Hitless Wonder by Joe Oestreich
A Life in Minor League Rock and Roll

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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 Joe Oestreich

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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.
Published June 5, 2012 by Lyons Press. 309 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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But the author fails to supply a compelling answer to the question almost certainly on every reader’s mind: Why would a bunch of men pushing 40, with families, day jobs and mortgages, continue to haul their gear in and out of run-down rock clubs, often playing for a loss, long after success has e...

Feb 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Hitless Wonder: A Life in Min...

Publishers Weekly

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This insightful and entertaining story of a band that almost-but-didn’t-quite make it big in the 1990s is equal parts fascinating autobiography and a hilarious and savvy look at the harsh realities of the music industry.

Apr 23 2012 | Read Full Review of Hitless Wonder: A Life in Min...

City Book Review

Oestreich plays bass and sings for Watershed, a band from Ohio.

Oct 16 2012 | Read Full Review of Hitless Wonder: A Life in Min...

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