When: Sun., June 10 2012
As a member of Columbus-based band Watershed, Joe Oestreich has spent 25 years not getting famous. That quixotic, and generally unsuccessful, quest for rock-star status inspired his recently published memoir, Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor League Rock and Roll. The book details the arduous — and often hilarious — life of a musician on the road waiting for the big break that never seems to come. Ironically, the process of telling his story nearly spelled the death of the band. “I spent so much time writing, that I didn’t have that much time to play. The title was almost The Book That Killed My Band,” the author jokes. While he’s reluctant to label himself a writer (“It seems kind of pretentious”) Hitless Wonder isn’t a just a one-off for the singer and bassist. A creative writing teacher at Coastal Carolina University, Oestreich has crafted a number of short stories and served as a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Esquire too. While much of his Esquire work seems to center on bars and gay pirates (don’t ask), he did manage to sneak in a nod to the Beachland Ballroom, naming it to Esquire’s 2007 list of the Best Bars in America. And in Hitless Wonder, an entire chapter is devoted to the spot. Tonight, he and the band return to their old stomping ground for an 8 p.m. show in the tavern. The performance is part of a national tour to support the book and Watershed’s new album, Brick & Mortar. While the appearance isn’t being promoted as a book talk, catch Oestreich between sets and you never know what you might learn. Doors for this all-ages show open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 online or at the venue.