311 Fan Spotlight – 3/20/17 – Jordan Goodman!

Hello again excitable nation! Another week is upon us and so it’s time to meet another great fan. This week we say hello to Jordan Goodman!

Jordan said he loved 311 before he even knew who they were. “I always connected to their music on the radio, it just spoke to me.” Then he got his first iPod and a friend told him to download Grassroots. “It all came together then, it was so amazing!”

June 11, 2009 was Jordan’s first live show in Salt Lake City, Utah. Show tally total so far is at 17. His favorite so far was last summer in Seattle. “I had gone to meet them, this was the day after seeing them in Portland, Oregon. I walked up and Pnut, who I look up to so much for his positive mind and spirit, looks at me excited and says, dude you were blissing out all night last night! That he remembered me and my passion for the music was such an uplifting moment.”

The song “It’s Alright” is the one that means something special to Jordan. “It was a huge motivation for me when diagnosed with cancer, it kept me level headed and in a positive mind. The cruise was 5 years cancer free!” Favorite quote is “Stay positive and love your life.”

Jordan grew up in Clinton, Utah, right by Salt Lake City. He moved to Seattle and is still there currently. He works for Amazon in delivery. “It’s alright, pays the rent and for my 311 obsession.” Aside from loving 311 he loves to go out and have adventures. “Seeing and trying new things, visiting the world. I also love meeting new people and helping those in need.”

Since Jordan’s experience with cancer, he’s wanted to give back to those suffering from the disease. He volunteers for a non-profit organization to help spread cancer awareness and support those with cancer. He has a huge passion for helping other people and does anything he can to help those in need!

Guilty pleasure for Jordan is food. “I love to try new food and to cook.” When not listening to 311, he loves to jam out to Slightly Stoopid, Ballyhoo!, Rdgldgrn, People Under the Stairs, Atmosphere, Pepper, The Expendables, and Rebelution.

To 311 Jordan’s message is this: “Thank you. You all have been an inspiration in my life to live the fullest and to stay positive.”

To all the other fans out there:

“Hope you are all well. It is so amazing to be a part of this amazing community and I hope to see a bunch of you this summer! Also…stay positive and love your life!”

———-

Thank you Jordan for sharing your story! And congrats on being 5 years cancer free! Such an amazing thing. I hope you all enjoyed his tale of his love for 311. Thank you all for reading and being amazing fans! You guys make my week a lot brighter, I can tell you that. Until next week.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/13/17 – Christa Dohy!

Hello again my friends in 311 nation! Happy belated 311 Day! I hope all that went on the 311 Cruise to Cozumel had as an amazing time as I did. I got to meet so many of you in person! Including this weeks awesome fan spotlight. Say a very excitable hello to Christa Dohy!

How did Christa fall in love with 311? Well she said she’s a total bandwagon fan. “I always liked their music, but for whatever reason didn’t start following them until I started dating Aaron about four years ago.” Aaron has been a fan of 311 since the 90’s and because of this 311 went on Christa’s live shows I want to see list. So in 2015, Christa went to her first show, which just happened to be Red, White, & Boom in Vegas. “We literally bumped into a couple excitables in the Mandalay Bay while trying to find the venue and were introduced to a ton of other people who we now consider family. We thought we were just going to a concert, but it turns out that we joined a cult of awesome!”

Since then, Christa has been to 11 shows. “I love the energy in the music – Do You Right has always been one of my favorite songs to bounce along to.” Favorite event she says is probably the cruise that she just got back from. “The cruise is in a class by itself; it’s not even comparable to anything else.” Outside of the cruise she said her favorite show is 311 Day 2016 night one. “The band played a lot of my favorite songs that night.”

Song that she says is her jam is “Neverending Summer.” “Every time I hear the ‘3-11, 3-3-11…’ whether live or just in my car, I get the chills. Between summer tour and my love of warm weather, it’s the perfect song for me.” Favorite lyric? “I met some weirdos and had myself a real good time.” “Pretty much sums up my excitable experience so far.”

Christa grew up in Northeastern Ohio but said she never really felt like she belonged there. So in her early 30’s she had a “mid-life crisis” and moved on out to Seattle. Then through life’s twists and turns, she had a son (who is now 11) and now has a new husband (Aaron and Christa just got married 3-11-17 so everyone say congrats!). Her son now also loves 311 and he went to his first show last summer.

In 2012 Christa developed a spinal condition that required surgeries and by the time the found it, she had developed permanent nerve damage in parts of her body, mostly her legs. “I do my best to control it with medications, but I’m somewhat limited in some things that I cannot do, like jumping up and down and standing on my feet for extended periods of time. So if you see me chair dancing at a show, I’m not just being a lazy bum, I do try to hang with the party as much as I can. Besides, I don’t drink so I’m a built in designated driver too!”

Unique attribute for Christa? She said it’s mom skills. Seriously! “Seriously, ask my friends, it’s a thing. Although it’s probably just my extreme OCD when it comes to planning and organization. You need help planning something I’m your girl. Some of my friends refer to me as the den mother because I keep things organized. Oh and another nickname I have is Mary Poppins because I always have good surprises in my bag at shows.”

Guilty pleasure for Christa is that she loves puzzle games. “Every piece of electronics that I own has Frozen Free Fall installed on it!” For other music and artists that Christa loves, she said she came to 311 from a harder/punk music background. “I love Social Distortion, Authority Zero, Deftones, and Ballyhoo! But I’m also digging the reggae bands that seem to come with 311 like Rebelution and Soja.”

