Many often say, "You know, if I can just go back in time, those would be the days," or "Remember that awesome group that used to play on Fort Myers Beach so long ago? Man, I?miss them." Well, you'll have a chance to flash back in time within the next couple weeks. After a "12-year vacation," the original trio of the Oysters Fantastic Band John Housely, Bryce Barnes and Joe Monroe will be reuniting for a one-night-only local performance at the Beached Whale Monday, June 23, partying into the wee hours of the morning.
The reunion show was actually brought on by a longtime Fort Myers Beach visitor and friend of the trio, who's celebrating an upcoming birthday in Toledo, Ohio.
"Our good friend, Principal Keith, begged us to get together to play for his birthday up in Toledo, so we thought it would be great to play a local show at the Beached Whale like the good ol' days before heading up there," said Joe Monroe, guitarist of the group, along with John Housely, also on guitar, and Bryce Barnes, rocking the congas, bongos and other percussion. Also look forward to additional special Oysters Fantastic guests popping in throughout the night, including T-Bone Funk and Frank "Hinkles" Thompson.
The original trio of the Oysters Fantastic Band – John Housely, Bryce Barnes and Joe Monroe – are eager to perform a one-night-only reunion show at the Beached Whale Monday, June 23, from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Fun and antics await! Photo by MELISSA SCHNEIDER
The boys can't believe the outpouring of love and excitement for this one-night-only show coming up, from both island locals and regular visitors who've already caught word of the upcoming performance.
"You think people forget, and all of a sudden you're getting stopped by so many, so excited about the reunion show," Bryce said.
John continued, "It's been a very healing, nourishing, fun experience and we're so thankful to (manager) Jason and the Beached Whale staff for really embracing and supporting us."
Look forward to the fun antics of the Oysters Fantastic as it was 12 years ago: the boys playing all types of classic rock from the days of funky, groovy, hip sounds, the "Tequila Song" played a couple times, complete with lots of extra booze flowing, and even the Love Bottle will make an appearance (or two, or three).
"It's going to be an entire experience," John said. "The Oysters shows were more than just a band playing some music it was the fun, the friends, the people. And that is exactly what it's going to be June 23."
Even when the guys first started getting together to rehearse the show recently, songs they haven't played for over a decade just came to them like it was just played the day before on a "cellular/muscular memory" level.
"We just can't wait to hit the stage together again," Bryce said, "like going back in time."
"Being in that band was probably the happiest time in my life. It really will be a treat," Joe continued.
Ready for this one-night-only show, the staff of the Beached Whale has been prepping, even offering very special, commemorative Oysters Fantastic Reunion Show T-shirts for just $9.99, available up until the night of the show. And, if you buy a shot, you get half off that shirt. That's right; $5 with any shot purchase!
"The Oysters Fantastic Band was the biggest thing back in the day. They'd always play Monday nights here at the Beached Whale and it would be packed every night," said manager Jason Tom. "They're three of the best guys to ever pick up instruments. We're all for their show it's great to get old friends together and come out to really enjoy the talent of some amazing musicians."
There is no charge to get in, and expect the party to go from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. that night. For more information on the upcoming one-night-only Oysters Fantastic Band reunion show, call the Beached Whale, 239-463-5505.
Also in the works
Joe, Bryce and John have other projects in the works, too, whether it's during the day, night, you name it! Of course, everyone knows John is one of the great guitarists in the rock group A200, playing all over town throughout the week. Find the group on Facebook or visit A200Rocks.com for a complete lineup.
The talented guitarist also runs the Fort Myers Music Academy, in Studio Sea, Fort Myers, teaching there for nearly eight years (call 239-334-PICK to schedule an appointment), and volunteers for the Lewis P. Tabarrini Children's Music Outreach Foundation, teaching children the art of music who otherwise couldn't afford the privilege. Be sure to find the organization on Facebook.
Joe has been running his own music production and recording company called S2R Studios, also implementing multi-media design, video editing and graphic work.
With the studio, he and Bryce have been working on a new musical project trio, also featuring Scotty Chesser (originally from A200) on drums, playing as the group The Bakers. So far, the three are in the process of finishing up a full album loaded with all-orignal tracks, and plan to host "an all-new take on a rock show," according to Bryce. "It's something you won't see in other local clubs." Intrigued yet? You should be! Look forward to all of this and more from these boys soon enough.
In the meantime, be sure to head out to the Beached Whale Monday, June 23, for a real blast-from-the-past good time with the Oysters Fantastic Band reunion show. See you there!