Cedar Falls, Iowa–Erik Owlsun of Keokuk, soon-to-be college graduate, will earn a bachelor’s of business administration in the spring 2016 commencement at the University of Northern Iowa, having first enrolled for classes there back in 2012. Owlsun, a musician whose desire to learn the guitar was “admittedly to pick up chicks,” recently visited his home town of Keokuk where former band members Red Stevens and Hugh Korzybski told Owlsun they were “disappointed” in him.
Owlsun, who visited a popular rock club, The Hairy Monkey, last Friday, where Stevens and Korzybski’s band, The Wet Bandits, was playing as the featured headliner, toyed with the idea of “re-joining the band after graduation, for old time’s sake, for fun,” to play one or two shows a month in order to allow him to keep his recently accepted full-time job as Service and Solutions Specialist at a business corporation in Iowa City.
Stevens and Korzybski, who have both put on beer weight since the trio’s high school graduation in 2012, and who view The Wet Bandits as “serious business,” a full-time job in and of itself, were offended by the frivolity of Owlsun’s suggestion and scathingly criticized Owlsun’s lifestyle choice to attend college. The two rejected the idea of Owlsun re-joining the band, claiming that the college honors graduate “lost sight of what’s important… we don’t know who you are anymore. You threw your life away!”
Stevens, the lead singer and bassist of the band, had first told Owlsun in 2012, following the group’s high school graduation that he was “throwing your life away,” imploring the young man to tear up his acceptance letter from UNI and to commit to the band full-time. “We were just about to get real big,” Stevens recalled. “We were about to go on tour, what we always talked about, and then he told us he was going to get a college education, or whatever, and get a real career.” He went on: “F*ck him. The Wet Bandits for life!” 4 years later, The Wet Bandits have gone on tour once, a Midwest tour at a chain of dive bars, and have recently established themselves as a Keokuk favorite, headlining shows at The Hairy Monkey once a month.
“We’re about to make it big,” Stevens said during an interview, wearing footy pajamas and a pair of pink fluffy bunny slippers, while eating a bowl of Cocoa Puffs in the basement of a suburban single-story ranch. “We’re going to get signed, just you wait!”
At this moment, the disembodied voice of a woman was heard shouting through the floorboards: “Keep it down, Reginald, we have company,” to which the young man countered: “Shut up, mom! How many times do I have to tell you? It’s Red!” He added: “Have you done my laundry yet? We have a show tonight!”
Owlsun, who reportedly took the news from his old group hard, expressed apprehensions over the “choices” he made, stating: “I feel like I’ve wasted 4 years, and what do I have to show for it–a piece of paper and a bullshit 9-5 job with a $55,000 a year starting salary with full benefits. Healthcare, vision, dental. I guess I’ll have to buy a house now, settle down and have a few kids. Lame!” He added: “I’d give it all up for one more day with The Wet Bandits. They’re going places.”