To 311, Christa’s words are these: “Thank you for all of the good times and helping me find my tribe.”

To the 311 fan community:

“Money is better spent on memories than on stuff, because you can’t take it with you. And to all of my Excitable family, I can’t wait to see you all during the summer tour!”

———–

Thank you Christa for sharing your story and congrats to you and Aaron on the 3-11 Day marriage!! This fan community, in my opinion, is the best ever and I love learning about you all and sharing your stories. Never-ending fan spotlight! That’s my goal! Until we meet again my friends, go be awesome and spread the good karma.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/27/17 – Renae Amberg!

Hello again excitable friends! Remember our spotlight Eric from last week? This week we get to meet his awesome wife, Renae Amberg!

Renae was first introduced to 311 much like many of us, through hearing the magic of the song “Down” on the radio around 1995. “Something about their unique sound and striking, sometimes entertaining, lyrics drew me in.”

When it comes to number of live shows, Renae said they are new kids on the block. “I’ve been to 11 shows, the 1st being Milwaukee in 2008.” Of the shows she has been to, she said her favorite so far was Chillicothe, Illinois in 2014. “It was such an intimate show and the energy was amazing.”

When it comes to her favorite song, the top spot goes to “Omaha Stylee. However, “Flowing” is the one that means the most to Renae. “Soundsystem was the album that really sucked me in and this song…the lyrics, it feels so good.” One of her favorite lines comes from the song as well: “You can’t be let down if you don’t expect the world.”

Renae was born, raised, and currently living in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and she absolutely loves Chicago. She spent five years in Iowa City attending the University of Iowa. “Some of the greatest times of my life.” While she obtained a bachelors degree in art, she currently works as an accounting manager at a hotel. “I can’t deny my love for numbers.” Aside from her 9 to 5 job, she is the proud mama of a five year old “excitable in training” and of course a very happy wife to Eric! “Life is good.”

Something you may not know about Renae is that she isn’t a girly girl. “I love being outside, getting my hands dirty and being one with nature. I make sure to go camping at least once a year.” For talent, Renae said she really can’t think of anything outside her love for math, but she thinks what makes her unique is her free spirit. “When it comes down to it I just want to have a great time and enjoy the people around me. No drama. Just a damn good time!”

Musical choices aside from 311 range anywhere from Bob Dylan to Lauren Hill. “If it’s good, I like it.” Her other favorite band is The Grateful Dead. Guilty pleasure for her comes in television form. “The Kardashians…I’m so sorry :/”

Renae’s message to 311 is this: “Please don’t ever stop doing what you do, the world needs more of you.”

To all the other awesome fans:

“The culture that is 311 has changed my life in so many ways. I love how we all can come together to celebrate the joy of the music and the amazing vibes and I hope we never stop. Do as you will, do as you wish, follow your bliss. I love you!”

———–

Now you’ve all met the other half of the Amberg couple, Renae! A great read and thanks for sharing your story Renae. Thank you to all who read every week. You are all wonderful and just keep this world a better place. Until next time…

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/20/17 – Eric Amberg!

Hello my excitable friends! The latest edition of the 311 fan spotlight has arrived. This week we get to meet Mr. Eric Amberg!

Like many 311 fans, it was the song “Down” and the blue album that lured him into the magic of 311. “They just had a sound that pulled me in.” Since his introduction to the band Eric has seen them 11 times. First show for him was in Milwaukee at Summerfest back in 2008. His favorite event so far was 311 Day 2016. “It was more than just the show. It was the whole experience of New Orleans and the excitable vibe.”

The song “Tranquility” is the one that means the most to him. “It makes me think of my mother who I lost to cancer a few years ago. And it makes me cry almost every time I hear it.” Some of Eric’s favorite lyrics are “There’s much power in anger, but love’s a bigger banger” and “The fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream.”

The suburbs of Chicago is where Eric was born and raised. To support his concert habits (and life) he works in a warehouse for a Japanese machine manufacturer. He loves to barbecue and says he is pretty good at it. The most important thing you should know about Eric though is that he is a proud father and husband to his excitable family!

Eric was once really into the jam band scene but then realized it wasn’t really for him. Now aside from 311 he likes The Grateful Dead, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Rebelution, Tool and Metallica.

Working in the warehouse for years has allowed Eric to develop quite a unique talent. “I have learned to pick up a dime with a forklift.” Aside from that he said his real talent is just trying to see the good in everybody all the time. “I just want to be good to everyone. I’m a lover not a fighter.” Guilty pleasure for Eric comes in the form of what he calls “bad movies.” “Like really bad. I cry at the end of Legally Blonde.”

Eric’s message to 311 is a simple yet awesome one: “Thank you for being a ray of light in what otherwise can be a dreary world.”

His message to all the other fans out there is simple yet awesome as well!

“If you’re ever in Chicago and want to barbecue…hit me up!”

————

Sounds like an offer some of us might just take you up on Eric! That was his story my friends, I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you all for reading! Until we meet again, go out and see the good in everyone like Eric does.

Much love! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/13/17 – Jessica Ferguson!

Hey there my friends out in 311 nation! It’s my favorite time of the week…we get to meet a new fan spotlight. Let’s read all about the lovely Jessica Ferguson!

