Welcome back 311 nation! A new week begins and that means new fan spotlight time. This week let’s meet Josh O’Saile!
The year was 1995 and Josh was just ten years old. He had some major things going on in his life at the time, and while riding the bus to school one day he heard an upper class-man singing while listening to his discman, “You’ve got to trust your instinct and let go of regret.” He was instantly hooked just from hearing that line. “Without knowing the words, music, nothing. What I knew was that was legit, and my awkward kid heart desired that… genuine mentality. As a hesitant kid, I timidly asked him “hey man, hate to bug you, but, what is that?” His response was simply “The only good song on the cd.” Took it out, put it in its case, and so easily handed it to me. Just like that, my life was changed.”
First show for Josh was at the Starwood Amphitheatre outside of Nashville in 1997. “ I won tickets on the radio. Typical 90’s stylee. My God the hours spent making sure that it would happen. I can close my eyes and still see the stage.” Show count is around 20 and he said the number climbed fast early on but then stalled out after awhile. Prior to 2017, his favorite show was 311 Day 2006. “Memphis model. Oh man, the stories I could tell. I was like the 7th person in line, we brought a small grill, gave away food away to folks we don’t and won’t know, partied, sang, danced, while simultaneously adding and taking away years from our lives. As the song goes, perfect strangers, sharing a groove.” In 2017 Josh attended the shows at the Tabernacle, and his favorite show changed at that point. “At a major low point for me, a weekend trip to Atlanta fell into my lap and I got the whole experience. Put names with faces, saw a hella’ show, and even got my first signed artwork. I could go on, but, just know God was smiling on me that day.”
Song that means the most to Josh is “Omaha Stylee” because he says it tells you to “know your roots and refuse to let circumstance cause deviation from your course.” As far as favorite lyrics, pretty much the whole song of “Tune In” strike a chord with him. “It’s good for the heart, and helps hold your head high…to know your worth.” http://www.311.com/lyrics_transistor/#TI
The town of Greenbrier, Tennessee – a one stop light town as Josh called it – is where he was raised. His parents divorced very early in his life. “We seemed to live on each side of that light for a while until I moved in high school… Thats when I moved to south Alabama. Yes, Bayou la Batre’ IS a real place. A weird place… I’ve lived and worked there, and oddly enough, a great part of adult me still calls it home. There hasn’t been much by way of funding the habit as of late due to the funding of my deteriorating health. Some awesome people send me stuff from time to time, and their works fill my cup enough. Circumstance has lead me away from sand dollars.”
What makes Josh unique is his “pursuit of the Nazz.” “I want to be the poet, the carpenter, and everything in between. Not that I have had insurmountable success, but, folks notice the can do.” Fun fact about Josh – he has nine 311 tattoos. “All but one is symbolic. Only one actual logo. Because, come original, y’all.”
Guilty pleasure for Josh is what he calls sappy girl music. “Ingrid Michaelson, Norah Jones, Yael Naim, blah blah blah. I am going to regret that one…” While 311 is the only band he knows the whole discography of, he is also a pretty big fan of Van Morrison. “Then after that, I like my punk and anarchy.”
Josh’s message to 311 – “Thank you. You will never know how many kids found your message wandering down the straight and narrow path that chose not to deviate. Your message made people like me a good daddy. And, that in and of itself bridges the generational gap. In music. Your music. Your message, our homes.”
Finally these are his words to all his fellow fans:
“Thank you as well. People like me see your steadfast mentality and it helps us move forward. We are more like a family. There are outsiders that think they understand, and there are even those on the brink of it. Then, there’s you guys. Knowing people like you are out there makes me feel safer with my daughter in this world. Knowing that other people preach love to their kids. Preach understanding. Preach respect. Y’all are the real heroes. The day in and day out models. Without you guys being the conduit, this whole thing we love would cease to exist. Of many, one. We are the mosaic.”
That is the story of Josh O’Saile! Much thanks to him for sharing and to everyone for reading. Now go seize the day and be amazing!
Much love – The Runt