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THURSDAY, MARCH 16, 2017
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Local Musician Revs Up His Bike
for Popp Over America Tour
By Kami-Leigh Agard
Far Rockaway resident, Joe
Popp, an acoustic guitar mu-
sician, avid motorcyclist, and
self-professed techie, is rev-
ving up for his 48-state Popp
Over America tour. This re-
naissance man on his motor-
cycle, armed with his guitar, a
few GoPro cameras, a digital
recorder, and microphones,
will ride cross-country to the
backwoods of the USA just to
play music, meet new people
and broadcast it all in a web
series.
The Rockaway Times (RT)
met with Popp at Rockaway
Roasters, to find out why he
decided to take on this project
and share his zen, performing
and meeting folks from the salt
of the earth.
RT:
First off, what brought
you to Rockaway?
Popp:
I was originally strug-
gling with editing the video for
the Popp Over America pilot,
when I first toured in New Jer-
sey. Where I lived in the City,
I couldn’t get any peace and
quiet to focus. So I saw this ad
for this apartment on Beach
24th Street in Far Rockaway,
and something in my heart
nudged me. This is where I
need to be, with the bonus of
being near the beach! I have
been here since November,
and was able to finish the pilot
within a month and a half, after
struggling for two years to get it
done. So the Popp Over Amer-
ica pilot was officially finished
in Far Rockaway!
RT:
Where are you originally
from?
Popp:
I was born in New Jer-
sey, then moved to Florida in
1977 with my parents when I
was 12. I moved to NYC in 2000.
For the last 15 years, I have
been working at City College of
NY in Manhattan as the tech-
nical director of their sound
recording program, and I teach
the course, Rock Ensembles as
an adjunct professor. I love my
job! Every six years I get a sab-
batical, which gave me the op-
portunity to do this trip.
RT:
What inspired you to do
this trip?
Popp:
Trying to find a way
to heal myself from a broken
wedding engagement, I found
this book, Zen and the Art of
Motorcycle Maintenance by
Robert M. Pirsig. It’s a sto-
ry about a father who rides a
motorcycle through the Amer-
ican Central Plains with his
11-year-old son. I have been
a motorcyclist my whole life,
so I bought a bike in 2012 and
did a cross-country trip. But
after a month without my gui-