54 THE QUEENS COURIER • BUZZ • MARСH 5, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Trio will watch ‘Cats’ movie for 24 hours straight if they raise $15K for Housing Works
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
A trio of friends, two of whom are
from Queens, have volunteered to watch
“Cats” for 24 hours straight if and when
they raise $15,000 for Housing Works,
the nonprofi t that works to create a supportive
College Pt. musician to host benefi t for AHA honoring his late father
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Bill Popp’s life changed in November
1986 when his 73-year-old father died
of a heart attack in the College Point
home they shared for all of his life.
His father, George L. Popp, known
to many as “Daddy Tapes,” was an
inspiration and the name of Popp’s
band, Th e Tapes, since 1981, when
they played their fi rst show at Gerde’s
Folk City in Manhattan. Instead of
retiring and moving to Florida, as he
had dreamed, George remained in
New York so Popp could live inexpensively
Photos courtesy of Bill Popp
LEFT: Bill Popp (center) with his band, Bill Popp and The Tapes. RIGHT: A young Bill Popp with his father, George
L. Popp, known to many as “Daddy Tapes”
at home and rehearse with his
band for free in their basement.
A young Bill Popp with his father,
George L. Popp, known to many as
“Daddy Tapes” (Photo courtesy of
Since his father’s death, Popp has
organized a benefi t party every year
donating attendees’ admission dollars to
the American Heart Association in hopes
of helping others avoid the heart disease
that killed his father.
Th is year, Popp is happy to announce
that the 34th Annual Daddy Tapes benefi
t for Th e American Heart Association
will be held on Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m.
at Th e Parkside Lounge, 317 East Houston
in Manhattan. Th ere is a $10 suggested
donation at the door or guests can give
any dollar amount.
Th e fi rst benefi t was held on Daddy
Tapes’ birthday, March 10, 1987 at music
club CBGB in Manhattan.
“My goal at the time was for the benefi
t to become an annual event that would
raise money through live music and help
those suff ering from heart disease,” Popp
said. “My father was my closest friend and
the biggest supporter of my music career.
Aft er his death, I wanted to keep his spirit
alive, so, by doing a benefi t in his memory
and donating the money to the American
Heart Association, I’ve done just that.”
CBGB hosted the benefi t each year
until 1992. From 1993 to 2012, the benefi
t was held at Kenny’s Castaways, Th e
R Bar in 2013 and 2014, Th e Delancey in
2015 and Th e Bowery Electric in 2016. As
of 2017, Th e Parkside Lounge became its
Th roughout the years, the acts have
been as diverse as rock legends Danny
Kalb, founder of the Blues Project, to
punk cabaret singer Nellie McKay.
Th e Daddy Tapes Benefi t has become
a local institution that has raised thousands
of dollars for the American Heart
Th is year’s performances in listed order
Anne Husick – Sang backing vocals
for Ronnie Spector & Joey Ramone,
and Wilson Pickett also a former
member of Th e Tapes
Reel Celtic – a traditional Irish
music trio from the heart of Brooklyn.
Hampus Svard – His sound evolved
from his once folk roots to his now
broad electro-pop-rock sound, occasionally
fl irting with new wave and
Th e Hipp Pipps – Straight ahead
all original Rock’n’Roll with a hepped
up twist by 3 of NYC’s most beloved
all the time indie scene players. If
Chuck Berry, Th e Ramones, Eddie
Cochran and Little Richard get you
movin’ and groovin’, then prepare to
love this band
Alan Lee And Th e Whiskey Bumps
– Alan Lee & Whiskey Bumps combines
classic country-style songwriting
with a fast paced New York City
sensibility. Welcome to our “Honky
DonBlackKCAT And Friends – A
New York City Rock and Roll outfi t that
stays true to it’s roots … Original Love
songs full of Noise, Regrets, Piss , Vinegar
and Sweet Candy all with a Big Beat!
Bill Popp and Th e Tapes – Th e Boston
Phoenix tagged Bill, “the downtown
Elton John” and Bill will be the Master of
Alan Merill Trio– Th e fi rst westerner to
achieve pop star status in Japan. He was
the lead singer and songwriter of the fi rst
and original 1975 version of “I Love Rock
n Roll” with his band, Th e Arrows.
community and off er services for
those living with and aff ected by HIV/
Stephen Kendall, Emily Lind, and Kris
Imperati are the “Cats” fanatics who created
Th e idea came to Kendall, a White Stone
native who currently lives in Astoria, aft er
he and Lind went to watch another animal
“Emily and I tried to come up with a
creative project to do together, and aft er
watching ‘Dolittle,’ I jokingly came up
with the ‘Cats’ idea,” Kendall said.
Kendall said Lind needed some convincing,
though, so they came up with
“an ungodly amount” of money to raise.
On the other hand, Imperati, who grew
up in College Point and now resides in
Manhattan, didn’t need much convincing
and thought reaching $15,000 is “totally
“If I’m 40 when we hit the $15,000 I’m
not gonna promise I’ll do this,” Imperati
at’s a few years from now, though.
And in a month of creating their
GoFundMe page, they’ve already raised
Th e rules are simple: If they make it to
their goal, they will 1) watch “Cats” on a
loop for 24 hours; 2) take breaks during
the credits; 3) can have friends come by
to join them at any time, as long as they
are watching the movie with them; 4) are
allowed to talk over the movie; 5) every
cent raised will go to Housing Works; and
6) will live stream themselves watching
Why “Cats,” the CGI-heavy fi lm with an
all-star cast that includes Judy Dench, Idris
Elba, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, and
Tayor Swift , that broke the internet when
the trailer came out and received abysmal
reviews from critics?
Th e self-proclaimed “connoisseurs of
garbage movies,” who are also huge fans
of the original Broadway musical the fi lm
was based on, watched the movie when it
fi rst premiered in December 2019.
“It was the best theatrical experience
I’ve ever had because the entire audience
had that feeling of ‘Oh my god, we love it
but it’s garbage,’” Kendall laughed.
More than anything, though, they want
to bring awareness to the “dual crises of
homelessness and AIDS.”
Although Kendall, who’s a mental health
counselor, Imperati, a human resources
generalist, and Lind, a Brooklyn-based
writer and podcast host, aren’t affi liated
with Housing Works, they want to help
the 30-year-old nonprofi t continue their
work of providing services to more than
30,000 New Yorkers.
“It’s cliche, but a rising tide moves
all ships,” Imperati said. “Everyone has
opportunities to leave their communities
better than they found them.”
Th at’s what the three hope to do, but
with some fun along the way.
“‘Cats” is the perfect fi t because we want
to do good but we also want to do it with
joy in our hearts,” Imperati said.
Th ey are also hosting a few events
to encourage people to donate to the
GoFundMe. On April 18, they are going
to put on a show “Cats”-themed variety
show, “Old Deuteronomy’s Comedy
Jam,” at the Footlight in 465 Seneca Ave.
Imperati said he even made a Judy
Dench-inspired costume for the performance.
“I got this thing ready to go,” he
In the meantime, they’ll continue to
tweet at the stars of the movie to see if
they can reach their goal a little faster.
While Imperati emphasizes that all
donations are tax deductible, he had one
more message for a “Cats” cast member:
“Taylor Swift , if this reaches you, please
cut us a check for $10,000 and put us out
of our misery.”
For more information, visit their
GoFundMe page titled “Make Us Watch
Cats For 24 Hours.”
Photo courtesy of Stephen Kendall / “Cats” movie
Emily Lind, Stephen Kendall and Kris Imperati will watch the “Cats” movie on a loop for 24 hours if
they raise $15,000 for Housing Works.