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The Pop Culture Road Trip

The Pop Culture Road Trip

Bio

A pop culture history aficionado, Chris has a lifelong penchant for documenting the exact sites where things both great and small occurred. As an author, Epting has found that unearthing and chronicling ""hidden"" locations offers him a challenge. What began as an inquisitive hobby soon developed into the writing and photographing of 18 books based on his discoveries, including ""James Dean Died Here…The Locations of America's Pop Culture Landmarks,"" ""Elvis Presley Passed Here, Even More Locations of America's Pop Culture Landmarks,"" ""Roadside Baseball,"" and ""The Ruby Slippers, Madonna's Bra, and Einstein's Brain: The Locations of America's Pop Culture.""

As an extension of his efforts to chronicle the unique, Epting joined Hampton Hotels for a sixth exciting year as national spokesperson and consultant for the Hidden Landmarks program in support of the brand's national ""Explore the Highway with Hampton Save-A-LandmarkÔ"" campaign (the program recently won the President's award).
Chris is a frequent featured guest on numerous radio and television programs such as National Public Radio's ""All Things Considered,"" ""The Savvy Traveler,"" ""Access Hollywood"" and FOX TV's the ""Best Damn Sports Show Period,"" plus radio and TV programs around the world.
He has contributed articles for such publications as the ""Los Angeles Times,"" ""Westways,"" ""Travel + Leisure"" and ""Preservation"" magazine, and hosts the weekly syndicated radio show, ""The Pop Culture Road Trip."" Chris's latest book, ""Hello It's Me…Dispatches from a Pop Culture Junkie"" will be released in July, 2010.
Chris lives in Huntington Beach, CA with his wife and their two children.

Let the music move you…

posted by Chris Epting

I wanted to let you know that I’ve started a new blog here at beliefnet.net – The Rock and Roll Road Trip – which is where you can now follow me. Thanks for continuing the ride….

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Back from the Arctic…

posted by Chris Epting

Charlie and I made it back from the Actic and it was more spectacular than we imagined it would be. I’ve already written an article about it…   “Maybe it was the deep isolation in a blue and white ice […]

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A Def Leppard glimpse…

posted by Chris Epting

Something special – recently I sat down at the home of Phil Collen from Def Leppard – he shared some of the new live album that’s coming out this week, “Mirrorball” – which includes three new studio tracks as well. […]

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Herb Alpert & Lani Hall – A Match Made in Musical Heaven

posted by Chris Epting

From an article I wrote recently… “It’s not often that you get to speak with a musical legend as lasting and impactful as Herb Alpert. Given that he will be performing May 20 in our backyard at the Renée and […]

Graduation and Growing Up

posted by Chris Epting

Many of you are preparing for graduations this time of the year – we have two. Our daughter is moving from middle school to high school and our son is graduating from high school. My newspaper column this week talks […]

Confucius says…

posted by Chris Epting

I took this photo this morning and attached what felt like an appropriate thought – from one of my favorite philosophers… “I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of […]

Still Sailing – review of Christopher Cross’s “Doctor Faith”

posted by Chris Epting

Thirty years ago, it was seemingly everywhere; the earnest, feathery voice of a soft-spoken Texas balladeer – Christopher Cross. The charts back then featured a galaxy of stars and soon-to-be-legends; Blondie, Queen, Elton John, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney. But […]

Marilyn Monroe Mystery…

posted by Chris Epting

A piece I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks just broke on AOL News. There’s just something about her – it’s strange – that pulls many of us in… In any event, here you go…  

Dodger Stadium – A Metaphor For Life

posted by Chris Epting

We all know what happened at Dodger Stadium last week – the tragic beating of a Giants fan in the parking lot after the game. Dodger owner Frank McCourt called it a “random act” (as opposed to the calculated attack […]

A band that matters…

posted by Chris Epting

On this, the eve of the tour, I thought I’d share this. Back in January, I interviewed Claudio Sanchez about Coheed and Cambria’s upcoming tour –  going back to their roots, playing ‘The Second Stage Turbine Blade’ in its entirety (along […]

My discussion with Yusuf, aka Cat Stevens

posted by Chris Epting

Four decades after recording his emblematic song “Peace Train,” Yusuf Islam (also known as Cat Stevens) released “My People,” a free download available on www.yusuf.ae and digital platforms worldwide. The just-released single ‘My People’ also includes a unique chorus quilted […]