Flash back to when Jessica was a junior in college and her friend Jeremy introduced her to the blue album. “From then on I couldn’t get enough. They sounded completely different from everything else I had heard and just made me feel good instantaneously.”

Since then Jessica has been to 38 shows. She lived in Montgomery, Alabama, which wasn’t the most convenient location for seeing 311. However when she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2005, she was able to see them pretty much every summer. “And then after the 2013 Cruise (my first) it was ALL 311, ALL THE TIME and my summer vacations became consumed by their tour and hitting as many stops as I could. I keep a spreadsheet (yes, I’m a nerd) of every set list I’ve seen. The only one I’m missing is from my very first show- September 16, 1997, at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL. So if anyone has that set list, please help a sister out!!”

Jessica’s favorite event? She actually said it’s really a five way tie! First up was her first 311 Day in 2000. “I had no idea anything special was happening. I thought it would be the normal hour and a half show. Boy was I wrong. It was the first time of many that my face has been completely melted off by them.” Second was Halloween Atlanta 2010. “My first real time witnessing the glorious Familia experience instead of just attending a normal show.” Then there was the 2013 cruise. “The amount of good vibes, love and genuine happiness that surrounds you for four days is simply amazing…and I just so happened to meet the love of my life on that boat.” 311 Day 2014 was special since they rented a beautiful house in New Orleans and had the most amazing time. “I’ve always had a love affair with that city and am so blessed my favorite band seems to love it just as much as I do.” Finally to round this out was the kickoff to the summer tour of 2015. “My favorite concert buddy and I flew from CLT to Phoenix to see the first show and then drove to Las Vegas for Red, White and Boom. Had a little reunion with my 2013 Cruise roomies, some amazing food (In-N-Out, I’m talking to you) and not to mention some amazing shows with my toes in the sand. Can’t get any better.”

Very favorite song for Jessica is “Purpose.” “It reached out and grabbed me in a special way the first time I heard it- I can’t explain exactly why. I lose my mind every time they play it- sometimes screaming, sometime sobbing, every time loving it. Since I knew it was coming up in Vegas when they played Blue from start to finish, I got a great video of it that I cherish. On a related note, do you realize how lucky we are to have a favorite band that keeps it fresh from show to show, and doesn’t play the same old set list every night? That is extremely rare nowadays from the vast majority of bands out there and much appreciated by me.” One of her favorite lyrics is a fan favorite, “Stay positive and love your life.” “What a great message for us to live by and spread to all the non-believers out there. It hangs in the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC for everyone to see, courtesy of me drinking 200 different beers.” She also really loves the lines, “Let’s think of all the good times, instead of wish we could times,so much better that way” and “Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it.”

Born in Houston, Texas, Jessica moved to Gulf Shores, Alabama at the age of 10. “And no, I am not an Alabama fan. War Damn Eagle!” She graduated from Huntington College in Montgomery in 1997 and worked at a bank for 8 years before she moved to Charlotte. There she worked for an investment company in their compliance department. “I am fully FINRA licensed- 7, 24, 63, 66. I absolutely LOVED my time in Charlotte- great friends, great city, great beer- but remember that “love of my life” that I mentioned earlier? Well, somehow he- Mike Morel- convinced me to move to Wiggins, MS, in October of 2015, and life has been splendid from then on, as I was blessed enough to keep my job and work remotely from the house. The 311 Love Connection is a real thing!” Jessica said that the fact she and Mike were friends for so long and having their love for 311 in common made a big difference in the development of their relationship and she couldn’t be happier. “I never thought I would ever live in Mississippi, but it’s just geography, right? It has brought me much closer to my Daddy, one of my favorite cities and my new family. The entire trajectory of my life has changed all because of one band, and I cannot thank them enough.”

An interesting fact about Jessica is that she is a complete Anglophile. Don’t know what that means? “I can’t get enough of anything British. I took my first trip to London in 2013 by myself to watch soccer and check out the city a bit. The next trip is already planned- Mike loves the New Orleans Saints, so when I heard they were playing a game in London next season, I started the planning. We recently purchased our plane tickets- now the waiting begins. Luckily we have the cruise and summer shows to bide our time until we hop across the pond.”

Unique attribute comes in the form of useless information, Jessica said her brain is just crammed full of it! “Mike’s kids call me Jessi-Goog. Whenever I start a sentence with fun fact, they know they are in for a random nugget of uselessness.” Guilty pleasure is one many people have. “I love TV way too much. I watch way too much. I think I’ve seen every House Hunters on HGTV that has ever been made.”

Jessica is very thankful for so many of the other great bands that 311 has introduced her to like Full Service, Rebelution, RDGLDGRN, Passafire, and Dirty Heads. As for other bands she likes, she said she loves a little bit of everything. “Pop (when the kids are in the car), modern alternative, 70’s/80’s old school country, classical, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Jim Croce, Dierks Bentley, just give me all of it! Music is good for the soul- especially live music. I’ve seen at least one live show a month for the last two years and bucket-lister Billy Joel is up next- so excited!” She also has a goal to own every Harry Connick Jr. and REM album. “I’m getting there, slowly but surely.”

To 311, Jessica would like to say, “A simple “thank you” seems inadequate for all the love and positivity they’ve brought to my life, but that’s what I’ve got. I’m also grateful and blessed that they’ve stuck around for so long- same lineup, continuous music that is so varied and challenging and inspiring and uplifting. Sometimes we forget how good we have it as 311 fans.”

