist punk rock purists.

To be fair (to the punks and Joe), that isn't all that the Pop-O-Pies satirize. Joe takes on the music industry ("Industrial Rap"), New York City ("I Love New York"), the Beatles ("I Am the Walrus"), bummed out guys ("Bummed-Out-Guy"), morons ("World-O-Morons"), the Grateful Dead ("Truckin' Slow Version" and "Sugar Magnolia") and much more and all throughout peppered with the unique punk rock salt-of-the-earth wisdom of Joe Pop-O-Pie.

Not only does this anthology contain the Second and Third Records in their entirety, but also includes four additional tracks:  two from Joe's 1993 comeback "The In Frisco Single" released on Amarillo and two previously unreleased tracks from the same recording session (featuring Mr. Bungle alumni Trey Spruance, Danny Heifetz and Dieselhed bassist Atom Ellis).

Included with the disc is a three panel fold out featuring historical notes on the Pop-O-Pies, photos new and old and a brief account of an actual conversation overheard by Robert Mailer Anderson.  And what's best is that, buying this, you don't have to worry about the artist getting screwed.

Yes, that's right, Joe has come out of hiding himself to put this collection together in 100% true D.I.Y. fashion.  So every dollar goes to Joe and not some A&R clown in some office building somewhere.