One of the most iconic bands in the long history of the Fort Myers Beach entertainment scene returns with its classic lineup for a one-time show, when The Oysters Fantastic Band plays at the Lani Kai Island Resort on Sunday, September 3, from 5 to 9 p.m. Following their performance, extend your Labor Day Sunday by jamming with A200 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
This will be only the second time the trio of Bryce Barnes, John Housley and Joe Monroe will team up in over ten years. “We got together for a Memorial Day Weekend show in 2016,” said Joe, “and it was really successful. It was good to get back together, and everybody said we had to do it again, as it was just a blast! …we all remain really great friends. Prior to that show, you had to go all the way back to something like 2004 since we performed as a group.”
While they were all open to the idea, Joe explained, “it was actually ‘Sideshow’ Bob Tabarrini who approached us about playing the gig at the Lani Kai, and we are happy to do it, (as that last show was a year-and-a-half ago), so it just seemed like the right time. Maybe it will become some sort of tradition; doing these on the Memorial and Labor Day holiday weekends, because these are perfect excuses to get out, have a great time, see a bunch of old friends, stay out late on what should be a school night, and have a few drinks while listening to amazing music!”
“It’s so cool the show falls on Sunday of the holiday weekend,” said “Sideshow Bob,” who is not only in A200, but also the Lani Kai entertainment director, “as it is the perfect time to hang out late. We are really happy that this is at the Lani Kai, because you don’t have to leave the beach to have a memorable time over the holiday, and we are within walking distance for a lot of people, so you can turn it into a late night.”
The original group began about 20 year’s ago when Bryce’s former band, Blackfoot, dissolved when Rickey Medlocke left to join Lynyrd Skynyrd and Stet Howland left to join W.A.S.P. Bryce teamed up with John Housley and T-Bone to form The Oysters Fantastic Band. “When T-Bone left, Frank Thomson came in, and then it was my turn,” Joe recalled, laughing. “I was with the band for the period of time that coincides with what most people think of as its most popular era.”
Are You Experienced?
It may seem strange to think that three guys with acoustic guitars and a set of conga drums could dominate the Fort Myers Beach musical universe, but that is exactly what the Oysters Fantastic Band pulled off. Fans did not so much hear or see one of their shows back then, but experienced it! Being at an Oysters show was more than a concert, it was an event, where you walked into The Beached Whale or any of their other steady venues as a stranger, and left that night hugging a roomful of brand new best friends!
When asked his favorite memory of those days, Joe laughed heartily and said: “I don’t really remember much of it! We were known for several wild things, but I can only admit to two of them here – our music and our drinking! People knew when they came to see us that they were in for one heck of a good night out, and probably realized as well they were in for a slow morning the next day, as drinking was a big part of what we did in those days. What people don’t realize or remember is we were more than just a beach band, we toured all over the country. Being in The Oysters was awesome!”
As for what the crowd will hear on September 3rd: “A lot of classic rock from the 1970’s and 80’s and 90’s,” said Joe, “but mostly a lot of shenanigans! Expect a really good show, because we have had a couple of rehearsals, and Johnny is just ripping it up on guitar, sounding better than ever, in my opinion.”
While reunions of the Oysters Fantastic Band remain few and far between, a new generation of the venerable band still exists! Bryce and Joe continue to play music together as The Oysters Band, playing at various venues throughout Fort Myers Beach and Southwest Florida. To keep up with their exploits, see theoystersband.com.
“The Oysters Fantastic Band is quite simply one of the greatest groups to ever entertain on Fort Myers Beach,” said “Sideshow Bob,” “so c’mon out and have a nocturnally furry fun time!”