Everyone knows the price of fame. Hitless Wonder measures the price of obscurity. What happens when you chase a dream into middle age and, in doing so, risk losing the people you love? This book recounts the two-week tour that forces Joe Oestreich singer, songwriter, and bassist of the band Watershed to decide if he and his longtime bandmates still have a future together. In the mid-'90s, Watershed's large Midwest following led to a six-figure deal with Epic Records. But the band never had a hit, and the label dropped them. Seventeen years later, long after their more famous peers have called it quits, Watershed keeps climbing into the Econoline and touring mop bucket bars. But Joe can't help but wonder: Are he and his bandmates approaching forty with wives and kids and mortgages admirable or pathetic? Successes or failures? The tour tests the bonds of Joe's friendships and the strength of his marriage, as he's torn between the lure of the road and the call to finally settle down. An accomplished journalist and creative writing instructor, Oestreich tells his story with humor, heart, and unflinching honesty. Readers from Baby Boomers to Gen X-ers will be deeply moved by his voice, while appreciating his quixotic struggle to live out a dream.
About the Author
Joe Oestreich, the bass player and singer for Watershed, has published essays in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and elsewhere. He teaches creative writing at Coastal Carolina University.
“HITLESS WONDER is a thoroughly enjoyable rock and roll memoir—funny, honest, and full of inside dope. I’m sorry Watershed never made it big, but I’m glad Joe Oestreich wrote this wonderful book about a lifetime devoted to music and friendship, a book about a scrappy band that doesn’t know how to quit.”
—Tom Perrotta, author of Election and Little Children