To all the other amazing fans:

“I am so blessed to have met such wonderfully wild, diverse, interesting and lovely people on my 311 journey. I’ve never felt so at home with complete strangers before. You are all beautiful, awesome people!!”

——–

That wraps up the tale of Jessica Ferguson! What another great fan story. You all make my job to easy by being such wonderful people. Thank you all for reading each week. Keep coming back and I’ll keep writing. Until next week!

Much love! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/6/17 – Stephanie Hoover!

Hello again excitable nation! Another week which means another fan spotlight. It’s time to meet the lovely Stephanie Hoover!

Stephanie’s husband, and fellow fan spotlight, is the reason that she is a huge 311 fan. Derek was infatuated with them and he was always talking about what a huge fan he was. Derek convinced Stephanie that they should go to 311 Day and she said boy she was in for a big surprise. That’s when she really became a huge fan. “Not because he forced it on me but because I love the positive energy that they send out.”

For show count, she stopped counting at some point but believes it’s somewhere around 30 or so. Her first show was 311 Day 2004, which also happens to still be her favorite. “They went for 6 hours, no opening band and the stage show was crazy. The ladies spinning fire and the stilt characters. Then the acrobats. Omg it was so much fun. I had never seen anything like that before. One band starts the show and that same band closes the show. That is so unheard of. I was so tired though dancing in the seats and singing the songs that I did know at that time. Oh and i cant forget watching Derek in the line before the show. We were waiting in line to get floor tickets. They found a cooler that was full of Mad Dog 20/20 and Jack Daniels. He ended up mixing it together and they drank it, him and like 10 other guys. Not sure if they were trying to out do each other or not, but we ended up going back to our hotel room drunk as a cooter brown that night.”

Song that means the most to her is “My Heart Sings.” She had the lyrics put on Derek’s groom cake for their wedding. “He was almost in tears.” One of her favorite quotes is simply “Come original” but she also says she is usually quoting the band every day.

Born in Houston, Texas, Stephanie says she’s pretty sure that it was the minute her mother left the hospital that they moved to Farmington, New Mexico. She has two sisters and a brother, all older than her, so she’s the baby of the family! She lived in New Mexico for 8 years and then they moved to Dallas, Texas where her dad attended Criswell Bible College. “Yes…that makes me a preachers kid.” She went to high school at W.W. Samuell and graduated in 1985. “Yeah I know I am an old effer…LOL. But I still love 311!”

After high school Stephanie went to the Metroplex School for Beauty and became a cosmetologist for about 10 years or so. She then moved to Mesquite, Texas, where she had her two beautiful daughters Rebecca, now 27, and Jordon, now 23. It was later that she met her “handsome and adorable husband” Derek. They moved to Arlington, Texas and have been together for 15 years. As far as how she funds her 311 habits, well simply put she works her ass off! “I work for a Medical Real Estate Company in Uptown Dallas. I advised them once I was hired on that I would never quit this job. They would literally have to fire me or lay me off to get rid of me.” 

Stephanie is pretty crafty, she’s remodeled bathrooms, painted rooms in their home, and framed many 311 posters. “I also Crochet a lot…. A LOT…. I think sometimes Derek gets mad at my addiction to crochet. There are so many things that I want to make it is unbelievable…There just is not enough time for me to make them all. The saying that I should be quoting right now is “This earth has not swallowed me yet!!!!!” WHat that means is that until I am Beyond the Gray Sky, I will be crocheting.” Stephanie has even made stuff for people in the 311 community now that people know she can sew. She also has an Etsy store that she just started and is in the process of starting products. “Whats that you say?… What is the name of the store on Etsy?….. SuperSassyStylez. Yes please go check it out. It is still under construction but you can see my handmade products on there.”

Other bands Stephanie loves are Styx, Scorpions, and pretty much most 80’s. “Yes I am old school. That’s when I was just getting into music a lot.” Guilty pleasure? Singing karaoke! “I was really shy at first and used to have this fear that no one would like my singing. I had to be drunk before I would sing, but now you don’t even have to give me a drink and I will sing. I guess what they say is true…practice makes perfect.” Stephanie also has a secret talent – baking cakes!  “I have not done any in a while but i have attached the cake that I made for Derek for his Grooms cake for our wedding as well as the brides cake. Yes I made both for my own wedding….. I saved about 1500 bucks making my own cakes.” And in case you haven’t figured out from the photos, Stephanie’s favorite color is purple. “I am a huge TCU fan!”

If Stephanie could talk to 311 right now, she said she’d probably ask them a question about their family or say “OMG it’s about time I finally got to actually meet y’all. I would probably be really stupid and they would look at me like I was an idiot. Lmao.”

Now her message to the 311 fan community:

“Well most important….Derek Hoover I love you with all my heart and thank God everyday for you. Next…no matter what is going on in your life there is always someone that is in worse shape than you are. Respect yourself and others around you and you will have earned the respect back. This world is krewl and there are krewl people in it. In the words of Bambi’s mom, “If you can’t say nothing nice …. SHHHHHH say nothing!  Don’t sweat the petty stuff and don’t pet the sweaty stuff. Keep looking up because that’s where it all is…  There is always a hug to be given or received.   So this is me in a nutshell. Stay positive and love your life. Dueces!”

———-

That’s the tale of Stephanie Hoover! Thank you to her for sharing and thank you to all for reading week after week. I love sharing your love for 311. You are all amazing people and make me proud to be a part of this community. Until we meet again, keep being awesome.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/30/17 – Gerry Alfred!