Ina Garten, “The Barefoot Contessa” Denies Make a Wish Request… Twice!

posted by Chris Epting

I don’t know Ina Garten, have never met Ina Garten – but if the reports are true – I’m not sure I’d want to. From TMZ: “Garten, known to many by her TV moniker ‘Barefoot Contessa,’ has refused to meet […]

Sammy Hagar and the UFOs

posted by Chris Epting

You may have read recently about rocker Sammy Hagar’s claims that he was abducted, or at least had a close encounter with an ET or a UFO. Well the day after that all broke, I sat down with Sammy to […]

For Everyman In Tucson – My Interview With Jackson Browne

posted by Chris Epting

Recently I interviewed Jackson Browne for Spinner. com on the heels of his benefit show in Tucson, Arizona. Here is the piece in its entirety: He joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1966, and played on and wrote songs […]

Pop Culture Meltdown – Charlie Sheen Edition Part II

posted by Chris Epting

I think people (especially people looking to blame conditions such as bi-polar disorder) are forgetting that Charlie Sheen, before this latest rush of shriek-for-help interviews, had proven himself to be at least a little bit nuts.  (from the NY Daily […]

Pop Culture Meltdown – Charlie Sheen Edition

posted by Chris Epting

This Today Show interview with Charlie Sheen is seriously must-watch stuff – that is, if you’re interested in seeing a real-time, last-inning disintegration of a C-level celebrity. One time he was one of the new breed rat pack – in […]

Having faith in the music – a chat with the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir

posted by Chris Epting

At the NAMM show in January, I popped into the Meyer Sound theater one afternoon to hear a presentation from none other than former-Grateful Dead-member-current-Rat-Dog/Further member Bob Weir. Weir was discussing the revolutionary studio he’s creating in San Rafael, Calif. […]

A chat with the President of Quark Expeditions

posted by Chris Epting

Hans Lagerweij is the President of Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar travel. As you may know my daughter and I traveled with Quark last fall to Snow Hill Island, Antarctica (below is a photo I took of some fellow […]

Mixed Martial Arts Legend Dan Caldwell Taps Into Children’s Fashions

posted by Chris Epting

“Both parents and kids are loving the styles and fashions we’re making available. We get great e-mails from happy parents, and as a father of three, that really means a lot.” Call it the softer side of Dan Caldwell, co-founder […]

To see the penguins…

posted by Chris Epting

The trip my daughter and I took last fall to Antarctica with Quark Expeditions continues to inspire. This is a new piece I wrote that incorporates some of of my on-board journal/blog.  If you’ve never experienced polar travel before, I […]

Congrats Jeff Beck on three Grammy Awards

posted by Chris Epting

I was working on my Jeff Beck article for AOL News last night as the guitar legend won three of the five Grammys he was nominated for – richly deserved. Here’s another short clip from our interview – in this, […]

Sunset in Huntington Beach

posted by Chris Epting

I’ve seen many sunsets in many places around this country – and this evening’s show stopper here in Huntington Beach, Calif. is right up there with the best.  Fiery pinks, steely blues and liquid-like purples flared and swirled against the […]

Grammy Awards Trivia

posted by Chris Epting

The 2011 Grammy Awards start soon – so to whet your appetite here are some Grammy fun facts: The first Grammy Awards were presented on May 4, 1959 in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hilton. The Record of […]

For the love of baseball – and especially my son

posted by Chris Epting

This 2011 baseball season, the Anaheim Angels turn 50 years old.  We’re huge Angel fans in our household, and have been since the early 1990s. My son and I have experienced hundreds (thousands?) of amazing moments at Angel Stadium. Some, […]

Jeff Beck Part II

posted by Chris Epting

This weekend, Jeff Beck is up for no less than five Grammy awards (he’s got five under his belt already, and though he’s not keyed in on winning awards, he does seem to appreciate what they mean).  As I write […]

Thank You, Jeff Beck

posted by Chris Epting

It isn’t every day one gets to sit down with an icon on  a par with Jeff Beck so today was a memorable one. I’ll be writing a piece in the next few days about it but here is a […]

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart

posted by Chris Epting

My life’s road trip would not be the same, would probably not even EXIST were it not for the woman I married 20 years ago today. So on this day I give thanks, and offer some thoughts from others on […]

