Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Pop-O-Pies…

Q:  When and how did the Pop-O-Pies start?
The Pop-O-Pies started back in September of 1981.  For the first 2 years of their existence the band’s live performances consisted of only one song…

…an irreverent but tasteful arrangement (cover version) of the Grateful Dead’s Truckin’ written by Joe Pop-O-Pie.  This was done because the band members changed so much, that there really wasn’t the time learn any more songs than that.

Joe, who at first was the only consistent member of the band, felt that the PA systems in clubs were so bad that no one would really notice.

Audiences did notice however, and were known to become very agitated (a nice way of putting it).

So, unlike most bands who played lots of different songs and had the same members the Pop-O-Pies played the same song and had lots of different members.

Not that it was the original intention, but the Pop-O-Pies accidentally became a concept band.  You could say many things about the early Pie shows, but the most memorable conclusion that audiences came away with was, even though they played only one song, Pie shows were more interesting then most bands who played full sets.

Now there WERE other songs that the band could have played, but the reason Joe selected the Pop-O-version of Truckin’, was because in late 1981 it was consistently the most requested song on the San Francisco college radio station, KUSF, for several months in a row.

After about a year, when the band members began to solidify, the Pop-O-Pies decided to try playing a full set, but that didn’t last long because by that time, audiences were coming to hear this rather peculiar band whose sets consisted of only song and became agitated because they weren’t!  Ironic to say the least.

In fact, on the first Pop-O-Pies USA Tour (1983) the sets consisted of nothing but Truckin’.

After about 2 years, the band actually DID start to play full sets much to the chagrin of the old diehard audiences.

Q:  What’s the Faith No More connection?
The band members of Pop-O-Pies/Faith No More overlapped from late 1983 to the beginning of 1985, and were also the band on “Joe’s Second Record” (1984, Subterranean Records).

Q:  Was Joe Pop-O-Pie ever in the band, Faith No More?
Yes, he was their very first singer in late 1983.

Q:  What’s the Grateful Dead connection?
In 1982, Jerry Garcia heard the Pop-O-Pies version of Truckin’ and immediately became a big fan.  After that, he was always very supportive of the Pop-O-Pies.  Jerry even went out of his way to pose in a picture with the Pop-O-Pies, for a Rolling Stone Magazine article (September, 1983) comparing San Francisco bands of the 1960s to San Francisco bands of the 1980s.  (See photo below)

Photo by Chester Simpson

Above:  The pre-Faith No More Pop-O-Pies.
From left to right:  Joe Hornof, Ben Cohen, Joe Pop-O-Pie, Jerry Garcia (of the Grateful Dead, not in band) and Mark Bowen.

Q:  What’s the Mr. Bungle connection?
Trey Spruance (Guitar) and Danny Heifetz (Drums), made a Pop-O-Pies record and performed live in the last incarnation of the Pop-O-Pies, in the 1990s.

Q:  Does Joe Pop-O-Pie smoke?

Q:  Where does the name “Pop-O-Pies” come from
It was inspired by a fictitious junk food that Zippy The Pinhead eats.  It’s from the comic book “A Nation of Pinheads”, by Bill Griffith – 1980, only in the comic it’s spelled poppo pies.

Q:  Who writes the music for the Pop-O-Pies?
Joe Pop-O-Pie writes and arranges all the music with the exception of a couple of songs that are collaborations.

Q:  Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

Q:  What’s the OFFICIAL Pop-O-Pies Discography, NOT counting the Bootlegs and Compilation Albums?

The White EP – 415/Columbia Records (1982)

Joe’s Second Record – Subterranean Records (1984)

Joe’s Third Record – Subterranean Records (1986)

The In Frisco Single – Amarillo Records (1993)


Q:  Are there any new releases in the works?
The most recent release is a song on a Punk Rockers Unpluged compilation.  It's called "Go Contrary Go Sing" and was released on the Made In Brooklyn label in September, 2005.  Click on the cover, pictured below, for ordering information.

It features a Frank Sinatra meets Burt Bacharach version of "A Politcal Song" with Klaus Flouride (of the Dead Kennedys) on acoustic guitar and Joe Pop-O-Pie on vocals.  See the "Photos" section of for a picture of the CD panel.

Q:  What are the 3 Fundamental Truths of the universe?

1.  Cause and effect.
2.  Time is relative.
3.  Never rent any apartments from big fat guys named Ed.

Q:  Why is Joe Pop-O-Pie the way he is?

Last Revised:  9-25-2005