Hellllloooooo again my friends out there in 311 nation! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start this week off right with our new fan spotlight. It’s time to meet Gerry Alfred!

Trinidad is where Gerry comes from and it was around 1993 that they got cable there. He was really into Green Day at the time and he was looking for some “bad ass bands” that were original and captivating. In comes MTV which was starting to show the video for “Down.” His brother didn’t like the song so for awhile every time Gerry saw the video start he would change the channel. Then one day he decided to see why his brother thought it was so horrible. “I watched the vid….my brain exploded! I loved the mix of rock, rap, reggae, funk, jazz. 311 was always too rap for the metal heads and it was too satanic for the reggae heads where I came from. It just didn’t fit in (kinda like me). It was the most brilliant band I ever heard and no one got them.”

Shows Gerry has been able to see are all great ones: 311 Day 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, plus Pow Wow. “I loved the long ass shows.” Favorite of these events he said was hands down Pow Wow. “I got to see Sublime back on the scene, my fav bands Deftones and 311, Transistor and Universal Pulse in entirety, the campy vibes was epic! 311 outdid themselves with that show….I’m still in awe!”

Picking just a song wasn’t an option for Gerry, he said the whole Transistor album cemented him as a hard core fan. “It is so ahead of its time, I listened to that album so many nights and days and car rides. I love the whole journey. it is by far my fav album of all time…it never gets old!” Some of Gerry’s favorite lyrics include, “Fuck the naysayers cuz they don’t mean a thing, cuz this is what style we bring.” “All Mixed Up was such a sic ass vid and the vibe was intergalactic. I liked the lyric cuz it jus meant that you should just do you no matter what people think. know yourself and don’t compromise! i carry that msg with everything that I do.”

Born in Trinidad and Tobago (the bottom of the Caribbean), Gerry grew up listening to musicians like Michael Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, and Boys II Men. So when Green Day released Dookie, he realized he loved “fast paced, in your face music, with cool melodies.” It was 1996 that he says his life changed when he first heard the Deftones and then 311’s Transistor. “I got into a lot of heavier punk, metal and hardcore bands but 311 and Deftones were the loves of my life!”

Gerry got a part time job while still attending school at a record store called Just CD’s. During that gig he started researching anything 311 related. “I had all the ETSD vids and all!” He was able to attend the Warped Tour back in 2003 and got to see Glassjaw, The Used, AFI and Thrice. “It was one of the greatest concert experiences I ever had! I got introduced to a lot of sic bands at that show – Less Than Jake, Poison the Well, Brand New, Story of the Year, The Starting Line, Andrew WK, etc. I had to continue the concerts, so when i got back to Trinidad I got a job at an insurance agency and started saving.”

Gerry said his brother introduced him to a huge brodel named Landon Thomas, who ended up migrating to Orland but prior to that saw that Gerry was a huge 311 fan and told him he was as well. “I found my concert soul mate! We made a plan to go to 311 day in 2006 Memphis! I love 311 more than words can explain and I thought that Landon might get fed up after a while and that would be the end of me seeing them. Every time a big show came around he asks if I’m game and we have been hitting the shows hard since 2006.I don’t think 311 themselves know how much they mean to me and how much their music shaped my life. I remember dates by album releases since the blue album…..it would be a dream come true to meet them and tell them how much they affected me. I have PNUT on FB though….lol. PNUT RULES!”

In 2016 Gerry was introduced to the 311 Familia in Orlando. “I didn’t know there were people that felt the way i felt about 311 at all! It was frowned upon in Trinidad. when I went to their big shows, sold out arenas, it brings me to tears to see the love being shown to the band and I feel like the bumble bee girl from the BLIND MELON – no rain vid. 311 are my heroes! I love that band to no end and all the fans I’ve met along the way – Brian “HOMEBREW@ mcspadden, Sean Starr (let me crash by his pad in Vegas), Jay Scott, Lauren Scott……geez i love them all!”

Gerry carries the Trinidad flag to all shows that he attends. “It appears countless times in the center of the crowd in the live recordings. I think I will be on the ETSD!! Look out for ya boy! Red, white and black!” What makes him unique is that being born of mixed ethnicity, and not really knowing where he fit in, he didn’t have a route to follow so he made his own. “I didn’t know who I was supposed to be like….that drew me to 311. They did music on their own terms…some like it…some don’t…..but the people that do like it!!! WOW!!! I feel sorry for people that don’t know how amazing 311 really are!” Guilty pleasure for Gerry is playing competitive fighting games. “Like Street Fighter and Tekken. Look me up on PSN – gerry311!”

Gerry’s message to 311 is a request: “Time for a Pow Wow 2! 311, Deftones, Wiz Khalifa, Cypress Hill, Ritchie Spice, Dirty Heads, Skindred, JR Gong, Snoop Dogg and Incubus?? Make it happen! You know it will be Godlike!!!”

For all the other fans out there, his message is this:

“Love your life, be positive, pass on 311 to the younger generations. Let’s make our heroes into the Rolling Stones/RHCP, U2 or Led Zeppelin! Let’s show the naysayers that 311 are amazing and they will carry on into the great beyond!!! I love all you guys! 311 rules yuh dun know!! BOOM!!”

————-

And that my friends is Gerry’s story! A fun one and great to learn about a fellow fan in another country! Thank you all for reading, you are all so amazing. Until we meet again…go spread the love and the good karma.