Lohan Needs Help – As Did These Other Celebs

posted by Chris Epting

Lohan To Be Charged With Felony Count Of Grand Theft February 8, 2011 2:31 PM LOS ANGELES  (CBS) – The District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that they would file criminal charges against actress Lindsay Lohan in connection with allegations she stole a necklace […]

A pilot that soars over the others…

posted by Chris Epting

Recently, I sat in the apartment of Lt. Col. Gene Boyer – the famed helicopter pilot who, in addition to flying five presidents and many world leaders, was also the guy that flew Nixon away back in 1974 on his […]

Pyramid Power in Massachusetts!

posted by Chris Epting

I had the privilege of speaking with inventor/internet pioneer Dan Harple recently for this story I wrote for AOL News. It starts like this: “Those great stage sets of the mid-1970s took arena rock where it had never gone before. […]

A Vision in the Middle of a Daydream

posted by Chris Epting

Excerpted from a recent piece I wrote for AOL News… “Veteran singer-songwriterMark “Moogy” Klingman (who, along with Buzzy Linhart wrote the Bette Midler standard “(You Gotta Have) Friends”) was recently diagnosed with cancer. His battle to survive is being fueled […]

Messages to Jimmy Sullivan

posted by Chris Epting

To everyone who sent messages in for my newspaper column column via deathbatnews, I wanted you to know that in addition to presenting the Sullivan family with the memory book, we also placed a copy of all your words at […]

Jimmy Sullivan, RIP

posted by Chris Epting

Here is my newspaper column today on the one year anniversary of the death of Jimmy Sullivan. Special thanks to Kortney at deathbatnews.com for helping me coordinate this special tribute to the Sullivan family. Photos will be included in the […]

12/28 – Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan

posted by Chris Epting

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Jimmy Sullivan, drummer for the band Avenged Sevenfold, or A7X as the shorthand goes. A7X is from here in Huntington Beach, Calif., where we live. The Sullivan family is friends […]

Thanks, Rolling Stone magazine – for nothing

posted by Chris Epting

After skimming the year-end Rolling Stone wrap up issue, I have to say I was taken aback with the exclusion of Avenged Sevenfold’s “Nightmare” on the “best of” album list. I knew the magazine stopped being relevant a long time […]

We’re off to Antarctica!

posted by Chris Epting

Well, the day is upon us – we’ll be in Antarctica in just a few days and if you’d like to follow our adventure – this is where to point: http://www.quarkexpeditions.com/blog/adventure-julie-emperor-penguins-october-13-26-2010 We look forward to sharing this incredible experience with […]

James Dean, The Flinstones and more…

posted by Chris Epting

Some pop culture milestones this week – the 55th anniversary of the death of James Dean and the 50th anniversary of the debut of The Flintstones. I’ve written AOL News pieces on both which you can read here and here. […]

Where would you go?

posted by Chris Epting

My daughter and I are currently preparing for our trip to Antarctica to see the Emperor Penguins. I’ve never thought about visiting there before, but all of a sudden, I can’t wait. That said, there are still places I have […]

Come on, Get Happy!

posted by Chris Epting

I have a story up on AOL News today in honor of The Partridge Family’s 40 anniversary – I tracked every cast member but one! (Sept. 25) — It was 40 years ago today, Shirley Partridge taught the band to […]

Mike Portnoy, meet the Sullivans

posted by Chris Epting

My son and I went to see the band Avenged Sevenfold last Friday in Irvine, which was an Orange County homecoming for the band (they are from here in Huntington Beach where we live).  The band’s drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” […]

Off to Antarctica…

posted by Chris Epting

Never imagined I’d be typing those words but it’s true – in a month, my daughter and I set off to explore that most mysterious of continents to co-mingle with Emperor Penguin and explore. Much more to follow soon – […]

A mystery in the Arkansas mud…

posted by Chris Epting

Returned home from a road trip to West Memphis, Arkansas recently. We were there to work on landmark #54 in the Hampton Hotel Save-A-Landmark program. In the ten years the program has been rolling along, we’ve visited many interesting places […]

What about Mississippi?

posted by Chris Epting

Today the president is in New Orleans, speaking about the five years that have passed since the levees there breached in the wake of hurricane Katrina – which actually did not hit the city full force. But it did hit […]

Mexico is imploding – should we help?

posted by Chris Epting

From here in Southern California, a trip across the border to Tijuana or Rosarita Beach used to be  fun, affordable road trip. But no more. The murder, mayhem and corruption fueled by drug cartels has made such a trip foolish, […]

