April 25th, 2016
Hello excitable friends! The time is here…it’s new 311 fan spotlight day. Time to kick this week off and meet Mr. Joe Kirk!
1995 is the year and Joe, like so many, saw the video for “Down” on MTV. Unlike others though he didn’t like the song at first. Then his childhood friend Steve had purchased the album from the local music store and put the CD on while they were hanging out one day. By the end of the day, Joe had traded his friend 5 other CD’s so he could have the blue album. Then around Christmas that same year Joe first heard Grassroots and he realized just how special 311 is. “What drew me to their music was the combination of excellent instrumentals, unusual unique lyrics, great energy, and an overall positive message.”
76 shows total is where Joe stands currently. His favorite so far was 311 Day 2004. “It was my first 311 Day!” Next in line is the beach show from the second cruise, then the 25th Anniversary show with the set at The Hive. He also loved the double set in Atlantic City, New Jersey back on 12/2/11…and then of course Pow Wow and Halloween 2010 in Atlanta.
It’s hard to pick just one song that means the most to 311 fans, so Joe picked a few that mean the most to him, including “Welcome,” “Lose,” “1,2,3,” “Inner Light Spectrum,” Stealing Happy Hours,” and finally “Coda.” A couple of his favorite lyrics are as follows: “Music’s what I need to keep my sanity,” “Challenge comes and goes and there will be another, I say bring it on,” and “Let’s think of all the good times, instead of wish we could times.”
Joe is currently 32 years of age, born and raised in New York. For the last twelve years he’s been working as a mental health therapy aide for NYS. “I provide care for the mentally ill, currently work in a Community Residence overseeing 16 patients. It’s a challenge everyday and I enjoy it thoroughly.” Joe met his amazing fiancé Angela (Gonzalez, another fan spotlight!) through 311 and thanks to the Facebook Familia page. They are planning to get married on October 1st in California.
Cooking is something Joe loves, as well as Mexican food. He also loves to hike with his dog Riley. He has an ethnicity tattoo on his right calve which is an Italian leprechaun holding a pot of spaghetti. Secret talent? “I do an amazing vocal rendition of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.” Guilty pleasure is on the T.V., the show “New Girl.” In his free time Joe likes to play video games, mostly on Xbox one. He also builds and repairs computers on the side.
Joe loves music and aside from 311 his top five bands are Passafire, Bad Rabbits, Coheed and Cambria, The Roots, and Stick Figure. (There are many more too, but it was a long list haha.) He also runs the Passafire Army fan page on Facebook and says you should check them out. Not only does he enjoy listening to music, he likes to play it as well. “I’m mostly interested in playing bass guitar; playing for about 7 or 8 years and know quite a few 311 songs. I own 2 bass guitars, 1 electric and 1 acoustic guitar, and a drum kit. I recently acquired an accordion, so I’m slowly focusing on that. Be on the look out for my 311 accordion tribute album (lol jk).”
To the band, Joe’s words are simple but spot on: “Thank you.”
To all the other awesome fans out in 311 nation: “Stay true and go after what makes you passionate in life!”
Thank you Joe for your story! I know I enjoyed writing it and hope everyone enjoyed learning about him. Thank you all for reading and being a part of this amazing organism we make up, the one and only 311 nation! Until we meet again, keep on spreading that positive vibe.
Much love – The Runt