Much Love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/23/17 – Andrew Martin!

Good day all out there in 311 nation! Are you ready for a new week and a new fan spotlight? It’s time we meet Andrew Martin!

How Andrew came to love 311 is a funny story. He was 12 years old and at the time he used Limewire to download music, but it was really his brother Ryan who used it all the time. Ryan had put all the music he downloaded in to a Windows media player which also used to be how Andrew got his music onto his mp3 player. Ryan one day added a few 311 songs to the list and when Andrew synced his mp3, he ended up with those songs. “One day I was on the bus home from school and a song called “Fuck the Bullshit” came on. I remember thinking “this is trash” and skipped to the next song “How Do You Feel?” and I remember thinking once again “what the hell is this? what is going on with my MP3?” so skipped again and thats when “First Straw” played and I LOVED IT! I promptly went back and listened to the previous tracks again and again and again and again. I couldn’t stop listening to those 3 songs and somehow I just didn’t realize how much more music they had until one day I told my brother I loved those songs and he let me borrow all of their CDs to put onto my MP3. Talking to him about 311 (as a 12 year old) is probably one of the coolest memories I have considering we were both at that age difference where we didn’t hang out or even really get along. It was probably what led us to become a lot closer as the years went by.”

So far Andrew has been to 11 shows and his first was in Mansfield, MA back in 2013. “That’s where I got myself the Poseidon poster! Still lookin’ for that sweet foil though, HMU.” His favorite show so far has been 311 Day 2014 and 2016. “It’s amazing how much a performance they really put together for those shows. I had no idea what to expect and even if I did, I’m sure my expectations would’ve been blown away.”

There are two songs that mean the most to him – “Beyond the Gray Sky” and “Don’t Dwell.” Some of his favorite lyrics come from those songs as well including, “Everything is a choice, go ahead, raise your voice. Might as well, forgive yourself, that means more than someone else. Set you free, break the shell” and “A firecracker flash of light then on to the next plane, soul remain. Come along if you dare, It’s gonna be that you’re scared. Lovely life I thank you for the reason, to see the pain through.”

Andrew was born in Massachusetts but moved to Connecticut around the age of 2 or 3 because his dad was commuting there for work. The first place he lived he said was great and all of his best childhood memories are from that home. At age 10 he moved again, about 10 minutes away from his first Connecticut location. “I remember thinking “but all my friends live here” even though i was practically moving down the street haha.” Andrew is just about to move again and they are in the process of renovating an old home that they just bought. Funding the 311 addiction comes from working at an awards business, where they build and engrave various types of awards. “My job is designing the engraving for the award itself and then printing them in some of the laser printers we have. I often print 311 things for myself haha.”

Andrew describes himself as a pretty open person so he can’t really think of anything that people wouldn’t really know about himself, but he believes his sense of humor makes him unique. “My brother Ryan and I used to joke about horribly messed up things all the time to each other. One of our favorites was about dying and haunting each other and ruining each others lives. I’m really glad he hasn’t followed through on that one though.” Andrew also plays drums and has been doing so for about 4-5 years. Aside from that he builds PC’s. “I’m always tinkering and planning my next upgrade. It’s definitely an addiction at this point.” His guilty pleasure he says really isn’t guilty for him. He loves this musician Feist. “Has got to be one of my favorite things to listen to on my record player. I mean c’mon 1234 is a classic.” 

Other bands Andrew loves include a Connecticut band Violet Mae. “I think the deserve a bit more recognition around here.” He also loves his friends band Bonsai Tree. “Everyone should go check them out!” Other than that he’s been listening to random stuff lately on his Spotify while at work. “If I were to pick a genre that sticks with me more than others though that would be punk rock for sure. I grew up playing tony hawks pro skater and Dave Mirras Freestyle BMX so I love all the classic punk rock from the 90’s: Rancid, Sublime, Agent Orange, Dropkick Murphys, Swingin Utters, Social Distortion, Pennywise. Stuff like that.” Some other favorite bands are The Thermals, A Wilhelm Scream, The Shins, Streetlight Manifesto, Jeff Rosenstock, The Planet Smashers, and Against Me!

Andrew’s message to 311 is one of gratitude: “I think its incredible that after all this time the inspiration that kept them going in their early career is clearly still there and they clearly care a whole a lot about their fans and its not often you see such

an incredible connection between a band and its fans. They managed the create a whole following of wonderful people that I’m happy to call my Familia!”

His message to all the fans is a very personal dedication:

“I want to dedicate the Fan Spotlight to Ryan Arthur Martin. I would’ve answered all these questions for him but we just weren’t able to find out even just 2 full answers.

I don’t know his first show or even his favorite song or lyric. I’m not sure what drew him to their music but I’m glad he found them somehow. He’s the reason I grew up the way I did and listen to most of the music I do. Ever since I was little he was always there for me and I owe it all to him. Stay positive and love your life! Even when its tough.”

———

What a great dedication and story from Andrew Martin! Thank you Andrew for sharing your story and I think your brother would be proud of the person you’ve become and that you still carry his love for 311 on with you. Time is precious people, go out and live the best life you can with 311 as your soundtrack! Until next time, be spectacular!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/16/17 – Justin Hughes!

Welcome back again my excitable friends, it’s time for the latest spotlight on another amazing 311 fan! So let us not delay and learn all about Justin Hughes!