Your favorite pop culture things this summer?

posted by Chris Epting

What was the best movie you saw this concert? The best concert? Best book you read? Tell us…

RUSH to Judgement

posted by Chris Epting

My son and I saw RUSH last week – and the show was incredible. As a 48-year old who grew up listening to the band get maligned by friends, associates and mostly critics, it remains stunning to me that this […]

Elvis Week has left the City.

posted by Chris Epting

Just got back from a trip to Memphis and as great as the city is anytime of the year, during Elvis Week it’s particularly special. I wrote this piece for AOL News on Elvis and then this one . What I’m […]

Some things while I’m away

posted by Chris Epting

All – on a bit of a pop culture road trip for Elvis Week down south and for another big Hampton Save-A-Landmark event. Back in a few, but in the meantime, thought you might enjoy these recent AOL News stories […]

Avenged Sevenfold – #1 in the U.S.

posted by Chris Epting

I’ve written recently about the band from here in Huntington Beach beach, Avenged Sevenfold, and their dedicated, passionate fans. This week the group achieved an impressive milestone – bumping Eminem out of the number one slot on the Billboard album […]

Having my American Idol cake and eating it, too.

posted by Chris Epting

So the country is falling apart and it seems like the most important thing on many people’s minds is who will will occupy the 1-2 judge seats on American Idol next season. If anything illustrates the low-level quality of our […]

A life gone to the dogs.

posted by Chris Epting

If you’re ever passing through our city of Huntington Beach and you have the pleasure of taking your hound to our famous Dog Beach, remember my friend Martin Senat, who passed away last week. An amazing guy – here is […]

Lady Gaga protest Arizona law during Phoenix concert

posted by Chris Epting

The new Arizona immigration law (SB-1070) has found its way onto the pop culture stage courtesy of Lady Gaga, who, on Saturday, decided to use her Phoenix concert to draw attention to what she obviously feels is an unfair law: […]

In Defense of Avenged Sevenfold Fans

posted by Chris Epting

Briefly – I wrote several weeks ago about the many heartfelt notes and letters I’ve received this year in regards to some articles I wrote about Jimmy Sullivan, the drummer from the band Avenged Sevenfold. They’re based here in Huntington […]

Wild in the Streets of Oatman, Arizona

posted by Chris Epting

Just west of Kingman, Arizona, charming old Route 66 climbs into the Black Mountains, becoming a winding, treacherous, nerve-wracking drive with no guardrails (just the occasional protective cable) and plenty of hairpin turns. Past filling station ruins and skeleton cars […]

Hello, It’s Me!

posted by Chris Epting

Just returned from the road, where my son and I were on a dinosaur dig expedition in Utah. My son, a soon-to-be-17-year-old paleontology student, has been fascinated by prehistoric life since he was a little boy. For years we’ve gone […]

Welcome to… Zzyzx

posted by Chris Epting

Road trip to Las Vegas this past week for a book signing. On the way home to Southern California, we passed, and chuckled (as most do) at the sign for “Zzyzx Road.” Only this time, we got off and drove […]

Notes from the MLB All Star Game

posted by Chris Epting

The National League finally won last night in a fairly exciting game in Anaheim. We attended, and regardless of the outcome, there’s just something exciting about being at an event that still generates lots of buzz and attention. For all […]

A home run in the shadow of the All Star Game

posted by Chris Epting

If you’ve followed the story, you know that what started out as an AOL Weird News article just a couple of months ago now soon became something much more. Such was the case when my opening day piece lamenting the sorry state […]

MLB 2010 All Star Game’s Newest Star

posted by Chris Epting

“He is the Francis Scott Key of baseball, and whatever you can do to preserve his memory and legacy, it’s definitely something baseball fans should get involved with.” That’s what Los Angeles Dodgers team historian Mark Langill told me last […]

They’re creepy and they’re kooky – the Lohan family

posted by Chris Epting

Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail yesterday (though she will most likely serves a quarter of that) for violating court-ordered programs put forth as a result of actions stemming from her alcohol/drug addictions. I don’t know if […]

A post-4th of July thought…

posted by Chris Epting

Hope you all had good weekends and had at least a moment or two to reflect on the meaning of the holiday.  Also, as flags were hoisted, I wonder how many considered the odd little path that got us the […]

Jim Morrison’s ghost in a Mexican restaurant?

posted by Chris Epting

You may have seen this article I wrote for AOL News in the last few days. The headline blared, “Jim Morrison’s Ghost said to Haunt Restaurant Bathroom.” Given the amount of mail I received about the piece, and how many […]

Historic road trips for the 4th of July – Part II

posted by Chris Epting

As we approach our Nation’s 234th birthday this weekend, I thought I’d share five more favorite places around the country that let one get close to the heart and soul of American history… have you ever been to… Independence Hall Philadelphia […]

Historic road trips for the 4th of July

posted by Chris Epting

As we approach our Nation’s 234th birthday this weekend, I thought I’d share, over the course of the next two days, some favorite places around the country that let one get close to the heart and soul of American history… […]

TIME’s Top 10 Celebrity Do-Gooders – who’s missing?

posted by Chris Epting

TIME magazine just announced (along with a slew of other listy things) their list of “Top 10 Celebrity Do-Gooders.” (Bono, Kevin Costner, Jerry Lewis, Elton John, George Clooney, Brad Pitt & Angelinia Jolie, Paul Newman, Danny Thomas, Oprah Winfrey and Hayden […]

Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Zac Efron – how’d these people get in our house?

posted by Chris Epting

I get to interview some interesting people during my travels, for my newspaper column, radio show or even for my pop culture travel books. But not on the level of someone else in our household– our 13-year-old daughter, Claire. For […]

Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park and other summer movie locales

posted by Chris Epting

Blockbuster movies are now as much a part of summer as flip flops, sun block, and backyard barbecues. And while a cool dark theater is a nice escape on a broiling day, if you hit the road you can also […]

Fans coming together, and a Rainbow

posted by Chris Epting

First of all, we picked a winner in the signed book giveaway. All of your “first concert” experience comments were wonderful, it was a totally random pick and the winner is someone who described what it was like to see […]

Bret Michaels, American Idol

posted by Chris Epting

It was quite a couple of months for rocker Bret Michaels. April 12, an emergency appendectomy. April 21,  a near-fatal brain hemorrhage. May 20, a stroke. So it’s no wonder the public has watched intensely as he has carefully come […]

It was 35 years ago today – The Rolling Stones

posted by Chris Epting

What was your first concert? Do you remember? Did it change your life? Mine was the Rolling Stones. I do remember. And it did change my life. Big time. June 22, 1975, at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. At […]

My friend Manute Bol. R.I.P.

posted by Chris Epting

Our road trip today takes us to Boston, about 1983. I was in college (Emerson) and my cousin Frank, who lived with his family just outside the city, asked me to take a drive down to Bridgeport, Connecticut.  So I […]

Welcoming you on Father’s Day

posted by Chris Epting

So begins our journey together, in search of pop culture, entertainment, fads, trends, landmarks–a cross country adventure discovering things we all love to talk, think and dream about. The Brady Bunch House? We’ll go there. Coffee with Eve Plumb? It’ll […]

Coming Soon!

posted by Chris Epting

Come back soon to read The Pop Culture Road Trip!

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More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Pop Culture Road Trip. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Idol Chatter Happy Reading!!!

posted 2:38:37pm Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

Let the music move you...
I wanted to let you know that I've started a new blog here at beliefnet.net - The Rock and Roll Road Trip - which is where you can now follow me. Thanks for continuing the ride....

posted 10:47:59pm Jul. 13, 2011 | read full post »

Back from the Arctic...
Charlie and I made it back from the Actic and it was more spectacular than we imagined it would be. I've already written an article about it...   "Maybe it was the deep isolation in a blue and white ice world; maybe it was the spectacular nature or a combination of both. Whatever it wa

posted 9:28:09am Jun. 23, 2011 | read full post »

A Def Leppard glimpse...
Something special - recently I sat down at the home of Phil Collen from Def Leppard - he shared some of the new live album that's coming out this week, "Mirrorball" - which includes three new studio tracks as well. More to follow once the album is released, but here's a glimpse of our visit... [v

posted 1:43:22pm Jun. 01, 2011 | read full post »

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall - A Match Made in Musical Heaven
From an article I wrote recently… “It's not often that you get to speak with a musical legend as lasting and impactful as Herb Alpert. Given that he will be performing May 20 in our backyard at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, I thought you might enjoy this. The nu

posted 12:43:04am Jun. 01, 2011 | read full post »

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