The year was 1996 when Justin saw the video for “Down” and he said something just clicked in him but he had no idea what he was in for.  He ran out an bought the blue album and it was around this time that his friend would play 311 in his car here and there (usually Music or Grassroots). “He had seen them with Cypress Hill and told me they were a good live band. I thought those albums sounded so different than what I had heard on the Blue album that it only made me more interested in the band.  A few months later they were headlining a radio show in Phoenix and we went.  September 28th, 1996 at the Compton Terrace. That was the point at which it completely changed for me. Seeing them live and the incredible energy they possessed onstage completely drew me in and I was hooked.”

Since that first show in ’96, Justin has seen them 35 times Favorite of those he narrowed down to two, the cruise in 2012 and then 311 Day 2016. “The Cruise was one of the most amazing things to be a part of.  The idea of 2,000 positive, like minded 311 fans all having the time of their lives floating around in the Caribbean with so many other bands to enjoy and soak up was absolutely surreal to me. The beach show was so unique and one of my favorites but the final show in the Palladium Lounge is probably my favorite show ever.  All the shows are special and give me that high but there was something in the air during that show and I know that I wasn’t the only one because by the end of it a girl right nearby us was crying (a good cry) and that was something I hadn’t seen before at a show so I just had to give her a huge hug.”

When it comes to the song that means the most to him, Justin said that many come to mind. Some of his favorites include “Lose,” “Running,” “Stealing Happy Hours,” “Sever,” “Crack the Code,” “Visit,” and “Sweet.”  Favorite lyrics came a little easier and include, “The jaded ones will whither while the optimistic grow,” “What could I say vacancy sounds like,” and “ With this life not ours not for long. And for the taking take it, the birth light breaking it.”

Justin was born in Burbank, California and at the age of two his mom and dad moved to Tucson, Arizona which is where he was raised. He is an only child. He graduated from the University of Arizona back in 2003. Justin played the drums for many years and then started playing guitar around the age of 16, the same time he started getting into 311. “I am self-taught and I learned every 311 song that I could. I learned a lot about playing via Nick and miT.”

Justin has been married to the love of his life Lowry for 11 years and they have two kids together, Cayden, 9, and Hayley, 6. He and Lowry have known each other since they were 14. They met in high school and became great friends, then reconnected at the end of college and started dating. They’ve lived in Phoenix, Arizona for six years and they just returned from Fiji in August where they celebrated their 10th anniversary (it’s also where they went on their honeymoon.) 

Last year Justin finally made it to New Orleans for 311 Day and he had never been there so it was a fun time for him. “I’ve been lucky enough to share most of my 311 experiences with my best friend Samy who’s just as big a fan as me. We’ve been friends since we were pretty young. She took me on the cruise in 2012 as my birthday present so she’s been instrumental in funding my 311 habit. She also got us the 311 Day 2016 tickets (another bday present). We both have spouses that “married into” our 311 fandom. They really enjoy going to shows with us and they’ve actually become fans of the band themselves so we’re really lucky! My wife has been to about 15 shows with me as well.”

Something you might not know about Justin is that he is a cancer survivor. “In 2014 I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I spent most of 2015 fighting it and I’m cancer free today! I went through six  months of chemotherapy following my surgery, and that was on top of the chemo and radiation treatments leading up to it. I was able to get through it because of my family and a really solid support network of friends. I truly believe because of the people in my life and going into something so terrifying and unknown as cancer while keeping a positive mindset, that it held a big part in me beating it. It’s something that 311 has taught me for over 20 years. I have nothing but gratitude for them forever for that.” About 2 days after Justin was diagnosed with cancer he went to a 311 show in Tucson (where he met last weeks fan spotlight Carolyn Huerta for the first time). That show was huge for him and he came out of it with total focus and a no fear attitude to help him take his battle with cancer. “Plus having 311 in my ears going into a chemo treatment was the ultimate ammo to help me kick the shit out of cancer.”

Justin is pretty good at imitations – he can imitate people he knows, celebrities, whoever. “My wife thinks I should get an agent and do voiceover work of some kind.” Guilty pleasure for Justin is the band Third Eye Blind. “They are one of my all time favorites and I think they’re one of the great true rock bands of my generation.” Other bands he loves are Deftones, Chevelle, Blink 182, Smashing Pumpkins, Passafire, Ballyhoo!, Unwritten Law, Intronaut, Meshuggah, Silversun Pickups, Bad Religion, Pennywise, Lana Del Ray, Ernest Ranglin, Pepper, and Slightly Stoopid.

To 311, Justin would like to say “Thank you for creating something through your music that has become something much bigger for so many people.”

To all the fellow excitables:

“I’ve met so many people through this band that I wouldn’t have ever crossed paths with otherwise. All because we connect on a massive level to the same 5 dudes who make music. Attitude, religion, whatever you want to call it, it’s something we can’t really quantify but we are a part of something special. I’m better because of it.”

———

That’s Justin Hughes story my friends! And an enjoyable story it was. Thank you all for reading his amazing 311 journey. You are all such wonderful beings, it’s no wonder this is the best fan base in the world! Until next time, be strong and always be positive.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 1/9/17 – Carolyn Huerta!

unknown

Welcome back my excitable friends to the next edition of the fan spotlight! It’s time to meet the lovely Carolyn Huerta! 

The year was 1993 when a friend of Carolyn’s introduced her to the awesomeness that is 311. They were at his house and he put on the Music CD, from that moment on she was hooked. “Immediately I was connected to this music in a way I had never felt before. There was this funk to them that I was drawn to and it was feel good music. That album had so many great songs on it and I remember loving NixHex and My Stoney Baby and soon I found myself listening to this album on repeat. I was in 6th grade at the time.” Carolyn said this genre of music was new to her at the time. She had just started to get into Pearl Jam and Nirvana, but 311 took precedence over them.  “The reggae and funk sounds that they put out was something that made them stand out to me. It was s sound unlike any I had heard before.”

Carolyn said that at this point she has 100% lost count of shows she’s attended. However she knows the only time she missed a show in her home state was when she was 5 months pregnant with her son in 2006. She knows the show count is a high number, she just can’t keep track anymore! October 28, 1997 was her very first show at the Desert Sky Pavilion. “ A bunch of us piled into my car and headed to Phoenix to catch our first show. My car was rocking a 311 and Sublime decal by this point! The show was electrifying. Everything I could have wanted to hear and more. This was also my first time crowd surfing! What a rush that was!” 

Favorite show so far that has resonated the most with her was the sail away show on her first cruise. “I was with my best friend Casey and this was her second cruise and my first. I had no idea what to expect. We were drinking beers with thousands of 311 fans on deck and looking out at Miami when all of a sudden we start moving and 311 takes the stage and sends electricity through every single person on the boat. I had chills. A high that was natural and unexperienced before this moment. The energy was insane. That was when I knew that all of the crazy traveling I do for this band was never going to stop! I have made some of the most genuine friendships with fellow 311 familia and that has brought so much more love into my life.”

Like many fans, picking a favorite song is difficult for Carolyn. Some of the ones that stand out to her are “Crack the Code,” “Random,” “Large in the Margin,” “Sever,” “Visit,” and “Stealing Happy Hours.” She also loves “1,2,3” because of S.A.  “I love them all. I guess that during each ebb and flow of my life different songs stick out more to me but I love them all. Those are just a few that really stand out all the time.” Quote that resonates with her the most is “Stay positive and love your life.” “ I practice mindfulness every day and making sure I live in the moment so that I can get the most out of life and this quote reminds me that even though we experience hard times, staying positive and believing that life is still beautiful is incredibly empowering for the soul. It makes the bumps easier and the beautiful times even more vibrant. It is tattooed on my back.”

Carolyn was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and has lived there all her life. During her younger years she was a gymnast for 12 years and she loved to roller skate in her free time. She is currently an Administrative Assistant for the operating room at a hospital, as well as a freelance makeup artist for NARS cosmetics. She is married to her best friend Rob and has a 10 year old son. Eventually she plans to move to Los Angeles to work for NARS full time. 

Something very cool about Carolyn is that she and her business partner Jessica are the makeup artists for the Miss Arizona Organization. “It is an incredibly honor to be a part of that and we have met so many wonderful people. I’m exceptionally proud of this because we get to work with amazingly talented and very bright women.  Makeup has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl and I’m so happy that it gets to be a part of my professional life. It doesn’t feel like a job at all!” 

Carolyn said unique attribute is that she thinks she is funny, she can make others laugh and that has always brought her happiness. “I would love for people to meet me and remember me in a way that left them with a smile on their face. I think laughing is the best medicine. It is a positive release for your soul and laughing until I’m crying is my favorite thing to do.” Guilty pleasure of Carolyn is that she is a huge fan of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Atlanta, New Jersey and Orange County. She said she is also the “BIGGEST original 90210 fan there ever was!!” 

When not listening to 311, Carolyn can be found rocking out to many different kinds of music including Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Incubus, Sublime, Sam Cooke, Mariah Carey (old school), Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Elton John, Queen, Britney Spears, Audioslave, Garth Brooks, and Bob Marley. This is just the start of the list for her, she said it can go on and on. “I love all genres of music from the 50’s and on.”

Carolyn’s words to 311 are this: “Thank you for rocking my soul for the last 24 years. I will continue to support and follow this band.” She was lucky enough to have the opportunity to tell the guys this when she brought her son to his second show in Tucson. “He got to meet the whole ban and get their autographs and take pictures with them. He cherishes that day, as he is a mini excitable. Aiden has taken on a love for this band as much as I have. He knows every song and I’m confident he could win the Name thatTune competition with Nick Hexum, which makes me a very proud mom. So the band knows how much me and my family love and appreciate all they do.”

Her message to all the other fabulous fans out in 311 nation:

“I want to take this time to say THANK YOU to every single member of the 311 nation who came together in March of 2016 to help raise funds for my dear friend Evan. I started that GOFundME for him with the hopes of being able to help my dear friend and I was blown away by the love and support that this community showed. I had no idea what to expect going into that. What would the community think? Would there be backlash? But instead, there were So many people who reached out and shared the post, donated and prayed and when all was said and done. I was speechless. I love every single one of you and I thank you for the big hearts and the kindness you all showed. That awful experience turned into a positive and loving outcome for all involved. From that day forward, you all had my heart and I will always be here for anyone in this amazing 311 nation. Now let’s meet up at a 311 concert and rock the fuck out together!! XOXO.”

———-

Now you know the story of the lovely Carolyn Huerta! Thank you Carolyn for being part of the fan spotlight and this amazing community of fans. Is there a better fan base out there? Not in my opinion! Until we meet again my friends, go be positive and spread the love. 

Much love – The Runt